your toughest day ijn the saddle?

inaperfectworld Posts: 219
edited September 2009 in The bottom bracket
mine was touring in the vercors from crest to vassieux and then to the foot of the col de rousset going by the col be la bataille. bike toaster gives a height gain of 3300 metres and 55 miles (for comparison bourg d'oisan to st jean de maurienne via col de la croix de fer is 2137 metres). .
took me 7 hours and i'd eaten all my energy bars and bananas and drunk my liquids. the area is remote and little inhabited and it was winding down at the end of sunday afternoon and i just could not find a cafe. i was getting so desperate that i thought of finding people in a car or on a motorbike and begging food. found a cafe sign (200 metres and downhill) it was closed. then owner arrived in his car and made me a sandwich. what a star.
i was so done in by the end of the day that i just could not keep concentration and i had a steep descent to finish off and in the rain and i was really worried that i was going to come off as i was too tired to think straight.
next day was better finishing with 15 mile descent to grenoble


  • mrushton
    mrushton Posts: 5,182
    Doing the Time Megeve Sportive in 2006. Full of enthusiasm, I powered off early thinking I was da bomb and within 5 mins realised that par of Europe was packed with v.talented,fast cyclists. Got to the foot of the Aravis, a lovely climb to see a long line of cyclists already going up.Anyway, the day got very hot, I foolishly did the whole 150km and got v.dehydrated, sunburnt etc. I should have used the energy to do 120km or rode conservatively. Lesson learnt. When I did the Nove Colle or the Como ride I was much better.
  • afcbian
    afcbian Posts: 424
    London to Brighton starting at 6.30am after a virtually all night bender.
    Got to bed at 3am up at 5.30am still p*ssed/hung over
    It was about 7-8 years ago and I was out of shape (fat!) and had done no training and was doing the ride on an MTB
    Pain pain own stupid fault.
    I ride therefore I am
  • My first attempt at a 60 mile ride. Was pretty hilly (lots of short 15% hills) and consisted of four laps of a route I'd done previously. I didn't take any food and I think I had one bottle of water so I bonked at about 45/50 miles. Such an amateur mistake but was determined to complete the 60 miles so I struggled on. But it took everything out of me!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    First time I did the Dragon Ride in 2007. I died on my arse, underprepared, under trained and no conception of "climbing" until I went up the Blwch and Rhigos. It was a bloody awful day. And I did the long route, pride was a MOFO. :cry:
  • Pretre
    Pretre Posts: 355
    Argeles-Gazost to Bertren (down the valley from Luchon) - about 120km & 2,500m of climbing - via the Tourmalet & Aspin, 3 weeks ago.
    It was over 30C in the valleys,I'd never ridden up a mountain bigger than a Cat 3 before & I'd spent the previous week dying of a cold which was still hanging around. Tourmalet was damn hard but the Aspin just killed me - legs were dead, nose was streaming & I was boiling hot. :( Managed to do it without pushing, whch I was really happy with (thinking about it later!) - just needed to stop every km or so to try & get some energy back & blow my nose properly.
    Learned a lot from the experience - did Port de Bales & Portillon 3 days later (on my own) & felt not that bad although found out later that evening it was over 36C ( :shock: )when I was climbing the Portillon so no surprise that I drank 750ml & poured about the same over me on just that climb!
  • sloboy
    sloboy Posts: 1,139
    Ah yes, Tourmalet and Aspin probably counts as my toughest day also - following the route of Stage 12 (?) of the 2006 tour starting in Tarbes going to Pla de Beret with an overnight stop at the foot of the Peyresourde.

    The day started grey and damp, but at the foot of the Tourmalet, the July sun came out and it was HOTTEST I've ever been on a bike, then after about 90 mins climbing I was the SWEATIEST I've ever been on a bike. We stopped at the top for lunch (the HIGHEST I've ever been on a bike), but the cloud closed in with visibility down to about 25m. On the descent, I was the SCAREDEST I've ever been on a bike, knowing that a few metres off into the murk was a precipitous fall to a certain death and I was shaking like a leaf, cos despite having my jacket and my gilet on I was the COLDEST I've ever been on a bike. Once we got to the bottom and turned towards the Aspin, the heavens opened and it absolutely poured down - you guessed, I was the WETTEST I've ever been on a bike.

    By the time I'd struggled over the Aspin and was going down the other side, though, I felt pretty good !
  • pedylan
    pedylan Posts: 768
    Done a few sportives inc the Etape du Tour and a fair bit of road suffering but the big sufferfest was on a mountain bike for a day and didn't involve more than 80km in total.

    Set off on the Rodopos peninsula in Crete to cycle to a cove called Diktyna site of an allegedly inaccesible beach. Temperatures in mid thirties, plenty of sun block and water, a hat etc. Left the last village after having a hearty lunch and then climbed up onto a barren, shadeless rockscape where the road was a track deteriorating into an eroded boulder path. Passed a farmers wife with goats in the back of a pick up. Kalimera (G'day) says I; Crazeeeee says she!

    At the end of the peninsula, the descent to the beach was downright technical (for a roadie) balancing on the brakes over bloody big rocks and down all the way to the cove. This bit was idyllic, not a soul there (could really only get to it by boat) Got the towel out and swam and sun bathed. Then - had to get back. Low on water there was supposed to be a cistern somewhere on the trail but never did see it. Thought - I'll have to beg water off the first person I see. Not a soul, no one all the way back to Rodopos. By the time I got there I was covered in salt crust and seriously thought I might keel over. Hit the cafe and emptied bottles of water and iced tea.

    I should have been too old to make these mistakes but it just goes to show, there's an idiot in all of us!
    Where the neon madmen climb
  • Homer J
    Homer J Posts: 920
    Bonking on the Nullabor
  • Mine would have to be the London To Brighton, primarily because at the time I was a student and skint so decided to ride to the start and back home from the finish, so me and my mate Pete got up at 4am and set off from Portsmouth....arrived in London at around 9am and set off, the hardest part was avoiding all the walkers, who just decide to stop with no warning and cock their legs over the saddle midway up a climb!! We arrived in Brighton around 3pm, had a wander around, refuelled and had a bit of a breather and set off about 5pm, got as far as Chichester and my mate was in a bad way (he tells it that I was in a bad way...) so decided to get the train, we bosth fell asleep in the bike cart and woke up in Fareham after missing our stop....we eventually rolled into Portsmouth around 9pm. Mad long day and I slept well for days. I have not ridden the L2B again though!
  • My first century ride for the british heart fountation. Being young and stupid, I had told someone I could do 50 miles in 3hours (Which I did once) so I'd be doing the 100 miles in under 6 hours. He though I was nuts and told me so.
    I woke at 6am when I should have been up at 5.30 latest so missed breakfast, I ran out with two ceral bars and two bottles of water. Met with friends and went to the start line. When I set off, I went with the really fast group (Av. 27mph) which was fine for the first 50miles when we rolled in for the half way break.
    I ended up on my own, having raced away from the group I was with for the first few miles of the second 50miles. Then my water ran out, no food and speed now down to 9mph on the flat. Only 20 miles to go.
    Then the group that I had ridden with came past so I joined up with them for about two miles. Then stopped. I was turning the pedals fine and my legs just stopped. I sat down for 15minutes, called my girlfriend for sympathy and got none. :cry:
    Finally managed enough energy to roll just over a small bridge (100foot away) to find a service station. A 2ltr bottle of coke and 2 mars bars later, I was flying past people who had done the 50mile route and had now joined our route, at 25mph+!
    Rolled over the line in 5hrs 45mins, and cycled home for some food and sleep.

    p.s. A friend did the same 100mile ride on my 9speed jump bike. Took him more than 11hrs and was so late everyone had packed up and left!!!
    p.p.s. Another had 8 punctures in the first 50miles.
    p.p.p.s. Last year I planned to do it in 5hrs, and missed my mark by 3mins 17secs. Gutted is not the word. :evil: Maybe next time....
    jedster wrote:
    Just off to contemplate my own mortality and inevitable descent into decrepedness.
    FCN 3 or 4 on road depending on clothing
    FCN 8 off road because I'm too old to go racing around.
  • mine was touring in the vercors

    Ooo - we were there in July (climbing, rock as opposed to on a bike). It's a pretty nice area, with some totally impressive gorges.
  • de_sisti
    de_sisti Posts: 1,283
    Riding the "From Worcester to Sauce" 200 km V hilly audax ride in June 2006. It was one
    of the hottest days of the year. I ran out of fluid very early into the ride as we entered some of
    the remote parts of Wales. Dehydration set in. I don't think I really recovered during the ride.
    That, and the 4 punctures I had on the day made if miserable and tough. Oh, and that was my
    slowest ever 200km ride, starting at 8am and finishing a 8.55pm, lanterne rouge that day.
  • 20 miles...

    I'd been invited to a wedding, so caught the train to a nearby station and then cycled the 20 hilly miles to the B&B where i was staying carrying a change of clothes and wash things. Oh and the most suitable bike i had for these very hilly miles was my singlespeed road bike.

    Anyway getting there was fine, went to the wedding, looking pretty good. Got very drunk, as you do, then went out clubbing once the reception finished. Stayed out 'til 4am, came back and fell asleep. Woke up at 7 to have breakfast, which i couldn't eat because i was so drunk still. The owner felt so sorry for me that he packed me some bacon sarnies and a banana for the journey. Those 20 miles were the worst 20 miles i've ever ridden. I could barely see, the smell of the bacon made me want to throw up.

    But on the plus side the weather was lovely and i felt fine once i got to the train!
  • Porgy
    Porgy Posts: 4,525
    There was a time in the late 80s when i set out with a pocket full of cash and nothing else and headed down to the south coast from woolwich. i made it to brighton, then headed along the cliffs past beachy head and on towards eastbourne, then back northwards eventually to sevenoaks.

    the last 10 miles were agony - i must have cycled 100 to 120 miles overall and previously had only ever done 60/70 mile rides....all this and i was wearing jeans and riding a dodgy old racing bike that my brother in law had found in a skip and given to me (students can't be choosers).

    at sevenoaks i couldn;t ride another mile - let alone 15 or 20. So decided to get a train the last bit - trains not running though due to engineering works. i ended up having to persuade a replacement bus driver to let me on - which took some doing.

    closest to that would be this years Dunwich Dynamo where I'd done 20 miles before i even reached the starting point - started after everyone else had set off and got lost in london, doing an extra 10 miles before i'd even reached epping, then followed a german and his group on a 10km detour (bloody useless sat-nav) before i got my map out and led the gorup back to the dd route. then got lost again with one other - who wouldn;t listen when i told him we were off route - only a two mile detour this time.

    Finally after only getting lost one more time i finsihed, and then had 15 miles to cycle to get to my accomodation. 165 miles in all in about 20 hours. that was hard. I hurt quite a bit the next day.