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The "Spud" Riley Gran Fondo

shy totshy tot Posts: 111
The latest list of acceptances for the above is now on the website:
www.polkadotchallenge.co.uk
Still places available if anyone to ride. (£15 by post before Friday - £25 on the day)

Posts

  • Captain FagorCaptain Fagor Posts: 1,768
    I would certainly recommend this ride to anyone fancying a challenging ride. I rode it last year and really enjoyed it. Well organised, nice roads, with a good cameraderie between riders on the course. It's also bloody difficult, withearly 3500m of climbing. I was absolutely shattered afterwards!

    One thing though - I think you need to keep your eyes peeled for junction signes or (as I did) ride with people who know where they're going.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I would certainly recommend this ride to anyone fancying a challenging ride. I rode it last year and really enjoyed it. Well organised, nice roads, with a good cameraderie between riders on the course. It's also bloody difficult, withearly 3500m of climbing. I was absolutely shattered afterwards!

    One thing though - I think you need to keep your eyes peeled for junction signes or (as I did) ride with people who know where they're going.

    If its anything like the Polkadot(which it will be as the same lads run it) it'll be brilliant, I would be doing it myself if i wasn't doing the Wild Wales....buts its a definate for next year...the route looks fantastic...and I remember on the Polkadot that at every single junction I came to there was a sign pointing the way...outstanding...the feedstops were great aswell, a T-shirt and Water Bottle all for a measly £15...can';t ask for better...and I do agree with Captain Fagor....the 'feel' and comraderied of the event was outstanding...next year and I'll be having a pop at this superbe event...it looks very very hard - all on quiet wee backroads...
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    I'll be there, course-supervisor-saying-the-draft-of-my-dissertation-that-I-sent-her-today-is-ok pending. I don't know the area but something tells me it's going to be in the same parts as the aptly-named Legbreaker Challenge. Looks like the sun will be shining too.

    I broke my shoes yesterday, and I doubt I can get a new pair beforehand, so all I have are my winter booties (too hot) or my MTB shoes which would mean MTB pedals, far from ideal.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    BTW has anyone got a map of the route? The site only shows the profile.

    Andy
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    vermooten wrote:
    BTW has anyone got a map of the route? The site only shows the profile.

    Andy

    Ok Vermooto!

    I've got the Memory Map version which I worked out for directions...Peter told me I'd got it correct...so if you want it then send me a private messgae throught this forum thingy and i'll send it to your email...by the way the route looks brilliant..I reckon it'll bloody killya!

    Cheers,

    Rich
  • skinseyskinsey Posts: 105
    Did it last year and doing it again this year as prep for Etape de Legend next month. At least it looks like we won't get soaked coming off Cat & Fiddle like last year. For those who haven't done it before, yes, the route is great, but it's a slightly unusual event in that there are lots of short(ish) steep climbs - I think it's 16 official ones but I counted more than that last year - rather than anything drawn out. Great for strength training!
  • cacbynamecacbyname Posts: 285
    Well the rain and high winds held off this year to make it an even better experience. It is a great route with lots of challenging but not stupidly hard climbs and largely off the main roads (although that didn’t stop plenty of abuse from motorists for daring to be on the road, the great british public, don’t you just love ‘em?). I like the organisation of this ride as well, the 2 feedstations were well stocked when I went through, the route markings were very clear and there was a friendly atmosphere.

    I had one mechanical when my brand new SRAM chain made a bid for freedom near Hartington, fortunately Dave (forgotten your username!) very kindly helped me out with a chaintool and powerlink - something I'll be carrying with me next time. I had a lot more trouble last year and the weather then was "challenging" which explains why I finished an 1h 20mins quicker with a time of 6h 43min.

    This was the last sportive of the season for me :(, it's been a good year though :D
  • JashinJashin Posts: 164
    6:24 for me, with some mechanical issues - 2nd gear skipping around, a cleat that didn't want to clip in. Organisation was ok, but having the 1st feed station 3/4 of the way up a climb was a bit silly. Traffic and wind on the descent of the Cat wasn't much fun either.
  • cacbyname wrote:
    Well the rain and high winds held off this year to make it an even better experience. It is a great route with lots of challenging but not stupidly hard climbs and largely off the main roads (although that didn’t stop plenty of abuse from motorists for daring to be on the road, the great british public, don’t you just love ‘em?). I like the organisation of this ride as well, the 2 feedstations were well stocked when I went through, the route markings were very clear and there was a friendly atmosphere.

    I had one mechanical when my brand new SRAM chain made a bid for freedom near Hartington, fortunately Dave (forgotten your username!) very kindly helped me out with a chaintool and powerlink - something I'll be carrying with me next time. I had a lot more trouble last year and the weather then was "challenging" which explains why I finished an 1h 20mins quicker with a time of 6h 43min.

    This was the last sportive of the season for me :(, it's been a good year though :D

    great effort CbyN considering folks reckon it takes an hour longer than the polkadot... well done everyone... I'm definitely signing up for next year
  • Captain FagorCaptain Fagor Posts: 1,768
    Like cacbyname, I was also significantly faster (50 mins) than last year, finishing in just over 6hrs 50mins. Weather was much better than last year. The organisation was great, and I was wrong about the signs - they're there if you look for 'em! Great course too. I was surprised by how much of the route I remembered - just about all of it, in fact!

    One thing really grated me on this ride though - some riders have absolutely no work ethic at all, and even less shame. I rode most of the course with two others and we were passing quite a lot of people and working quite well together. Three riders tagged onto our group at various points with about thirty or so miles to go, and basically didn't do a single turn at the front. It got to the stage where we were doing "go slow" stints at the front to force them to do their share, but they just went even slower! And sure enough, three miles from the end, two of the three week-suckers shot off because "they were trying to get under 7 hours". Well guess what? If you want to get a fast time (and deserve it in the process), why don't you do your share of the work?? AAaarrgghhh!!!

    Other than that, a great day out to be recommended to all.
  • thetrotterthetrotter Posts: 258
    cacbyname wrote:
    I had one mechanical when my brand new SRAM chain made a bid for freedom near Hartington, fortunately Dave (forgotten your username!) very kindly helped me out with a chaintool and powerlink - something I'll be carrying with me next time. :D

    Having had the same thing happen to me a couple of weeks earlier, I had come prepared! That little Topeak tool is a real find. Also good to know that a 9 speed powerlink will work in an emergency with a 10 speed chain. BTW, thanks for the company on the ride. Just a pity that we couldn't find more people to share the work (there seemed to be fewer riders this year then previously). The Spud is always one of my favourite Sportives and I thought that the feedstations this year were superb. More's the pity that I couldn't take some of the banana cake home. Amazingly, given the "summer" we've had all my five Sportives have been on good days - some (the White Rose Classic and Pendle Pedal) were even too hot.
  • shy totshy tot Posts: 111
    The times for last Sunday's ride are now on the website.
    www.polkadotchallenge. co.uk
  • Fantastic day out,a huge thank you to Dave Riley et al.
    BUT please amend my time for the 100mile route,it really didnt take me 647hrs which is what excel thinks as the full stop is missing!!!
    This has to be one of the best sportives going.Pleased to see all the money going to a good cause rather than electronic timing devices.Besides with a time like the one you have given me, you would need a calendar.
    See you next year.
  • skinseyskinsey Posts: 105
    Have to add my praise and thanks. The course is superb, the feedstations are better than any others I've experienced (yes, the banana cake was particularly excellent, and a clever way of using up the bananas left over from the Polka Dot!), the signage is good, and the entry fee is very reasonable. Having looked at the finishers results, I can't understand why so few people did this ride this year - could it have been because it fell on a Bank Holiday weekend?
    The only downside was the kids in Earl Sterndale chucking their water-filled balloons! (And the cramp, but that was my fault!).
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