Tour of Wessex

vermootencpvermootencp Posts: 1,298
Anyone else up for 3 days of heavy rain and strong winds? I can't wait, it's going to be one of the highlights of my year - a mechanical failure prevented me from completing all 3 days last year so I'm a man on a mission. I also hope to be a man on a bike that won't break this time.

Anyone else doing it?

Andy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I'll do what I can to help y'all. But the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I\'ll do what I can to help y\'all. But the game\'s out there, and it\'s play or get played. That simple."
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Posts

  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Curses - I actually posted a month or two ago about it and there seemed to be a resounding silence.
    Ditched it in the end, on the basis of lack-of-fitness and general lack of family enthusiasm - Having just got back from a 50 mile 4,800ft ride round the North Downs, and agreed to spend the weekend with my parents, I'm kicking myself!

    I might try and make a note of the 55, and ride it later this year independently.

    Enjoy.
  • vermootencpvermootencp Posts: 1,298
    There's always next year too, JWSurrey. It's a good event, well-organised and so on.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I'll do what I can to help y'all. But the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I\'ll do what I can to help y\'all. But the game\'s out there, and it\'s play or get played. That simple."
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    Decided not to do this one, was entered for the ride on Saturday, but for some reason the star times are really early (7 to 7:30 am).... i live 50 miles away so would probably have to set off 4:30 to give time to park, register and sort the bike out....
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    Ah - the draw was just too much...
    Just had a look at the map, the video and the start time for the 55 (9ish). Plugging the route in to the Nav. made my mind up.
    I should be able to make it from Guildford if I pack the car on Friday night.

    Will still make it to the parents' in time for tea.

    55, here we come! I only hope there are some spare places by the time I check-in!
  • HaynesHaynes Posts: 670
    Ive entered for Sunday as i live in Dorset, not done any sportifs before. But with a stupidly early start, rain forecast and havent done any training, oh and had a nasty cold 2 weeks ago thats left me feeling low on energy, and theres the hayfever just to add to my list of pathetic excuses i'm struggling to get my a*** in gear and get motivated and organised.

    Encouragment needed please!



    The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.

    The trick is not MINDING that it hurts.
  • I'm doing all 3 days, I've put the training in, but now the doubts are creeping in.

    Sat the weather looks ok, Sunday hopefully just light rain, same on Mon too.

    www.i-team.co.uk
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    quote:Originally posted by Haynes

    ...Encouragment needed please!....

    Ooh - go on! Watch the video on the website. Imagine the long hours of toil sucking exhaust pipes for the average London cyclist, and then the joy of zipping through Stourhead!
    I'll be up at 5am to ensure I make that start line!
    It's right on your doorstep! One of the great rides of the year and even on the UCI list!
    Banana and flapjack shop just completed.
    Looking forward to it - It can't poss. be as wet as the Oxford loop a couple of weeks ago, or as hard as the 4,800ft of climbing on last weekend's 50 miler - he said naively.
  • jalapenojalapeno Posts: 1,009
    I was riding it, does of flu last weekend put paid to that idea... bah!

    http://www.mikesbikepages.me.uk
    http://www.mikesimagination.net

    Painted Roads.. colourful cycling adventures
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  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    It does look like we'll get wet on Sunday and Monday...

    Time to dig-out the Summer bike (why's it just started raining ? Is it something I said ?)
  • SteveR_100MilersSteveR_100Milers Posts: 5,987
    Choices..choices...this or the Cymru GF...neither are going to be flat or much fun whilst riding it but boy to complete it AND in the forecast weather conditions will make each and every one of us heros in our own sitting rooms [:)]


    Time! Time! It's always too long and there's never enough!
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    Well Nick from Wessex explains the reason it's such a god-awful early start each dayu is so that we can be finished by lunchtime, leaving time to repair our bikes, etc.
    (aside - how bad is this route then ? I was thinking of just checking the tyre pressures...)

    But perhaps you could hot-foot it up to Wales and fit in Cymru in the afternoon ?

    Time to dig-out the Summer bike (why's it just started raining ? Is it something I said ?)
  • sloboysloboy Posts: 1,139
    Well not wishing to weaken anyone's resolve, but I've bailed out of tomorrow. It'll costs 25 quid to cancel (loss of entry fee) and 80 quid to ride (fee + accommodation etc) in the wind and rain. On the basis this is supposed to be fun, think I'll cut my losses.

    Have a good one chaps. I will be thinking about you.
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    .. the big selling point is that it is 3 days, but why do they think people want to be at the starting line for 7 am... it's a bit remote, and not doing themselves any favours by the start times. OK there may be some very pretty lanes in that neck of the woods, but that goes for most of the country... myself, i did not turn up today and won't be there next year unless things change.
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    oh one other point - they changed the Gold, Silver, Bronze Standards after i entered - REFUND PLEASE....
  • .Andrew..Andrew. Posts: 41
    Can't belive you guy's, if you new the hard work Nick put's into this event, seem's some people are never happy,
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    fine, well don't take my money under false pretenses then... The standards when i paid my money were 6hrs,, than changed to 6:30... 'bought as sold' ....
  • .Andrew..Andrew. Posts: 41
    Does it matter what time you end up doing, just to finish the event is a hell of an Achievement. as i think last year there was lot's of DNF.
  • jugglerjuggler Posts: 417
    ok... sorry....mmmm reckon you have a good point... just wish i could push the pedals a bit harder. Really though the only reason i entered this year was to get under 6:30, and then found the bar was 6:00...... have a good weekend
  • .Andrew..Andrew. Posts: 41
    I don't know how they work out the times for sportives, not sure if they are a good thing or not, after all there not ment to be races, but i can see your point.
  • GilocpGilocp Posts: 332
    I was up at 4.30am to get down there for Saturday's stage - well worth it. Great event, well organised, good route, and (this year) good weather. I'd far rather get up at stupid o'clock and be finished early afternoon.



    Gilo
    Gilo
  • BooboocpBooboocp Posts: 1,156
    quote:Originally posted by .Andrew.

    I don't know how they work out the times for sportives, not sure if they are a good thing or not, after all there not ment to be races, but i can see your point.


    Andrew, as an organisor (White Rose Classic) I'll answer this one.

    I work the times out by using a average speed versus height climbed formula. I also ride round the routes myself (and ask friends to do so) just to check my figures.

    As to why we have them, yes it is not a race but it is competitive for many riders. Giving those riders targets is what makes the event special, especially if the event is a hard one.

    Not everyone wants or needs to challenge themselves, so there is no requirement to do so - it's your choice.

    Event Website: http://www.whiteroseclassic.co.uk
  • .Andrew..Andrew. Posts: 41
    Thanks for the info, so the times are set by the organizers, yes i can see it makes it more fun.
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    quote:Originally posted by Gilo

    I was up at 4.30am to get down there for Saturday's stage - well worth it. Great event, well organised, good route, and (this year) good weather. I'd far rather get up at stupid o'clock and be finished early afternoon....


    Spot on Gilo:
    Perfect - Early start forced me to miss the Bank Hol. crush - Fastest average I've ever done in England in the last 5 years (without breaking the speed limit, I hasten to add).
    Didn't even need to touch the brakes at the Stonehenge fork!

    Had a spot of bother finding the actual start point.
    Couldn't find any other event signage. Maybe I turned off the main road too early.

    Saturday: Perfect riding weather. Just a light chill on the start line.
    Virtually no wind, a lovely flat spin for the last 10 miles.

    I went on my own and was feeling a bit pensive being the only bloke with toe-clips, this being my first sportive, and a touring setup, but quickly got hailed down to help someone having trouble with their tyres before leaving as a hastily assembled group of 4 on the "lightweights" 55.

    Pulled a negative split shortly after the rides rejoined, when riding companion found someone else of similar pace.... Superb - I laughed when I got sucked up in to one bunch, and someone turned round and exclaimed - "where on earth did you come from!" - I think my "55 miler" number on my back might have given the game away [;)]

    Spotted Dynamo, Kingston and Serpentine... Hello all.

    One poorly signed turn we missed, and ended up heading the wrong way just before the figure-eight cross point - which added 6 miles and dropped us from our group.
    Flagged a marshall whose directions were even less detailed and unable to help!
    More accurate map would have been wonderful, though great to have detailed map on website - I think I must have failed to hear the nav. beep as we hurtled down one of the short descents.

    Managed my fastest recorded downhill speed ever - Am normally quite slow, but got carried away in with the other cyclists.

    Did anyone else notice the lack of a sign at the top of the ascent to Glastonbury Tor? At least we got that one right.[:)]

    Bit quiet on the 55 - lots of no-mans-land riding until we re-joined the 100 milers.
    Fab event - def. doing it next year. Prob. the 100.

    Hope the Sunday/Monday riders enjoyed/enjoy battling the elements.
    Off to help wifey on the Thames Turbo Tri. tomorrow - Another "early doors" event with a sub 5am start for us.

    Questions:
    Did the broom wagon pick up the DNFs if they were just exhausted?
    Just wondering how much to push myself next year.

    Did the ride halt at Cheddar for something? Just a comment I overheard - poss. just someone p*ncturing.

    Did you make the whole climb up King Alfred's Tower? The very last 100ft had me... which is a shame given I climbed about another 1,000 the previous weekend.
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    quote:Originally posted by Booboo
    [...as an organisor (White Rose Classic)....
    I work the times out by using a average speed versus height climbed formula.....


    Bummer - Your event's full!
    So what's the formula? This would be useful as I can use it as a fitness formula to decide which events I may be capable of.
  • jonny dixjonny dix Posts: 2
    Just did first two days - great weather day one, wet throughout day two, came off at Wareham (big graze on hip). Big thanks to unnamed rapha/salt man from Bristol who helped me back in. Great route through terrific country. Some dangerous bits like the track though the stately home - downhill stretch straight onto deep gravel - needs more warning.

    Very supportive of efforts of team to make this a success but some thought needed for next year. Toilets were in a poor state by day two and only 2 WCs for all the blokes!! You also need to put a proper access over the fence at the top of the field. Can you rig up a stand pipe too please?

    Barbie was a good idea but was overpriced and felt very very ad hoc. Raw beef followed by cold apple cake and custard has even less appeal after 100 (125) miles in the saddle.

    Where did the festival go - it was shut by the time I got back...

    Organisers seemed desparately stressed and underprepared at times - probably not such a good idea to have a stand up row with a contractor in the middle of the field... Guys on feeds stations were totally brilliant - food & smiles plentiful and they were as wet and cold as we were.

    A group of five riders independently missed a sign and on the wrong route then found signs for the 50 miler which meant an extra 25 miles on Saturday - please use another colour for the 50 mile route - it wasnt funny. We found a marshall - turns out he made the same error!
  • David PcpDavid Pcp Posts: 2
    Did the first day 100 miles, my first sportive. Very enjoyable, suffered during the first third, ill and cramps. From dropping down towards Blagdon I felt a lot better and it was a nice surprise to find the food stop half way up Burrington Coombe. Cheddar Gorge was fantastic and managed to overtake a couple of cars whose people were more interested in looking up than in their mirrors. It also felt good to be pulled along at over 20mph by a group who did drop me after a while. I didn't miss any signs although I did study the excellent route maps on the web and was okay where they had changed. Looking forward to the next one.

    The organisation was good but you are right about the fence, had to climb over the barbed wire. The only other disappointing bit was the grumpy guy handing out the medal, could have done with a glamorous assistant I think. I did get to the show on Sat, the lunch ladies were excellent, very friendly and the guys doing the bike tricks were very impressive.
  • JWSurreyJWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    quote:Originally posted by jonny dix

    ....Some dangerous bits like the track though the stately home - downhill stretch straight onto deep gravel - needs more warning.....

    Yes, I remember riding past the log piles wondering if we were actually meant to ride over them and jump off the top [:D]
    Still, nice to get to ride in front of the house - Glad I had my Vectran canvas tyres.
    The road humps were a bit stealthy - the bike in front suddenly veered in to the middle of the road, which was a bit of a scary moment, probably more so for the club riders behind me (cutting through the gap in the speed humps).

    Shortly followed by the everlasting comment from behind of: "Well, I can't see the blood stains" as we sailed over the gravel!
  • bunnymanbunnyman Posts: 62
    ...And what is more, you'll be a man my son...

    Why is the last mile always the hardest mile ? - The Smiths
    Why is the last mile always the hardest mile ? - The Smiths
  • David PcpDavid Pcp Posts: 2
    I was a bit suprised to be directed off road but imagined I was crossing some pave with the cattle grid and speed humps all adding to the illusion. The hell of Stourhead.
  • vermootencpvermootencp Posts: 1,298
    It was all fantastic, I'm a husk of the man I used to be. Having ridden the Fred Whitton and the Etape du Dales totally hard in the last fortnight, we decided in the first few seconds on Day 1 to take it easy and not bother trying to get a good time. It was the right thing to do.

    Saturday was great but I can't remember much about it now except that we beat last year's time without trying.

    Sunday was the killer - 28mph winds, hard driving rain which didn't stop all day, no food at the first feed station, but some unbelievable views. I particularly enjoyed the long tunnel of huge plants with purple flowers (rhodadendron?) and the weirdo landscape littered with dead tanks. Stopped twice to help out some guy who'd got a slow puncture but who hadn't brought a pump with him. On the third occasion, I'm mildly ashamed to say, we didn't stop. Sorry man. It was so cold I would have happily jumped into the broom waggon if there was one. So much for my "waterproof" gloves and "waterproof" winter shoes.

    Monday: mmmmm. Like everyone else I was overdressed, assuming that it would be winter again. Of course it was baking sunshine for a large portion of the ride, especially on the hills. Got into a nice big bunch at the start, so the first 40-50 miles were a doddle. The first steep hill spilt it all up (anyone know the name of the hill? Google map ref?). Highlights included that most people walked up it but [looks modestly at the ground] I manged to get up all the way. Even better was seeing the guy who had dissed my Cervelo earlier on fall off and start pushing. It made me feel good, like sitting in front of a warm log fire makes me feel good. Total and utter RESPECT to the guy in the action.org.uk jersey who did 99% of the work from that hill to the turnoff towards Dunkery Beacon. The view atop DB is one of the greatest I've encountered in the UK. TS to the kiwi with the beardy who hadn't managed to get a compact in time for the event. The ride back to Sparkford was fast and furious. A couple of stupidly long steep hills added to the fun, and the maze of lanes / tall hedges were hypnotic. The end point was far further than expected, my computer ended up with 130 miles.

    Drove back to Manchester last night, spent an hour reading about Bjarne Riis' confession and then collapsed into bed. A good weekend's work.

    Motorcycle guys who buzzed the route making sure everyone was ok - what an awesome facility to put on. They carried spare tubes and tyres. Superb. Food at the end of each day - very good though not quite the cake-fest of last year. The organisation was excellent, signposting was utterly superb, didn't miss a single turning.

    Question: there were loads of women riding, which was great. How did this sportive manage to get women involved? The last 2 we did had almost none, they really were pretty much entirely men-with-men events which sucks. Is it a north-south thing?

    Andy
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I'll do what I can to help y'all. But the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple."
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "I\'ll do what I can to help y\'all. But the game\'s out there, and it\'s play or get played. That simple."
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