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training for lakeland loop

andy610andy610 Posts: 602
im thinking of doing the lakeland loop in april which includes wrynose pass and hardknott which training would be best to manage these hills without walking, guess i should not set off at a fast pace, and not too high gear maybe middle ring until the climbs, so should i be training by spinning a lot to build up stamina, or doing lots of big hills

Posts

  • Not so much Wrynose, but Hardknott is not like any other hill. It starts off at 1/4, gets a little less steep then ramps up 1/3 and 1/4 to the top. It has very little to do with technique and everything to do with pure brute strength.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • mididoctorsmididoctors Posts: 12,939
    lots of hard riding and mammoth stamina building should do it
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    I’ve been over Harknott and Wrynose a few times and under normal circumstances get over them, I did end up walking on this years Fred Whitton though. If you are not too far away it would be a good idea to have a go at riding them as part of your training as there is little to compare to these climbs. The advice I have had regarding training for an event of this nature is to do a few rides of at least two thirds the event distance over similar terrain. If you can ride the course all the better but we don’t all have the time/location to do this. Make sure you have suitable gearing, sounds like you have a triple so you should be ok.
  • It's a lovely ride - shorter than FWC and it means you can enjoy it just a bit more. When you reach the bottom of Harknott, you have to have something left in your legs. In my humble opinion, walking means you haven't done the challenge, so ride with spare up till that point.
    Training: you need lots of endurance/stamina to feel fresh after the first part of the ride, and nearer the time you need to do hard hills, as steep as you can find. I ride lots of hills, but these 2 together always get me to the edge of quivering with cramp.
    And it's the mental battle you have to get ready for too. Don't forget that after you've dropped down from Wrynose into Little Langdale, you've got another climb back to the finish - and that one hurts.

    Good luck - it's a great ride and very good prep for the FWC
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    Is there a nice little loop that includes the Hardknott and Wrynose? (Maybe from Coniston)

    Also, I see that both the Lakeland Loop and the Fred Whitton go West to East - what are they like ridden the other way?
    Higs
  • Higs wrote:
    Is there a nice little loop that includes the Hardknott and Wrynose? (Maybe from Coniston)

    Also, I see that both the Lakeland Loop and the Fred Whitton go West to East - what are they like ridden the other way?


    Err - no is the simple answer. There's a loop from Coniston over Wrynose, down the Dudden then back over - but it's not what everyone would call a 'nice little loop'

    From the east, Wrynose is an altogether different prospect - much longer and you can see the whole censored snaking away above you. Hardknott is horrible either way, but less climbing from east.

    There's also the matter of the wind, which often/usually blows from SW and helps you up the slopes from the west.
  • Sir Jemo wrote:
    Higs wrote:
    Is there a nice little loop that includes the Hardknott and Wrynose? (Maybe from Coniston)

    Also, I see that both the Lakeland Loop and the Fred Whitton go West to East - what are they like ridden the other way?


    Err - no is the simple answer. There's a loop from Coniston over Wrynose, down the Dudden then back over - but it's not what everyone would call a 'nice little loop'

    From the east, Wrynose is an altogether different prospect - much longer and you can see the whole censored snaking away above you. Hardknott is horrible either way, but less climbing from east.

    There's also the matter of the wind, which often/usually blows from SW and helps you up the slopes from the west.

    However, you do have the section that's basically a wall right at the start of it.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • "There's also the matter of the wind, which often/usually blows from SW and helps you up the slopes from the west"

    Even the strongest gale couldn't "help" anyone up that!!! at the end of the FWC it's just horrendous!!
    dyslexia rules KO
  • Too true ... but it's better than having it in yer face.
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    How about Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose?
    Higs
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Higs wrote:
    How about Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose?

    Yes, this is an option but will be probably just as tough as the lakeland loop...you have the steep climb over to Broughton Mills....then the steep climb of Stickle Pike....then the big climb over Birker Fell....and then its just murder....I agree theres nowt else like Hardknott....and this is much much tougher than from the Eastern approach...I've not long did the Mortirolo / Gavia and Stelvio etc...and I tell...I'm still a lot more terrified of Hardknott....its brutal....and I think your gearing has to be appropriate depedning on your abilty....I near died on this years FWC....and I've got a triple with 30 x 27 lowest gearing...I JUST made it...but not before near collapsing....Me and my mate were the only guys that made it up when we experienced it...and there was around 80 riders on it then!....even though the FWC is much tougher than the Lakeland Loop Hardknott will still be disgusting....I find disgraceful at 40 odd miles never mind 100 insane miles (over the like of Honister etc)....

    Me and a few mates did a variation of your proposed 'training route' earlier this year...I did a wee write up...hope it helps:-

    8 of us gathered at Grasmere...we set off at 8.45am...it was blowing a Easterly Gale, and this was bad for what we bagged on this route...onto the A591 and into Ambleside..then left turn at mini roundabout, yes we were going upto Kirkstone via the terribly difficult 'Struggle', big long sapping steep brute, wave after wave of 20%, until a flattening,then the wind took its toll, seems good to hit a levelling until you see what awaits...a big twisty lump of 25% right upto the Inn..that set the tone for the day...hard hard climbs rapid one after another, we descended off this via the FWC Holbeck Lane - Out to Clappersgate and onto small lovely roads upto the Drunken Duck..we then detoured off Hawkshead for the road upto Tarn Hows...lovely but very dangerous descent...then off through Coniston and out to Torver for that steep censored up over to Broughton Mills....then straight up from there via the long and steepish sapper of Stickle Pike...terribly windy descent into Ulpha then immediately onto the 25% Birker Fell..great descent off this..then we were at the King George Pub...we took a right...went passed a big 30% sign...the pace dropped, the talking stopped..yes we were heading for pain central..the one and only Hardashell Pass...looked up and seen the sight in brilliant visibility..."oh my god,here I am again" was my thinking...nowt for it...hit the slopes..carnage..it immediatley took victims...one guy simply hopped off and prepared for a steep stroll...another lad had severe cramps..2 lads got blown clean off there bikes...yes this is one of those ultimate trials...one of the toughest climbs ever directly into a Gale force headwind...nice! Anyhow I managed to struggle and square pedal myself up the thing once again...just as I was getting over that last brutal ramp to the top the wind near carried me off the bike...jesus it was scary...I had to sit down there to keep the bike on the road...and then my wheel started to lift....however I managed to scramble my way to the top and then hid with the other lads behind a big rock up there...we then Kamikazed off that and went through 'hell on earth' along Wrynose Bottom....the wind up there was staggering...I was in 30x21 just trying to get forward motion on the flatter sections...then onto Wrynose...I'm starting to really dislike this climb, it never used to bother me much but in last years Fred and on this occasion it was a sore haul...straight off this down to Fell Foot, but the climbing was not over...we dinked left and headed over Blea Tarn...maybe a section of 25% here but it was a skoosh after the big boys...then still not finished...we took a wee left at Chapel Stile and took the climb over Red Bank back to Grasmere...this climb caused a few frowns...anyhow back safe in Grasmere. 61 miles of the most brutal terrain known to man or beast...usually after scaling Hardknott again(especially into a Gale) you would think my confidence would be lifted? Well its not...all that did was re-iterate to me how bloody hard and awful it really is again..cant beleive i'm gonna do it at 100miles again in 3 weeks time.
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    OMG. I'm aiming to do the FWC next year, and only have small southern hills to train on, It sounds like it's going to cripple me. Any advice would be well received, especially as my lowest gear will be 39/25m from the sounds of it I'll have no option but to walk over Hardknott and Wrynose.

    Would some wieght training help as I don't have any cllimbs near me that even come close to those monsters.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • nickwillnickwill Posts: 2,735
    Rich158 wrote:
    OMG. I'm aiming to do the FWC next year, and only have small southern hills to train on, It sounds like it's going to cripple me. Any advice would be well received, especially as my lowest gear will be 39/25m from the sounds of it I'll have no option but to walk over Hardknott and Wrynose.

    Would some wieght training help as I don't have any cllimbs near me that even come close to those monsters.

    You would be well advised to put on the biggest cassette you can find, if you are using a 39 inner ring. I will be riding the Fred Whitton with a 34/29 as my lowest gear. I've ridden it twice and I have never come up against a more frighteningly steep hill than Hardknott at 100 miles. With a 39/25 you will also find the earlier hills like Kirkstone and Honister will take their toll. If you can get hold of a compact you would be grateful on the day!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Rich158 wrote:
    Any advice would be well received, especially as my lowest gear will be 39/25m from the sounds of it I'll have no option but to walk over Hardknott and Wrynose..

    Nothing can prepare you for Hardknott...and If you try it with a 39 x 25 then 95% chance you'll be off your bike the minute you hits its slopes...only guys on the level of Rob Jebb manage with this type of gearing.....as Nick says get the smallest gearing you can muster....and don't forget for one moment Honister Pass....thats a brute aswell...and Newlnads directly after aint no picnic....if you want info then here's my FWC 2008 write up:-

    (P.s You can also get excellent info at my mates webiste:- http://www.bikeit.eclipse.co.uk/

    Driving from Kendal to the start of the FWC at Coniston Sports Center I was really surprised to see some lads were already starting the ascent of Kirkstone Pass, this was at 6.45am!….looks like folk are starting earlier every year!. In hindsight this was a fairly wise move, it was already reading 17oC on my Car Temp Display and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and not even a whimper of wind, all this at 6.45am in the UK?….a real rarity. We got our bikes sorted out and registered our numbers then prepared ourselves for our date with Hell. Me and my 2 good mates (Stu and Dave) were gathered at the gate entry to the Sports Center at 7.30am..we had our dibbers ‘bleeped’ and off we went.. Earlier discussions had already confirmed that we 3 were going to be sensible with the pacing, a very steady effort throughout the entire day, we had already banked on good weather so I had already covered myself with Sports Factor 50….wise move! Last year I had ridden around with Stu and when we were approaching Hardknott I started Humming the Star Wars theme to really get the daunting feelings going…this year when we were approaching Hawkshead Stu started to whistle the Theme…and we still had 100miles before we hit the bloody thing…however it does show what’s in the mind from the off with this event!

    We hit Hawkshead and I always think this is important as it shows straight away how the form is….Hawkshead is not an easy climb…its manageable in the middle 39/42 front ring but it still kicks up steeply at bits…anyhow I was feeling well ok and Stu and Dave were dancing here aswell, not too many on the climb when we hit it, much busier last year, up and over this and onto the real fast descent into Ambleside then around the one way system there heading for Windermere…just before the town we take the left at Holbeck lane and the start of the Kirkstone Pass Climb…immediate drop to Granny and 3rd on rear..30x 21 I think….this kicks up sharply to start with then it levels a bit before kicking up rather steeply to Troutbeck…I could have pushed up in the 39 front ring but no way was I wasting one ounce of energy at this early stage! Dropped down steeply onto the A592 and the main drag upto the Kirkstone Pass…there’s a section here that says 16% and I again dropped to 30x21 for this small section then kicked it back to 39x27 for the rest of the climb….this was taken at a nice pace and not much passed us by…the place was gorgeous…very little cars…no wind…not too hot (yet)…feeling strong…oh yes this is what cyclings about!. ..Heard a few lads behind us saying it was there first time in the Lakes and couldn’t believe they were already in bottom gear…I was fairly alarmed at that I must say….I was in 39x27 and feeling comfortable but I knew my 30x27 was the mother gear on this ride and was the gear to get me through! We topped out here and then had a fantastic traffic free fall off the fastest descent in all the Lakes…what a speed!…we regathered around Brothers Water then headed around Ullswater…off passed Glenridden and Patterdale…I must admit I don’t like this section of road for some reason?…I just don’t!... Took a left (then a non hiding peestop) then onto the climb of Matterdale End, this was also taken with the 39x27 but it is desceptively steeper than you think and I always feel the start of this is steeper than Kirkstone…about 1km up I heard Stuboy shouting to a guy standing by the road…turns out it was his mate from work and he had brought Water etc with him…great!…I was well worried about the 50miles in heat before the first feed so I thanked him big time for filling one of my bottles up….Superb!.Off again and soon afterwards this climb starts to relent then all off a sudden your in ‘great cycling’ mode again…up through lovely countryside and small hamlets…Us 3 were cruising up here…all in good spirits…its got a great descent before the rise to the A66 and Stuboy flew passed me on the descent and I thought he was gonna get it with an oncoming car…that man just likes to descend FAST….up the rise to the A66 with the sound of the lass with the Cow Bells and other well wishers – great stuff! Onto the A66 section…not much chance of group formation here…there wasn’t as much people on it as last year…so we 3 headed along at speed, I was feeling strong and was pounding the gear but Stuboy chastised me and remembered me “ Nice and steady bigman”, I agree I was getting carried away…so we did a good run down here, which is just as well as it’s the most horrid part of the entire route…I HATE it….huge big cats eyes (which my bro found out all too soon are dangerous) and massive artics flying passed you…oh I really hate this part. Anyhow after an eternity we came to the Roundabout which signalled the turnoff into Keswick…glad we were off the A66!…into Keswick and the usual madness with Cyclists / Cars / Traffic Lights etc then off around Derwent Water… We had just got out of Keswick when I heard “alright Big Richy?”…turns out it was Ashley Crozier(ASH68) , I’d ridden with him on the Ryedale Rumble Reccy and also a FWC Reccy only 3 weeks beforehand…real nice lad…had a wee blether…but we were approaching Seatoller and I just knew I wouldn’t see him after that…so I bid farewell to Ash as the 3 amigos pulled in to do our final ‘nervous pee’ before the oncoming trauma….and this was going to be even worse than normal due to the incredible temperature that was building up in the valleys…the Sun was now out in full glory and it was stifling hot for the time of day.

    Me/Stu and Dave are no stranger to Honister Pass but it still gets the sphincter going and is a horrific climb (IMO 2nd toughest on the FWC). Into the small white village and onto the immediate 20% slope onto the pass proper….SOS….30x27 engaged…now to test the motor! Dave and Stu were just in front of me and we were already in that ‘steep pedalling mode’ , turned the corner for a slight relent –18%? I took it fairly gingerly here as I know it goes up like an elavator before long…I seen the start of the really steep sustained ramp which goes all the way to the cattle-grid..I could see through gaps in the trees the lines of riders/pushers going straight on up! And it was crazy to see as it really outlined the road and showed how fantastically steep this mother really is…It was nice being in the trees for the shade but it was so still and the heat was still there, my legs barked in defiance at the gradient and I was in my usual steady steep mode…it really is a killer section here, there’s not much steeper but as you can see the whole steep road in front it can mentally hurt…I clambered myself to the Cattle-Grid and felt huge relief in the drop in the savage gradient…I must have been feeling not too bad as I immediately hopped into a bigger gear (30x21), Stu and Dave had taken a fair bit of time out of me here and were around 100 meters up…the heat had started to become unbearable and this is where I really started to see the effects of this unusual weather system!….I hauled myself along the flatter section and got myself prepared for the last 20% drag to the summit…wasn’t looking forward to this but it turned out to be not too bad at all…I regrouped with Stu/Dave at the top and we started the most deadly descent in all the Lakes….we all knew the score here and were very careful…no matter how many times I descend this it always shocks me the way it just drops off…scary steep!…you can get some speed here if not careful and then out the blue you hit a sharp right turn over a Bridge which has caught a good few out over the years… We descended and rolled our way to the 1st feed at Buttermere…we were happy with our pace and all 3 of us were feeling good…so far so good! At the feed I headed straight for the water cart…I got both my bottles topped up and immediately I drank one straight down – the whole lot…I was getting very concerned about the heat that was building and knew to take advantage here…I had many flapjacks and morning bars…no bananas on offer which was a pity…also put some flapjacks/bars in beside my Torq Bars/gels which I had brought along…I knew from here to the 2nd Feed was going to be an event in these conditions so I stocked accordingly.

    Off we set with 2 heavy water bottles for the IMMEDIATE slopes of Newlands Pass, take a right and bang…18% gradient…..30x27 again….steady pull up here, the body shocked at going from eating/drinking to severe effort…upwards this mother goes but after the gradients of Honister it doesn’t feel TOO bad…it then levels and your faced with a gorgeous panorama…but it was very hazy and heat was incredible…it was hardly noon and it was already a furnace…so many were suffering on this climb…seen so many walkers…much more then last year…the heat was taking victims….the climb after the flattening then heads for the summit in the usual Lake District uncompromising manner..straight on up!…..hard and relentless this section is..I’d say always kicking around 15-20%…I was steady here…Feeling not too bad at all….Stu and Dave were just behind me…I knew this with the heavy breathing;-) It's one sore haul this and make no mistake its one of the tougher climbs on the Challenge, and for the ‘cherry on the cake’ it kicks to 25% round a sharp switchback to the summit…Stuboy came past me here but we all virtually summited together!. Dave looked in good shape(he never moans) , Stu just hates Newlands directly after the feed…last year this is where he started to Bonk and I knew it was in his mind…he told me he didn’t feel too good on it again and thinks his body doesn’t cope well with feed stop and then such a sudden effort…I know many riders like this but I seem to cope with this ok…I seem to feel stronger after a rest and fuel-up? We dropped very steeply off this and it was great to feel all the buckets of sweat cooling us right off with the speed…and believe me this is the only time I felt any wind…when going above 20mph….apart from that it was one big muggy humid oven..after a bit of bobbing and weaving we entered into Braithwaite…sharp left then straight onto the cooler shaded forest climb of Whinlatter Pass…

    I think every year this climb gets steeper! Its not a steady ‘alpine’ climb as described…it start off very steeply ~ 16%…and goes on for a fair bit…it then relents but there’s a middle section that must be 18% for ages…I was in 30x25 here…and the devastation we witnessed was incredible…many, many lads struggling to get the smallest gear round!…Real suffering!…the heat was taking this event to a different level entirely….I was feeling good here but I’m bloody glad as that climbs really hard…its got many sustained steep sections and it goes on for ages…we turned a corner and I could see the last steepish ramp to the top where crowds of well wishers were gathered…felt good here but I still needed my 30x25 for this last ramp…and I was out the saddle!…many good words of encouragement here from many spectators and the usual Cowbell ringing again…so nice! We started the descent of this and it wasn’t long before we were back in the full blaze of the Burning ball in the sky…Jesus it was getting scary!

    We started the West Coast part of the ride and was I not looking forward to getting to Cold Fell for that ‘permanent’ breeze off the Irish Sea…but it was 20 odd miles before I got there!..I really like this part of the ride…beautiful and very traffic free…it’s the unspoken part of the Challenge but believe me it's jam packed with sharp rise and falls…we were still feeling ok and our plan of steady pacing was reaping rewards, I knew I was way stronger than tons of other riders and it was comforting as all through the ride uptil now Stu was whistling the bloody Star Wars theme…and I just couldn’t get Hardknott out my head…I honestly feel that bloody climb forbid me from fully enjoying myself through the entire 1st 100 miles…we started the climb of Fangs…this is signalled with a long steep (18%) straight…you then turn a corner and it just drags on up even steeper for quite sometime…30x25 for this part…I was feeling very comfortable but this reduced many riders to there feet…and I thought to myself “If this is whats happening at 70odd miles what’s going to happen at 100miles on Hardknott, and then Wrynose?”….I pushed up here and Stu and Dave were not far behind..Stu had a game plan and that was ‘steady’ and no pacing from anyone else was going to budge him – clever!. We really worked well together and were always looking out for one another…and I reckon that’s a smart way to tackle this ‘most difficult’ challenge…it makes it more bearable and comforting…I cannot put the temperature into words or phrases…It would burn a hole through you…and it was still getting hotter! We skirted over the lovely fell roads which Fangs turns into and then dropped steeply onto the straight roads to Ennerdale Bridge…immediate left in Ennerdale for the climb of Coldfell..at last I would get a cooling breeze!…we seen the line of riders/walkers heading straight on up…it's fairly steep this climb to start off and I was back in my 30x25 for the steady steep drag upto the small wooded section…took a bit of time out of Dave/Stu here but like I say no one was going to get paced too fast….I then dinked into my lowest gear 30x27 for the little steep 20% section upto the cattle grid…your then on a shallower Fell Road…got a bit speed here but theres still one steep section before it fully relents…this climb was killing guys…I even tried to talk with some “Nice Bike, Where are you from?, Do you like the route?” etc…but I swear some were just so destroyed that they didn’t even answer…it was as if someone had loaded some with tranquillisers then mounted them on a bike and thrust them onto the course…Zombies!...I seen guys who had phoned there girls etc and were throwing there bikes into the backs of cars…if ever ‘carnage’ should be used it was here on the 2008 FWC - it typified the meaning of the word! Not long before the big easy drag upto the top of ColdFell….but where was the cooling permanent wind?...I’ll tell you where – NOWHERE!…it was absolutely scorching without even a whimper of a breeze…this is near unheard of…I was so glad I had drank so much at the 1st feed…I was now nearly out of water but I’d been sipping constantly (as well as eating constantly)…there was a very thoughtful lady handing out water bottles at the top of Coldfell and Stu and Dave took one…I never as I knew it was only really a descent down to the 2nd Feed at Calder Bridge…but I did end up sharing a bottle with my mate Stu…more water = more sense! We descended very quickly off this (through dangerous hairpins etc) and not before long we were at the 2nd Feed…again I just drank gallons of water/orange diluting juice…I stuffed my face with Sausage Rolls(nice change)…more Flapjacks(I was starting to struggle with these due to the amount I’d been eating), and alas Bananas!..went to do a pee in the toilets there and there were many guys running the cold tap over there heads…I understood big time…..but I had other things on my mind now…all what was racing through my head was…"Oh No…only 10miles until Hardknott!".. And even though I felt very strong I knew this was going to be a rather special experience in this ever increasing heat!

    I had been sharing my ZYM tablets with Stu/Dave....supposed to ward off cramps...dissolved them in the water/orange juice...started the emotionless ride out of Calder Bridge heading for Gosforth…up that long slow drag on the main road before the descent into Gosforth…straight through Gosforth for the Death March…but the Death March took on a new meaning...I'm pig bloody sick of feeling so scared....we were dreading the ascent of Badboy since Hawkshead...the relatively small ascent of Irton Pike was taken easily...but it destroyed most riders I saw...after this it just gets personal don't it?.... Stu started putting on the anchors and mentally preparing himself...Dave stayed with Stu....but I just headed on at my pace...I was totally sh*ttin it...even though I'd did a clever ride uptil that point...don't matter... that stretch of road mentally murders you...only one guy passed me there in the full 6miles....My heart rate quickening all the time....my stomach churning...feelings of hopelessness....morale and confidence faltering....yes it can only mean one thing....I'm closing in on one ofthe most frightful sights and experiences ANYWHERE in all of cycling...the one and only HARDKNOTT PASS.

    Seeing this with the Naked Eye after 100miles of insane effort is a very unique experience! I seen the Phone box...Looked up and not one (NOT BLOODY ONE GUY) on his bike!!!!! Just went for it...well I cannot put my experience into words ...it was desperate...however I had strength and I clambered from one passing place to the next....and the lads pushing (around 80 on the first section alone) were so encouraging towards me...so many phrases of "F*ck me...on you go"..."Great Effort"..."Make way for this hardened soul"...all I could do was grunt in reply....the effort required for me to haul myself up that first absolutely dreadful section was frankly astonishing….got to the 'flatter section'....this was even worse than the first steep section...I swear it!...the heat was suffocating...God knows what temp it was...I was nearly shaking....emptied half a bottle of sticky juice over my head!...I looked up and seen what was coming...started to have moments where I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing –crazy! the self doubts were on red alert....I was entering unknown territory...reaching reserve levels which should only be used in Life or Death circumstances....A car had bumped on the Chicane at the start of the 2nd mega steep section...I had to take the outside lane...f*ck me that must be 45%...my legs near caved in with cramping...I managed round to the sharp left bend onto the steep 35% ramp...made it up that no problem?...then the last 2 ramps to the top were achieved more on 'home beaconing' more than anything else...I reckon those last 2 ramps to the top are the worst of the climb...the 1st one is around 25%...but the 2nd one is around 30%...even the last gentle ramps to the top were a mind boggling effort...it really is the toughest of climbs..at the top I just had a few minutes to myself...I got my photo taken at the top punching the air but deep inside I wasn’t Jubilant at the success...I was disgusted!...too hard...I also had a feeling of 'enough!'...Stu crawled his way up a few minutes later and I asked him if he got up...Stuboy hadn’t the energy to reply...the fella just slumped off his bike against the rock face and couldn’t even talk to me for 2 or 3 mins...first thing he said "F*ck this Rich, that’s just out of order...hardest climb i've ever did...never been to the places i've ventured climbing that!"..."I'm not doing this sh*te for a while now...bloody Hardknott...I've had enough of that climb and the FWC"...why was it we both felt the same even though we got up?......Stu said "Rich, I was watching you on the climb and if you had got off I was getting off, I was actually wanting you to get off but you just kept going and going... then up the b*stard top section you went to the top and I just thought Oh No I'm going to have to do this aswell.."...Dave had cramps and wheel spin on the start of the 2nd steep section and the poor fella was forced to a standstill...Me/Stu were the only 2 to make it on the climb when we experienced it....Dave arrived around 5 mins later and he was disappointed to have gotten cramps, he wanted to clean the climb but it was made just impossible with cramping.

    Descended off that....ambulance ushering someone away at the bottom...at Cockley Beck I felt strong..started the gentle rise onto Wrynose...was in 39 front ring.....no problem.....UNTIL....a tightening in my right inner thigh....cramp...then left...then front thighs...then calves...OH MY GOD!....had to stop...Dave stopped alongside me (Stu by this time was trying to bath in the stream;-)....I was trying to recover from the severe cramps then I heard Dave cry out...he started taking REAL bad cramps...he fell off his bike still clipped in and me and Stu had to take the bike from underneath the poor fella...after around 10mins of shaking and rubbing our spent legs we successfully managed to remount the bikes and finally managed to get onto the climb or Wrynose....this climb from this direction is not in the same league as Hardknott...its has one VERY steep section but you just have to use pure grit and determination to overcome this ramp...it steepens to almost a 1:3 at the top of this ramp where it turns sharply off to the left...but like i say 'grit and determination'...we hit the climb full on...and I felt not too bad at allconsidering...negotiated the steepest section without too much difficulty...it's always a HUGE releif at this point in the ride...as for mortals like me it signals the lastof the climbs which could have had me off the bike...and thankfully I'd managed around again without walking...Descended very wearily off this...its such a steep descent and your just so tired that you need to really fully focus...your hands and arms are so sore by this time that the descent feels a big effort...just as we passedFellfoot Farm Stu heard something wrong with his chain...turns out one of his links had started to disentegrate!...(thats what Hardknott and Wrynose do to a Chain;-) ...we repaired the chain speedily with one of those super quick links...this is when the Thunderstorm put the accelerator on...it started hoofing it downand the cracks of lightening were echoeing the claps of thunder...we didn't give a jot....in fact we all laughed and said "That'll be the icing on the cake getting struckwith bloody lightening":-) I hate to think what would have happened if I'd went out too fast and then hit Hardknott? The rain had made the roads very slippy but it was a welcome relief to get a good ole soaking after our expedition round the Sahara Desert….we made the last ‘most unwanted’ climb upto Colwith Brow…then after a right turn we dragged on upwards for what seems a very long time before the final down hill section back to the finish at Coniston …back at last! Time = 8.56…Goal managed for Me and Stu – No stopping or walking on any of the climbs.

    Its as simple as this for me...the FWC is the toughest censored out...with hot weather it entered into Continental category difficulty...1 month ago I was cycling in Snow/Sleet with full winter gear on...last week was the first time I did a big run with shorts on...and then today we get 80degrees/97% Humidity, calm full scorchio...too much on the system to take. I'll defo be given it a by for a while...and a year will not change my mind....its too hard too early in the year...maybe once every 3 years would be ok...but not every year...Stu and Dave want to do the Ryedale Rumble next year....and the White Rose in a month will be brilliant......and at least with that one I'll be able to enjoy myself.....no f*ckin Hardknott waiting to destroy the inner core of my soul at the end!

    Legendary event, Superb Organisation, brilliantly sign posted this year, I was on great form for 95% of the entire run and we had all rode cleverly but the ascent of the incredible Hardknott Pass in that awful suppressive heat made this the toughest day ever in the saddle for me, how can one climb change so much? Long live the FWC!, just I’ll live without it for a bit;-)
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    It sounds deadly, I had a fealing I didn't knoww what I was letting myself in for :roll:

    Having just ordered next years ride, that comes with 53/39 and 11/25 I think I may be keeping the triple of my current ride just for this challenge.

    A drastic diet may allso be in order, the less weight I have to carry the bettter :wink:
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Higs wrote:
    How about Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose?

    Yes, this is an option but will be probably just as tough as the lakeland loop...

    Well I've just mapped them up and I think my training route comes out at 57km with 1650m ascent while the Lakeland Loop is 110km with 2660m climb.

    I reckon I'll use my loop as training for the Lakeland Loop. Then I'll use the Lakeland Loop as training for the FWC!
    Higs
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    And while we're at it.... The Cumbrian Christmas Cracker looks like it's 94km with 2140m of ascent
    Higs
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Higs wrote:
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Higs wrote:
    How about Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose?

    Yes, this is an option but will be probably just as tough as the lakeland loop...

    Well I've just mapped them up and I think my training route comes out at 57km with 1650m ascent while the Lakeland Loop is 110km with 2660m climb.

    I reckon I'll use my loop as training for the Lakeland Loop. Then I'll use the Lakeland Loop as training for the FWC!

    Yeah your training route may come out shorter with less climbing, but over the years I've did much tougher 50milers than some 90milers...just the terrain....on the Lakeland Loop for instance...I think you'll take the easier approach of Red Bank...then the long drag up Dunsmail Raise before heading through Keswick to Braithwaite and onto Whinlatter...not an easy climb at all but in comparison to the others around there it is...then Fangs and ColdFell are pretty straight forward...then the 2 badboys...and then the final wee leg tester over Blea Tarn...a stiff challenge no doubt...anything with Hardknott and Wrynose is murder.....

    But on your training route its non stop tough climbs back to back...it may not be quite as tough but it won't be far away....it may only be 40miles but it is one sore haul...I've did this route many times...from Coniston to Torver is the only rest period...

    The Christmas Cracker looks a nice easier run....finishing with Gummers How...thats a fairly demanding brute..

    P.s Reading here many are stating they are doing the FWC....unless you are hand deliviering the entry forms on the day you stand little chance?
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    ... I've did much tougher 50milers than some 90milers...just the terrain....

    Agree - I've been in this game (well MTBing mostly) long enough to know that it's not as simple as just judging a route by the distance/climb figures. But they are handy indicators.
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    p.s. reading here many are stating they are doing the FWC....unless you are hand deliviering the entry forms on the day you stand little chance?

    My understanding is that if you send the form first class on the day you have ~50% chance of getting in. This is borne out by the (highly unscientific) experience of myself and my neighbour last year - he got in and I didn't. If I don't get in this year I'll just go up and ride it anyway, either the weekend before or the weekend after.
    Higs
  • I think I'm going to do the Lakeland Loop this time around, and hopefully the FWC again in May. I inadvertently did the exact LL route (starting from Keswick), a couple of times in the run-up to the 2008 FWC, and I actually think it's a slightly better course. Trouble is the LL is only two weeks before the London Marathon, so I won't have had much time on the bike at that stage, but it'll be a grand day out all the same!

    BTW Higs, if I don't get in to the FWC I'm also planning to ride the route the weekend after (I think the weekend before is the bank holiday which means much traffic on the passes), so if you want company give me a shout.
  • I've signed up for this as well. God only knows why!!!

    I'm 15kg overweight, live in flat Cambridgeshire and only have a standard chainset so it's going to be tough. I guess the real reason I went for it because I don't fancy my chance sof getting into the Fred. I understand that I'm going to get to practice walking in my SPD's!!!

    I plan to ride steadily up to the New Year (I commute a hundred miles a week) but after xmas start with the w/e runs as well. I was thinking a 50m early Jan and 75 milers in late jan and early Feb. At the end of Feb I'm doing the St Ives CC 100 m reliabiltiy ride so that should shake things up a bit. I'm also doing the Mad March Hare as well and will try to fit some other 100+ mile runs around that. I think I'll try to get a day up in the Peak District to remind myself what hills are.

    I suppose I should change the nice Ultegra chainset I have for a compact as well??

    David
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    Higs wrote:
    Higs wrote:
    How about Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose?

    Well I've just mapped them up and I think my training route comes out at 57km with 1650m ascent while the Lakeland Loop is 110km with 2660m climb.

    I reckon I'll use my loop as training for the Lakeland Loop. Then I'll use the Lakeland Loop as training for the FWC!

    Well I didn't get into the Whitton. I was all set to go up and hand-deliver it and I didn't print the form off in time in the morning.

    So I'll be doing my training route either this w/e or next (depending on weather) as prep for the Lakeland Loop which will now be training for the Spud Riley
    Higs
  • mozwyn69mozwyn69 Posts: 170
    As others have said there really is nothing to compare to Hardkott. I've done 3 Fred's and doing it again this year. The first time I used 39/27 and the legs had gone by the time I got to Hardknott and had to walk all of it (it's so steep that walking it is murder). With 34/27 I have managed without any walking the last couple of times. Unless your super strong then fit a compact or use a triple or you will be using shanks's pony.
    My tactic for Hardknott is to treat it a a slow bike race, as soon as I see the beast ahead I slow right down and try and recuperate as much as possible. I then cycle up as slowly as possible using all the hairpins for micro rests before grinding up the next ramp. The last third is the worst but I have always had people shouting encouragement at this point but it is insanely steep.
    I have seen way too many people cycling hard into it at the bottom only to find themselves off the bike and walking within seconds.
    Sometimes you have to lose yourself
    before you can find anything.
  • Rich K47Rich K47 Posts: 62
    I can't recommend the Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose loop enough either for training or just a great ride. Living in the Lakes I ride these hills quite a bit and the roads from Broughton Mills to Eskdale are my favourite stretch up here on a nice day [in the lashing rain they are a bit grim!]. If you've got the legs at the end then the short climb past Blea Tarn that the Lakeland Loop finishes on is fantastic as well. To remotely enjoy any of it a compact and a big cassette are essential!
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    Rich K47 wrote:
    I can't recommend the Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose loop enough either for training or just a great ride. .... To remotely enjoy any of it a compact and a big cassette are essential!

    Well I think I'm going to have a pop at it on Sunday morning.

    I've got a compact but a 'normal' cassette - I actually can't remember what cassette I've got on but it's a sort of middling one, not a dinner plate but not a bobbin either.

    Part of the reason for doing the ride is to work out if I need to change my cassette for the Lakeland Loop. But then I'm not sure I want to buy a new cassette (and chain) just for one event.
    Higs
  • HigsHigs Posts: 105
    Higs wrote:
    Rich K47 wrote:
    I can't recommend the Coniston - Broughton Mills - Dunnerdale - Ulpha - Eskdale - Hardknott - Wrynose loop enough either for training or just a great ride. .... To remotely enjoy any of it a compact and a big cassette are essential!
    Well I think I'm going to have a pop at it on Sunday morning.

    Whereas what actually happened was that I got 'wifed' and went out locally - did the shorter 'Spud Riley' loop. No shortage of hills on that but no Hardknott.
    Higs
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I used to live in Hawkshead and know these climbs well. I've got three peices of advice A) ride as much as you can before hand - including sprint training
    B) Get a triple chainset - makes all the difference, especially on Hardknott but also the top of Wrynose. Failing this low gears on the back but a triple is hard to beat in this terrain.
    C) Take plenty of water.
    Good luck.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
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