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Forest of Dean Classic

Seeing as no one has started a topic for this event i will.

So who else is riding this year?

Lets hope for some better and dryer weather than last year.
Just a fat bloke on a bike
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Posts

  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    Wish I was Howie, really wish I was.

    Hope it's a good ride for you - bet you beat last years time by miles. Weather is supposed to be quite nice this weekend isn't it?
  • steerpikesteerpike Posts: 424
    I am - my first ever sportive! What should expect? I'm hoping to come at least 822 out of 823.
  • steerpike wrote:
    I am - my first ever sportive! What should expect? I'm hoping to come at least 822 out of 823.
    hills and plenty of them, save something for Bulls Hill and Symmonds Yat, the last two climbs and the worst, last 2 and a bit miles are all down hill though!
    i'll ride anything, but I prefer carbon.......... she screamed!!

    www.sportivecentral.com
  • alp777alp777 Posts: 211
    I'm in! Weather forecast is very good, dry and around 16 c :)


    hills and plenty of them, save something for Bulls Hill and Symmonds Yat, the last two climbs and the worst, last 2 and a bit miles are all down hill though!

    Bull's Hill is not the second last climb, it is the 5th from last, but it is a steep one!

    The second to last climb is up to Bicknor and will be like climbing a wall!
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    I'll be there, riding in a little group from my club.

    Looking forward to it (apart from anything that's described as a wall!).

    Bry
  • alp777 wrote:
    I'm in! Weather forecast is very good, dry and around 16 c :)


    hills and plenty of them, save something for Bulls Hill and Symmonds Yat, the last two climbs and the worst, last 2 and a bit miles are all down hill though!

    Bull's Hill is not the second last climb, it is the 5th from last, but it is a steep one!

    The second to last climb is up to Bicknor and will be like climbing a wall!

    Apolgies stand corrected! :oops: , but the pain will still be the same! :twisted:
    i'll ride anything, but I prefer carbon.......... she screamed!!

    www.sportivecentral.com
  • speedy641speedy641 Posts: 89
    yep I'm in and sunny days beckon!

    Got the final info from the organisers- everything but the start time(!) ..anyone know?
  • alp777alp777 Posts: 211
    speedy641 wrote:
    yep I'm in and sunny days beckon!

    Got the final info from the organisers- everything but the start time(!) ..anyone know?

    According to the website "START TIMES 08.00 to 09.30 " ie. you can start anytime between 8 and 9.30
  • Last year Symonds Yat was gridlocked with cars, so you had to walk! But the previous 13 hills are still tough.
    As long as it is warm and dry, it should be a good day out.
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    I cramped bigtime on Bulls hill last year, so if you saw a bloke astride a litespeed hitting his thighs and shouting about a third of the way up it was me. nasty climb not listed after the 2nd feed station about 22%, horrible.
  • I hear good things about if from two mates who rode it last year.
  • jhopjhop Posts: 369
    Last year Symonds Yat was gridlocked with cars, so you had to walk! But the previous 13 hills are still tough.
    As long as it is warm and dry, it should be a good day out.

    True it was busy on this climb with holiday traffic both last year and the year before but I didn't see anybody walking and all of us on bikes weaved through the cars smuggly.

    Incidentally although it is a great little event; this year I decided to ride the White Horse Challenge last Sunday and the Hants Hilly 100 next so have to do a bit of family stuff this weekend in order to be free for The Wessex at the end of May.
  • BrewsterwmbBrewsterwmb Posts: 145
    Another fantastic event!! Although I suffered form cramp for the first time ever - thoughts??

    Was a little shocked by several, and I mean 7+ riders wearing no helmet! Why!?!?!

    Really sorry to see a guy whos chain went right at the bottom of Symonds Yat! Talk about timing.....

    Thanks Wheels in Wheels for another top event with no rain this year too!!

    :D
    “Look where you want to go. Not where you are going”
  • richpuk1richpuk1 Posts: 21
    What did everyone think of the ride?

    As I expected I thought it was pretty tough. I thought the route was excellent with some great views. I found the signs for the major climbs helpful, plus the others that said gravel..decent..etc (although there was one climb immeadietly after a hairpin which took some riders by suprise.)
    What does everyone else think? Who thought that Bulls Hill was the toughest?

    Cheers!
  • speedy641speedy641 Posts: 89
    Good ride all in all. Well planned route, fantastic views and a really beautiful area.

    Lot of 'fast' people in the first 20 miles, saw quite few of them again at 60 miles! ...some people clearly a little 'caught up' in the early excitement.

    Signing good, with lots of well placed warnings of climbs etc.

    Good to see you out there Howie, I did say hello, but it was going up hill and I think you were busy going up!

    Tea and flapjack at the end was very welcome, food at other stations was okish, just wish these events would supply some savoury stuff as an option, I get pretty sick of all this sugary food.

    Overall not too tough, nicely rolling to keep it interesting, though Symonds Yat was testing I have to admit, but wonderful descent back into Monmouth.

    Congrats to organisers for a well run event and ordering near perfect weather!
  • TheStoneTheStone Posts: 2,291
    Great ride. Not sure which hill was the hardest. Probably Bulls. Symonds Yat seemed tough, but didn't get a full go at it with the traffic and was destroyed by then!

    I was at the back most of the day. Finished with around 7:24, a fair bit slower than last year, but training's been thrown out a bit by 3 crashes since Jan.

    What was up with the kilo to go signs? Seemed to be way out.

    Anyone feeling a bit burnt? Weather forecast didn't suggest I'd be needing sunscreen.
    exercise.png
  • A true classic.

    Weather turned on Ok, better than last year, although were did that icy wind come from when you drop off Symonds Yat, jesus it was bitter.

    Chatted to a lot of people, wish it was more but when the lad is full climbing mode, all i can just about manage is to breathe! But thanks to one and all for the hello's. I met one chap, rugby player from Cornwall, and i apologise i couldnt chase you to get your name, but we had a good natter. Please PM me i will send you some feeding info.
    The two delightful ladies and your fast chappie at the start and finish, we had a brief chat, and the big Welsh guy in the tea tent, keep going my man.
    DOnt know what time i did, legs couldnt support me for the time to wait for a certificate, but it was almost 7 hours i think.
    Scenery was lovely.

    If you enjoyed this one, please sign up for the Midland Mosnter, 2 weeks before the Bike Radar event, and on many of the same roads. I will be there helping out....so no abuse.

    Strange how the pain and dead legs seem fine now after a bottle of red wine.
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    Enjoyed the ride today. Beautiful scenery and some fabulous descents! :D

    We were a bit slow thanks to an accidental uphill detour quite early on :evil: (our fault for missing the sign!) and then two punctures amongst us which for various reasons took a long time to fix. :roll:

    I wouldn't have said Bulls Hill was the hardest. Symonds Yat seemed a bit harder, but I also thought the very long one up to the feed station for the 2nd time was quite tough.

    I had a bit of cramp too today (timed nicely for the Symonds Yat climb!!) and I think it's probably an electrolyte issue. I sweat quite a lot and lose a lot of salt. I've just been having a look on the net at some 'Endurolytes' which might be a solution. A lot of marathon runners use salt tablets to avoid cramp. :? :)
  • speedy641speedy641 Posts: 89
    A couple of guys I met were struggling with cramp issues - not sure if there were more than usual, just seems quite few comments here about this problem. It must be miserable, the lungs and heart are ok, just the legs complaining.

    Is it just a lack of salt that causes it, or is it more complex?
  • I have been getting twinges of cramp, and Joe Beer (C+ Coach) suggests it isnt so much a salt issue, but a central nervous system response. I find that if i use two bottles on the bike, one for carb drink and one with a high concentration of electrolyte, that seems to work.
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • andrewgasandrewgas Posts: 32
    It was my first sportive and I thought it was excellent. Signs were clear and useful. As for the Km's to go signs, my mate road with some of the organisers and they said it was there idea of a sick sense of humour lol. I got round in 6 hours and 11 minutes which I'm pretty happy with. Bulls Hill and the one but last climb were the worst in my opinion.

    I'll be doing this one again next year for sure.
  • BMCCBry, glad you enjoyed it. I used Endurolytes from Hammer nutrition last year and they worked for me - no cramp all year with them despite being prone to lots of fluid loss via sweat and usually getting cramp on a ride. Added bonus you don't need to carry anything other than water to drink with them, no gloop in your jersey or faffing at water stops with powder.
  • steerpikesteerpike Posts: 424
    My first Sportive and thoroughly enjoyed it. Fantastic scenery and great camaraderie - met some really nice folks. I usually ride alone and I'm quiet sure I was much quicker as a result of having others to keep pace. Thrilled to have done it in 05:54 which is apparently just into Gold standard for my age! (30-40).

    I too cramped at Bulls and finally Symonds Yat which is the first time I've ever had it cycling. Any advice appreciated.

    Totally agree on the savoury options needed for feeding stations - sausage rolls come to mind (although not too salty!).
  • What a great event, this was my first time for the Forest Classic and I loved it. Although for the frist 15 miles I thought I might bail and I felt like throwing up, not sure if it was that early hill or the very large meal I had eaten the previous night :lol:

    Managed to get up all of the hills apart rom you guessed it Symmonds Yat, just to much cramp, cars and mentally gone.

    Did anyone else find the surface back to monmouth probably as scary as it gets, I was tryingto get home downhill as fast as possible but scared witless by the tarmac :shock:

    Still great ride and not looking forward to the nextm it might even be the Midlands Monster, Howie?
  • campagonecampagone Posts: 270
    steerpike wrote:
    Thrilled to have done it in 05:54 which is apparently just into Gold standard for my age! (30-40).

    Did you hang around to get your certificate? I got round in 5:52 and I'm 32 and they gave me silver :? I think that was the worst thing about the organization on this ride, hand written certificates was a nice touch but was it necessary to make us hang around so long to get it? Mind you the free cuppa made up for it somewhat.

    My first time on the FOD and I found it really hard, I've done both the Gran Fondo Cymru and Trans Cambrian twice before, and I think this was probably harder. I knew from other threads that it was going to be hilly but a lot of these climbs just went on and on, I suffered badly after Bulls Hill. In all honesty I probably didn't train hard enough for this event :oops: Must try harder if I'm going to do it again :wink:
  • narbsnarbs Posts: 593
    My second time for this one and thoroughly enjoyed it again, especially the better weather and getting round in 5,38, about an hour quicker than last year.

    I also suffered from cramp for the first time, strange to hear so many others having the same problem. It wasn't hot and I kept hydrated and fed so unsure as to the cause. I'm doing the Beames de Venise Ventoux at the end of the month and I don't fancy cramp there!
  • cakewalkcakewalk Posts: 220
    Anyone know where results ( and photos ) are?

    Enjoyed it. However felt that the organisers were out to make money and had cut some corners. Notably food. Feed station was dire (I carry energy bars and gels with me - I want an sandwich at a feed station) and post ride fod was non existent.

    Good signage though.
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • cakewalkcakewalk Posts: 220
    narbs wrote:
    My second time for this one and thoroughly enjoyed it again, especially the better weather and getting round in 5,38, about an hour quicker than last year.

    I also suffered from cramp for the first time, strange to hear so many others having the same problem. It wasn't hot and I kept hydrated and fed so unsure as to the cause. I'm doing the Beames de Venise Ventoux at the end of the month and I don't fancy cramp there!

    A lot of riders seemed to be very over dressed. Perhaps this caused some people to dehydrate?
    "I thought of it while riding my bicycle."
  • cakewalk wrote:
    Anyone know where results ( and photos ) are?

    Enjoyed it. However felt that the organisers were out to make money and had cut some corners. Notably food. Feed station was dire (I carry energy bars and gels with me - I want an sandwich at a feed station) and post ride fod was non existent.

    Good signage though.

    I agree with many of the perspectives raised above but I also support Cakewalk's comments.

    It was a great day, signage was reasonable and the route was superb providing for an excellent event. However as Cakewalk says, the feed stations did appear to be dire. All the HQ provided was measley flap jack and cup of tea. This is a side of the event that could be substantially improved. I have entered audaxes for only a few quid to receive a positive feast after the event. Nice day but I felt a little short changed. I have entered sportives for £10 less and felt better served.


    .
  • BMCCbryBMCCbry Posts: 153
    BMCCBry, glad you enjoyed it. I used Endurolytes from Hammer nutrition last year and they worked for me - no cramp all year with them despite being prone to lots of fluid loss via sweat and usually getting cramp on a ride. Added bonus you don't need to carry anything other than water to drink with them, no gloop in your jersey or faffing at water stops with powder.

    Thanks, Skavanagh.bikeradar, that's a really helpful recommendation. Could save me on the Ventoux in July! Hope all is well with you.

    Back to the FoD, I agree with others about savoury foods at feed stations. Personally, I was craving a ham sandwich! A bit of protein (and salt!) wouldn't go amiss. :)
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