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The Exmoor Beast Sportive?

speedy641speedy641 Posts: 89
Did anyone out there do this last year?

If so, any advice, comments, things they glad/wish had/hadn't done...?
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  • speedy641 wrote:
    Did anyone out there do this last year?

    If so, any advice, comments, things they glad/wish had/hadn't done...?

    Yep, don't fall off! I did,.... ended up in hospital, which by the way you could end up in worse ones. Well organised event, just wish I'd been able to do more than teh first 7 miles!
    i'll ride anything, but I prefer carbon.......... she screamed!!

    www.sportivecentral.com
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Whereabouts was it that you came off?

    I got as far as the top of Dunkery before a mechanical stopped me dead for 50 minutes, ended up taking a very long break at the first feed station in order to warm up, bailed and completed the 60 mile course in the end.

    If you have a problem, try to have some warm clothes to put on whilst you're stationery.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • bad deal....hope you're ok now ledbury...what happened?
  • ...anybody know what the camping at the lake is like?
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Stayed at the campsite in June for the UKIM70.3 sufferfest, the temperature dropped to 2 degrees centigrade then! Still at least that made the lake feel warm once I got in.

    There were temporary showers and toilets onsite to augment the very small bathroom round the back of the cafe.

    Fingers crossed for you that the campsite gets some extra facilities in for next weekend.

    I'm expecting a few triathletes to be at this one as the course includes the whole of the half ironman route at one point or another.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    I've finally got my accommodation sorted and will be coming down this weekend. I'm staying in minehead and when I looked on the map it seemed like quite a short cycle to get to the start (well, 12 miles) but the hotel owner said that I would be nuts to cycle to the start so I shall be driving.

    Really looking forward to it (but also a trifle nervous) as my last sportive was in March.
  • I'm bricking it - I've done next to no training due to injuries so I'm going to struggle on!!!
    There is never redemption, any fool can regret yesterday...

    Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave!
  • speedy641 wrote:
    bad deal....hope you're ok now ledbury...what happened?

    first descent after we came out of Minehead, straight piece of road, just dropped onto the bars and the front of the bike just went under me, 35mph +, bloody hell it hurt :shock: broken nose, glasses did that,total of 20 stiches facial, internal and external, and an hour half in teh surgery every other day for a week having my dressings changed by the very nice nurse :D
    I was lucky, i wasn't wearing a helmet, could have been way worse :cry:
    i'll ride anything, but I prefer carbon.......... she screamed!!

    www.sportivecentral.com
  • JamesBJamesB Posts: 1,184
    Yes Popette you would be mad! I`m definitely driving from my B&B at Minehead to start, bear in mind Minehead is at sea level, start is at 250m above sea level........ :( Not sure though what time to start as B&B doesn`t do breakfast at 6am!
  • What did everyone think of the ride?

    I thought it was very tough, probably the hardest ride Ive ever done. I didn't do it last year, so I didnt really know what I was up against. I was down to do the 100M, but knew by the foodstop that I wouldn't be able to hack it - so I went for the 100K. Talking of the stop, I think 50Miles into the ride was far to much for the first stop 30-40M would have been alot better.
    I thought It was well organised, the timing chip to get registered in the morning was a good idea, saves queuing up for someone to tick you off the list. I would like the stewards to have been given more information, I asked one who was showing which way to turn how long is it until the stop and he didnt have a clue.
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    richpuk1 wrote:
    What did everyone think of the ride?
    .

    Exmoor is great cycling country and the route takes in a lot of the good stuff
    Great to do some long climbs

    It was good to meet the organiser, who was open enough to ask for feedback

    Having incoming cars, on the same small lane as the riders starting off, and vice versa in the afternoon was unfortunate.
    Even had the bridle way been passable, it wouldn't have been a good idea

    Changing this one thing would have given a different feel to the start/finish area, which was cramped

    The marshalling was excellent

    There were a lot of people who thought the feedstop was too far

    There could have been longer tables at the feedstop-to have a queue of 30metres for water and another for food meant long waits in the cold

    While the hog roast was excellent, I do think UK sportives should copy the French model and provide something to eat in the deal. Riders are going to be hungry, that's certain, and in a good sportive, they are catered for. There were just two small stalls at the EB

    Maybe start in Minehead next year-better facilities at the sports hall, and definitely easier to get to

    The scaffold poles rigged up as bike racks at the feedstation and finish were excellent-I'd like to see more of those at other sportives
    The complimentary beer was a nice touch

    The smiling ladies handing out the beer mugs, and collecting the chips were fantastic
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • fizzfizz Posts: 483
    I really enjoyed it, route was excellent. Hihglight for me was hacking down Countisbury hill into lynmouth. I love descending.

    Marshalling and route signage was fantastic as was the grub at the feed stop. Hot soup and bacon rolls were just the job.

    I agree about the start finish lane that was a bit chaotic, we get there a bit late so that was our own fault so we parked a little way away and road down to the start finish point. But getting back out along that muddy lane could have turned nasty very quickly.

    Agree'd about the bike racks that was a nice touch, as was the tankard and beer.

    Have to say I am glad I did the 100k route the cold was starting to get to me at around 50 miles. Excellent day out in all though.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    I really enjoyed it but found it very difficult towards the end - just because I haven't cycled that distance for a long time. Actually, it was my longest on a bike ever (sitting on a layer of sudacrem now!)
    The feed stop was just amazing - delicious warm soup and bacon butties were just the ticket after that long drag up in the cold. It was well sign posted, well marshalled, interesting route with some fantastic long climbs, which felt very much like the climbs I did in France in the summer.
    It was a pity that the roads were so bad towards the end & I would have loved a bit of free food at the end - perhaps it was there somewhere but my brain wasn't quite right by that stage and I didn't find it. Some of the same hot soup would have been fantastic - I just couldn't face a hot pig sandwich.
    The cattle grid on the steep climb was interesting - I saw many fall on that and decided to walk over it. I also walked around the ford. Apart from that, I managed not to walk and was really pleased with myself. Before the heart was fixed I would never have managed it up those hills.
    I would definitely do it again - hopefully a bit quicker next time.
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    I got snarled up in the traffic jam to get to the lake, didn't get to start the ride until 7.45, made a reasonable time to the first feed station but still missed the 100 mile cut off by 5 minutes which in retrospect was probably a blessing in disguise, the cold did really start to kick in by that stage, earlier feed station next year please. (and getting out of bed earlier for me!!!)

    Spoke to some poor chap who went over in the ford, he said he "got a bit cold" coming over the top, chapeau to him though, I'd have probably stepped off the bike there and then!

    The views of Wales were fantastic just before the start of the descent of Countisbury Hill.

    I can't help feeling that a bit more rain would have made the day an absolute misery though, and turned some of those descents into crash fests.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • Well for me a day to remember and forget.
    First time on the road for over 5 weeks, due to an ankle injury and other issues.
    Got a bit nervous just driving in, getting ready, dunno why just wasnt feeling up to the challenge.
    After 3 miles, i was as sick as a dog. I have never been sick on a bike, so this was a first. I did contemplate going back, but thought i should battle on. Rammed some gels down awith jellie babies and pressed on.
    Got as far as the hill after the ford, and all the nasty demons in my head were there. Legs went like jelly, ankle was just in bloody agony, heart rate wouldnt go down. Stopped and felt very light headed. Luckily the sag wagon passed me, and i had to admit defeat.
    I felt incredibly sheepish as i went over the mat at the finish with people applauding,as everyone else had done the ride, and i hadnt. I even got a "well done" and a mug from a lovely lady helper. I didnt have the heart to say i only got half way.
    Drive home was long and quiet, contemplating how i hould have pressed on.
    Time to look bak and reflet on the season, have a chat with Joe Beer our oach on Thursday, and get myself straight for a good winter of training and diet.
    To all those that finished, well done, and especially to my team mate Poppette, well done my friend.
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    I think I might have spoken to you Howie, I remember passing some bloke who looked awful, he told me he'd just thrown up, I asked him if he had a phone, then carried on. Was that you? Glad to hear you got home safely anyway. Hope the ankle clears up soon.

    I've had a look at the results and there are an awful lot of people in the 100M section who completed the second sector (59 miles) in times far quicker than their first 50 mile time, meaning, I think, that they either bailed and did the short route or missed the cut off like me, I must say there were quite a few mutterings at the first feed station.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • Attica it may have been you i spoke to, to be honest i am not so sure, i think my brain was cooked for some reason.

    I did get recognised by four guys, as being in the C+ Readers team, which was good, and i had a quick word with Ken Night at the finish, which was good.

    We did have a journalist ride the event, we met the night before, so there should be a write up in the next C+ issue.
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • Me and a mate did the beast (100k) and really enjoyed it.

    The climb out of the start was a bit of a killer tho - especially as we weren't warmed up.

    The Beast really reared it's head on the Crook Horn Hill climb, a cattle grid to cross which was like an ice rink meant you had to get off or fall off(!) and then starting again on a 20 something percent climb was a tad tricky.

    Organisation was top notch, though it would have been helpful to have distance to finish marked on the final few signs. It was actually 111km or 69miles so getting to 60 miles and hoping you only have a couple left when actually you have 9 was a test of keeping going! Agree with others about the first feed being a tad far into the ride. Lynemouth might have been an alternative? talking of Lynmouth, that descent was something else. Loved the sign telling cyclists to get off and walk! I think a tandem's brakes failed on their way down.

    Hope the person being picked up by the air ambulance was ok too.....

    Didn't really rain, which was good, and it was nice to have a cheer at the finish.

    Great event!
    Mens agitat molem
  • Twas my first sportif! ...and I loved it!

    It was hard (I did the 100k and that was enough), but very enjoyable. the course seemed well worked out with a good range of roads and scenery, a wonderful mix of narrow wooded lanes, coast roads and sweeping moorlands. Great chatting to other riders, admiring their bikes and just being part of such a thing.

    Things I did notice (please forgive any duff comments here this is from a sportif newby).....

    • Most people were very friendly indeed and pleased to chat
    • Some of the race boys riding in groups don't give you a lot of room as they overtake, cut in a bit early for my comfort
    • Registration seemed very efficient and streamlined
    • Car traffic marshalling did seem very absent when most needed, ie at the start of the day and in particular as people were leaving yet some riders were still coming in - this wasn't aided by the narrow lanes near the venue, but more and clearer marshalling would have helped
    •More loo's were desperately needed at start/finish, some portaloos would do
    • beer was a nice touch at the end, big bowl of pasta or the like would have rounded it off well
    • a big grateful thanks to the kind souls along the way who cheered and applauded, certainly raised my morale
    • foodstop was very welcome and the people there were working like troopers

    ...anyway I'm off to register for some more for 2009...I'm hooked!
  • I did the 100K with Fizz up there. I got really cold which spoiled some of the enjoyment for me, though I understand from the riders around me, that marino wool socks are the way forward!! Cheers guys.

    That aside, I can't fault the organisation of the event. The sending out of the chips and info in the post in advance was a brilliant idea. The marshalling was superb, not once were you in any doubt that you were on the right road. Superb scenery and views of the coast. The feed stop was excellent, that hot soup and bacon roll was exactly what the body needed in those temperatures. Free ale and hog roast!!! If only I'd known I would have stayed the night.

    If they'd put in a mini feed/water stop a little earlier in, and held it in the summer, surely that would have to be the best one day event ever.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    If they'd put in a mini feed/water stop a little earlier in, and held it in the summer, surely that would have to be the best one day event ever.

    Yehhhh, would love to do that ride in the summer. I thought that as I was going up that long leafy climb out of Lynmouth.
    I'm tired today - nodded off this afternoon!
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    +1 for repeating the event in the summer.

    I'd have suggested it earlier but was afraid of getting told to MTFU

    positives for a summer re-run

    Less chance of people going hypothermic in the event of a mechanical
    Fewer leaves on the climbs and descents
    Bigger window for time cut offs

    negatives for a summer re-run
    erm... I'm struggling here
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • popette wrote:

    Yehhhh, would love to do that ride in the summer. I thought that as I was going up that long leafy climb out of Lynmouth.
    I'm tired today - nodded off this afternoon!

    I'm like that every afternoon!!

    If those guys wanted to do a summer version of that event, I'd be the first to sign up. Excellent job.
  • Two cons might be increasingly crowded calendars and it was something to keep training for dark nights or not. Agree with all the positives about the event, beezer route and marshalling top drawer. All those involved at the start and finish, including the Event Director, were just very pleasant, cheerful and helpful. Sure, the first feed station should have been earlier but i have yet to do the perfect event. Atmosphere and cameraderie was excellent too. Beast is best.
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Two cons might be increasingly crowded calendars and it was something to keep training for dark nights or not. Agree with all the positives about the event, beezer route and marshalling top drawer. All those involved at the start and finish, including the Event Director, were just very pleasant, cheerful and helpful. Sure, the first feed station should have been earlier but i have yet to do the perfect event. Atmosphere and cameraderie was excellent too. Beast is best.

    Welcome to the forums CS

    I agree that the Beast is a fantastically organised event and wouldn't want to see it moved, I'd just like the opportunity to ride it in the summer too, sentiments echoed by others here.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • NackNack Posts: 61
    I registered to do the 100 miles course with a friend - thought the route was spectacular, very scenic and with a couple of particularly vicious hills.

    Now for the down points... I think the first food stop coming in at the 50 mile point was ludicrous - we spoke to a number of fellow riders who also complained that the first feeding station would have been more welcome at around the 25 - 30 mile point... Quite shocking that none of the marshalls we spoke to knew when the food stop was!

    We set off a little later a little later than we had hoped at around 7.40 and although we knew we would have problems making it to the 11.15 cut off point at the first feed stop, when we dit eventually reach it we were told that the 100 mile route had been closed and that we 'had' to the 100km route instead... Having missed the cut off point by about 15 minutes, we thought that was a bit harsh, as we thought we could just do the 100 mile course anyway just for fun's sake (even though we were pretty exhausted by then it must be said :oops: ) The food stop was not great either, we had to queue only to find meagre consolation to our sore legs (I've seen better at other sportives, like the Dartmoor Classic)

    Just a final thought - why can't the riders' final time at events such as the Exmoor Beast be based on when they start riding as opposed to a set time (like the 7.00am start such as the Beast) - surely technology allows this nowadays? How about allowing riders to start between say 7.00 and 9.00 (like all of the Belgian sportives)? Sounds like a good approach to avoid riders bottlenecks!
  • atticaattica Posts: 2,362
    Nack wrote:
    Just a final thought - why can't the riders' final time at events such as the Exmoor Beast be based on when they start riding as opposed to a set time (like the 7.00am start such as the Beast) - surely technology allows this nowadays? How about allowing riders to start between say 7.00 and 9.00 (like all of the Belgian sportives)? Sounds like a good approach to avoid riders bottlenecks!

    I thought that was the case (certainly my overall time matched the one in the results), it's just that policing that at the cut offs would be nigh on impossible, so they assume you started at the earliest opportunity.
    "Impressive break"

    "Thanks...

    ...I can taste blood"
  • attica wrote:

    negatives for a summer re-run
    erm... I'm struggling here

    summer holiday traffic vs cyclists..

    optimum IMO is spring post/pre easter or early october
  • snipzsnipz Posts: 85
    Doing it in the summer?!?!

    What about the Tour of Exmoor run by the same guys who do the Tour of the Black Mountains, postponed this year from lack of pre-entries, similar course.

    C'mon guys :roll:
  • ANCANC Posts: 26
    FORCE Cancer Charity Century Challenge from Exeter to Simonsbath round mid-Exmoor and back 100miles. Sunday 28th June 2009. Only problem..Dartmoor Classic has moved to same day, but facilities are excellent on both.
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