No Bryan Chapman Memorial for me this year so I was following it on twitter
Lovely day up pen y pass, in Menai for 6 pic.twitter.com/XUC86o0YsD
— to3y (@t03y) May 24, 2015
While I remember… #audax animal highlights: slug in my leg warmers, saw a fox, lights reflecting in cats eyes AND A SMALL OWL IN THE ROAD
— Ella Wredenfors (@runpaintrunrun) May 24, 2015
At Aberhafesp 541km control on #bcm600 and contemplating another rest before heading on
— Reg.T (@pete_reg) May 24, 2015
@runpaintrunrun Am at Aberhafesp. Going well so far, but I can't believe how much further there still is to ride.
— Emily Chappell (@emilychappell) May 24, 2015
I’ve recently got a B&M Luxos U generator powered light. It was easy to fit as a replacement to my existing B&M Cyo. First impressions are that it is bright but seems to behave differently to the Cyo. The beam spread seems to alter with speed.
The beam has a long “throw” than the Cyo and is also wider
The boost button doesn’t seem to do much. I needed squeeze the rear light connector to make it fit tighter on the spade, it kept falling off. This was good in a way as it showed that the green light to indicate the rear light working was ok
I tried out the light on the recent Brevet Cymru 400km event. This was extremely wet with a lot of rain. The light had no problems with this. In real world use in heavy rain in pitch darkness in Wales the beam pattern worked well
Prior to the event I did try out the USB charging and it works on my iphone 4S as specified: once the red light is on the device will slowly charge as long as you are moving
I had trouble getting to hall thanks to railway closures, so no photos from me: the phone battery was used up checking timetables
We were due good but windy weather for the day by the weather men. So perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised to roll off at 6am in moderately heavy rain. After the rain stopped the end of the first easy section was quite relaxing
I got to Shobdon and as usual there was a food queue so I decided not to stop. Filled my bottles, removed a layer or two and continued
Coffee+pie at Builth
By Builth Wells it was coffee time so I stopped at the Drovers tearooms. As I left the tearooms I saw another rider coming up the road. I knew the next bit would be into a headwind so I suggested we team up.
So I rode up the A483 to Beulah with Gordon. It would have been a bit nasty on my own I was glad someone to share a wheel with. The sun came out, it was loverly
Up the staircase
Off the main road and into the lanes. There was a new control at a village hall before the Devil’s Staircase ascent. Which I managed without putting a foot down, always a good sign I feel.
The mountain road was beautiful in the sunshine. Unusually pleasant for this time of year!
After the various climbs of the Tregaron mountain road there is an amazing descent towards Tregaron, then one small climb then it’s Tregaron and my favourite ever control, the bowls club
After the bowls club the direction of the ride turns around so we were all hopeful to be getting a tail wind down the Elan Valley. But first there were some nasty little ascents to do. On one of them at a snails pace I could hear an odd noise coming out of the bike. Just a metalic “clink” but I couldn’t imagine what it was. I had to stop and have a look. I quickly worked out that the bolt on the Bagman support frame was very loose. Good job I happened to notice, I don’t carry a spare bolt in that size
High speed mountain road
The tailwind was all that could be hoped for. I did the whole mountain road in 90 minutes and arrived in Rhyader feeling a lot fresher than usual at this point.
Night section and finish
More coffee, add some more clothes then off again on the A44 also somewhat tailwind assisted. Gordon came past with a train so I hopped on the back. After turning off the flattish A44 onto the undulating A483 going north my climbing legs seemed to evapourate. I stuck with Gordon and co for a while but in the end they disappeared up a hill and I didn’t see them again until the end. Stuart and his Eliptigo also dropped me on a hill and again I didn’t see him again
Finally there were some horrible urban roundabouts then finished! I had 2 plates of stew, someone gave me a glass of wine and I got to sleep in the hall about midnight
That’s the 300km PBP qualifier done!
13 hours of Hills
In summary: some fantastic views, some tough ascents, some sun, good company and an amazing big moon in the last few miles in the dark
Hopefully this bit of “practice” will put my legs in the mood for the Elenydd next weekend!
I’ve entered another 200km Paris-Brest-Paris qualifier, the “Mad March 200″ from Exeter. So last weekend I started out. Would I get further than last time, when I packed after a few hours?
At the start
I actually drove in a car, the 15 miles to the start. I don’t normally do this for events in Exeter but I wasn’t feeling like a power house so I thought I’d miss out on the bonus miles.
It was a great morning. But lunchtime we were at the turnaround point in Blue Anchor
Around this time I noticed that the welds on my frame had developed some new cracks and were coming undo. I decided to carry on but to ride carefully. So no 40mph descents.
Just before the Dead Woman’s ditch climb the heavens dumped a load of ice on us
I put on a balaclava and continued. Up the hill. On my broken bike
The route passed our house so I switched bikes to my generally offroad bike for the last 15 miles
Several groups overtook me due to my plodding pace on 2″ tyres
Finished in 11 1/2 hours and I was glad that the car was there to take me home, even if this meant missing out on a pint at the pubbe
But woo hoo! That’s the first Paris-Brest-Paris qualifier done!
The “Mr Pickwicks January Sale” ride from Tewkesbury was to be my first Paris-Brest-Paris qualifier. But this was not to be
The plan was to get there promptly and ride as fast as possible, with a group and dodging light showers to finish in 11 hours or so.
After driving 100 miles from Devon in heavy rain, starting 40 minutes late, going back to get my wallet that I’d left in the car I finally left Tewkesbury at about 9am
After 20km in heavy rain I was not warming up. In particular my legs weren’t. A quick reckoning of my ETA for the Arrivee based on current performance seemed to suggest a 9pm finish. I’d checked the weather forecast for the area before and the temperature was due to drop drastically as the sun went down, getting to -1 by 9pm. There was quite a bit of higher ground covered later in the ride too – and higher means wetter and colder. If I couldn’t get warm in the “warmer” day then I’d be in trouble at night. So I packed. I retraced to the start with my GPS track, changed into dry clothes in my car and phoned the organiser
If I’d have had water proof trousers with me and if I’ve have got off at 8am it would have been a different outcome. But to be honest with perfect foresight I wouldn’t have started at all!
Thanks to Mark Rigby the organiser for making the event happen despite his nasty cold
I started the New Year the way I like to with a 100 mile ride
I was planning to do the route I always do for New Years Day: over the Blackdown Hills to Taunton, up the A361 almost to Glastonbury, cut across lanes to Bridgwater, through Bridgwater to the A39, past the nuclear power station, Minehead then back home via Dunster, Wheddon Cross and Black Cat on the A396
It was a grey morning but it was great to get up and out all the same
However, just 20km in at Taunton it looked like the planned 100 miles was a bit optimistic. My bikes rear wheel was making nasty rattling noises. When I stopped to check the wheel it had far too much lateral play in the bearings.
I discovered that the nuts tensioning the bearings were doing the same as last week. They had come loose. I think that at some point in the past I’d left a washer or nut out of the assembly and that it doesn’t now lock tight like it should. To adjust this properly I’d have to remove the cassette and use cone spanners. And I don’t carry an entire workshop with me. But I don’t give up that easy! I used my pliers to tension the hub bearings correctly by applying friction to the burred surface of the nut that had come loose. Once it was ok, I put rubber solution glue around the top of the nut to prevent vibration from shaking it loose again. I was off once more. I checked the wheel at regular intervals and it was fine all the way round
The ride was fairly pleasant until the last 30km. I stopped for a coffee with family in Minehead and then got within a few miles of Tiverton before the rain really came down.
Good day out though!