Posted 3 Days Ago
Another cycling milestone - my first 300 km addax done yesterday at great mental cost - this has hard hard hard!
Unbeknownst to me I was during this ride, taking on one of the toughest climbs in the UK - the so-called Devil's Staircase. Well named - I had to walk up most of that as it was just too damned hard.
Anyway instead of whiffling on, how about just a link to the GPS track log - incomplete sadly as my garmin unit's battery ran out towards the end. Suffice to say the final mileage was over 200 miles, there was about 3 vertical miles of climbing and it took 19 hours. Not so far away from the time limit of 20 hours (Audaxes of this distance require times of between 15 kph and 30 kph). This ride nearly broke my spirit twice, hellish stuff but I'm very proud of having done it now I'm back.
Latest reply: 3 Days Ago
Tour of Pembrokeshire
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
Well, done the hardest graft of a cycle yet once more.
This time, instead of an Audax it was a Sportive called the Tour of Pembrokeshire. 108 miles from St. Davids through Fishguard and Cardigan then back. 9920 ft of climing - this was the tough bit - about half as much on top of the most climbing I've done before. This is equivalent twice up Ben Nevis and more. Not sure how I've managed to get to this level in less than a year. Frightening.
Didn't do it without a lot of pain and had to stop for a breather on two of the later climbs- it did just get too much. In fact I think I was nearly bonking* on one climb about 70 miles in. It got too much, I stopped and nearly fell over with a big dizzy spell. It was time for some glucose intake at that moment for sure!
Anyway, after a feed station at the descent of that climb whatever I eat gave me a second wind. After one final big climb after that feedstation (which I also whimped out on half way) I got a second wind and brought the hammer down for the final 25 miles which didn't take me much more than 1 1/2 hours - zooming past everyone towards the end was very satisfying.
The other highlights? Stunning (and I mean stunning) scenery and a 56 mph (90 kmh) maximum speed on the descent from their Signature Perseli climb - a nice wide clear road and I just went for it. This was probably the only time on the ride that being (probably) the fattest/heaviest rider on the 100 mile course was a positive advantage! My brother was unimpressed at this speed - calling it ludicrously dangerous. I call it fun!
My presence can be demonstrated with photgraphic evidence too - http://www.sportysnaps.com/content/cycling/top_2013/newport01_0915/liz_2804.htm
*Cycling terminology for the same phenomenon as The Wall in marathon running.
Latest reply: 3 Weeks Ago
More audaxing - and success!
Posted 5 Weeks Ago
Lost a bit of cycling mojo last month when I couldn't/didn't attempt my first 300 km audax due to heavy snow at the start and no prospect of better weather on the way round.
Did a 200 km on Saturday however with some of the family doing a 50 km event from the same place. They loved it and want to do more cycling events now - excellent
Anyway, not only did I complete an audax for the first time without (a) falling off or (b) having a mechanical breakdown of some kind but (c) I WON!!!!!
Or at least I was the first cyclist home anyway. Audaxing is very much not racing - no times are published and there is a maximum speed that you must not exceed (30 km/h - if you can do 200 km at 30 km/h then.... whoa!). Nobody was trying to beat me either.
However- still damn chuffed to bits with that. And was getting respect and impressed comments from the other cyclists at the final control point after zipping past them to get there first (you have to stop at certain points and get a proof of having been there- these are called control).
214 km in 9 h 20 min. Av. speed of 14.2 mph (23 km/h) - my speeds are definitely increasing
Latest reply: 5 Weeks Ago
Tribute to Thatcher.
Posted 6 Weeks Ago
Did she surpass Churchill?
Is she our greatest?
Do we capitulate to the Left?
Or do we rise to our station?
Grantham’s finest shows the way!
Thatcher, we will always miss you.
Her name will never be forgotten.
Eternally grateful, we must be.
Who else could have lead us out of darkness?
Inpossible to think of any other.
Thatcher was the one and only.
Cherished in our memories.
Her legacy lives on.
Such passion for our good.
Death cannot stop her project.
All of Britain mourns.
Do not give up the Conservative fight!
(I cannot claim to be the original author but I agree with the sentiment)
Latest reply: 6 Weeks Ago
More cycling exploits
Posted Mar 2, 2013
Well, successfully did the Gospel Pass 150 km Audax last weekend. Nearly didn't though as I bought a chain wear gauge the week before, discovered that both my bikes has severely worn chains and so replaced them.
Upshot being -the road bike was taken out of action as the gearing indexing was all screwed up and I managed to fray the rear gear cable trying to sort it. FIxed now, but too late.
Second upshot my Trek had to 4000 miles on one chain (FAR too much) and so the rear cassette was all word down. This meant the new chain was skipping like a little girl on my favourite (most used) gears. Had to do the big ride using this bike but it was dodgy.
Still all's well that ends well - no other mechanicals on the day and managed all the climbs. 100 miles more on the clock and 2280 metres of vertical climbing. Gospel Pass is the highest mountain pass in Wales so I'm rapidly running out of climbing challenges having already conquered Rhigos and Bwlch.
Or am I?...
So I've read on chat forums about a real beast of a climb in Pontypridd - known as Pontypridd Golf Course road or to give it its real name - Penheol Ely Road. Supposedly featuring (in an 800 ft climb) 25% slopes and a cattle grid on a 17% slope.
The latter point has rather put me off as I don't want to die on it (or break my bones or my bike..).
Turns out the cattle grid thing is BS - it's on a relatively flat bit.
But... my all conquering climbing mode came to an end today. Penheol Ely road is a true if a climb. 25% slopes is no exaggeration. This is the first time I've really had the front wheel coming off the ground due to the steep slope - the first time the bike has nearly stopped because of the steep incline, the first time I've been properly worried about destroying the bike's drivetrain as I put so much stress on it.
It's not the first time I've failed a climb though - this was too much for now - too much hard work. I stopped near the top and had to walk the rest of the steep bit as it was too steep to start again.
Ha well - again again (I won't say next time this time - it took me dozens of attempts to conquer Caerphilly mt).
Good, still to have a challenge
Latest reply: Mar 2, 2013