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Cat & Fiddle Cycle Challenge

BobScarleBobScarle Posts: 282
I am hoping to take part this ride next month. I have a few questions that I hope people can answer.

I am 50, overweight but reasonably fit. I am riding as much as possible at the moment although mostly short (12 - 14 mile) weekday rides. I am trying to get something longer at the weekends (45 miles ish). How "do-able" is the ride, especially the big hill, bearing in mind my age and dreadful power to weight ratio?

Is there a limit on the number of entrants? I am hoping to enter on the day but don't want to get there and find it is full.

Is the route well signed? I am not at all familiar with the area and don't particularly want to get lost. I could always follow some riders but who knows if they know the way!

Anybody else doing it? It can be a long day on your own, be nice to have somebody to chat to, assuming I have any breath left.

Bob
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  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Don't know much about the specific ride you are talking about - but riding up the Cat n' Fiddle isn't that hard at all. For anyone.

    As long as you take it at your own pace. The road isn't that steep and you can climb it seated all the way. I'm sure there will be LOTS of people who are going slow up it!

    There are other hills on the same ride (I think) that may be harder. Do you have a link to the ride you can post?
  • This is the link to the ride. It doesn't give much detail about the route and climbs.

    http://www.cftrust.org.uk/help/events/catandfiddle

    Bob
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Yes - this is the ride I was thinking of.

    As the website states - it's not a race and you can take all day if you want to! No limit to entrants (1,400+ last year).

    I would recommend you at least get out for a 50 mile ride or two before the date - even if just a flat ride - to see what it feels like. And try some hills if you can.

    It's a great day out (from what I've heard) and weather permitting will be there myself!
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    How much is it, I'd be really interested in doing this.
  • Percy VeraPercy Vera Posts: 1,103
    It's £15
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Oh right, think I'll do it on my own some other day then.. :(
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    £15 is actually pretty cheap for a sportive these days. And this one is for charity.


    Normally I'd just show up and ride the route, and forgo any food/water stops (as I didn't pay for them) and save the entry fee - but it's a good cause.
  • amaferangaamaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Charity sportives sounds a bit like a slippery slope to me. Before long they'll catch on like 10k runs and I'll be getting emails at work from numpties wanting to be sponsored. Oh dear.
    More problems but still living....
  • pickledpickled Posts: 439
    freehub wrote:
    Oh right, think I'll do it on my own some other day then.. :(
    Just out of interest and seeing as though you did ask how much it was.
    How much would you have paid?
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,027
    Always enjoy this route and £15 is an ok price to pay to try and get on the back of some quick wheels and try to post a sub 3 hour time...
    Organised rides like this arent supposed to be races but .......
    It's up to your own way of thinking whether you pay or not.. makes no difference to me at end of the day

    please please dry weather this year.. I just remember being too cold and wet even to eat last year
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Bob - as everyone said the Cat and Fiddle is not particularly steep - about 10% max near the bottom and a lot easier after that. It does go on a bit though, around seven miles, so you will need to pace yourslf and nnot get carried away by the fast lads overtaking you. There are a couple of other climbs after the Cat which will draw the straenght as well - Axe Edge immediately after the Cat and then, I think, Brown Edge?, which I have seen people push up in the past.

    But its a great friendly day and if you don't enter you'll never know....

    By the way take all sorts of clothing - weather can change very quicky and the top of the climb is very exposed.

    Good luck.
  • thetrotterthetrotter Posts: 258
    edited September 2009
    It follows one of Brian Rourke's old training routes, generally using main roads. As others have said, the Cat and Fiddle , one of the classic climbs of British road racing, is long but not that steep - the hardest part is the first couple of miles out of Macclesfield. The next climb Axe Edge (another classic) is for me much harder because it is more exposed. There are three other climbs that don't get mentioned that will hurt your legs - the climb out of Leek (Ladderedge), Brown Edge and then a really nasty short climb at Ford Green on the outskirts of Stoke. Oh, and there is an amazingly fast descent down to Blackshaw Moor - just hope that it's not windy (or wet) going down that :shock: .
  • Mapped it out as good as I could on bikehike, here you go :)www.bikehike.co.uk/mapview.php?id=20111
  • benjboybenjboy Posts: 258
    I have done this the last three years and it is a really good day out.After the cat and fiddle the hills are harder i think but plenty of people on the course so you will always have riding buddies.Also Sean Kelly does it every year with two or three ex pros,so you could tag along with them for a while. :)
    Keep the chain tight all the way.
  • Thanks for responses chaps. I really will try and get there for the ride. I have requested an information pack and entry form so the ball is rolling. I have the route now to look over, thank you to both of you, for posting it.

    Definately up for the challenge, hope to see some of you there.

    BTW. If I thought that I could "tag along with the pro's" I wouldn't be so worried about the hills. :)

    Bob
  • hi bob - you sound a bit like me! over 50 and over-weight!

    I asked for info about this ride a while ago but am still waiting, perhaps the postal strike?

    thanks to whoever posted the maps, that is helpful ..

    I went out and tried the C&F last weekend, it's long, but steady, and very pretty to look out, so long as it's not raining, oh, yeah, and it always seems to be very windy up there!


    On the cost issue -- I paid 35 quid last week for prostrate cancer funds on the tour challenge ride .. so 15 quid's seems a snip!
    This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way should be considered flaws or defects
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    pickled wrote:
    freehub wrote:
    Oh right, think I'll do it on my own some other day then.. :(
    Just out of interest and seeing as though you did ask how much it was.
    How much would you have paid?

    £5, 8 at a push, maybe 10, it's more equal than 8.
  • Percy VeraPercy Vera Posts: 1,103
    Will, are you a student? or just a young pup?
  • freehubfreehub Posts: 4,258
    Student, I'd pay 50 quid for the ride if I had a job.
  • Marko1962 wrote:
    hmm might do this myself....

    heres a map of the route

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Cat-Fiddle-55-Mile-Challenge

    hmm is this link working? i just get a white page... but it could be this laptop to blame!
    This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way should be considered flaws or defects
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    Marko1962 wrote:
    hmm might do this myself....

    heres a map of the route

    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Cat-Fiddle-55-Mile-Challenge

    hmm is this link working? i just get a white page... but it could be this laptop to blame!

    Link works for me. On a laptop.
  • cheers - I've seen it now, think it was pop-up blocker!
    This post is a natural product. The slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and in no way should be considered flaws or defects
  • I did the Rourke ride last year , its a good first Sportive to do .
    Reasonably well sign posted and plenty of grub was on offer after the ride.
    You might see one of the lads from Brian Rourkes shop doing it on a fixed .H e came past me like I was stood still last year,ascending the Cat .
    Also did my fastest speed comng off Blachshawe Moor 54 mph.
    Hope to see you there
    Red Tifosi CK5A
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Anyone any idea of start times?
  • between 0800 and 0930.

    you thinking of just signing up on the day?

    all the relevant info is in the entry pack people receive if they enter online.

    usually gets around 1500 riders

    done the ride last 4 years, weather can be quite variable , have had cold,wet and windy (2008), bright blue skies (2007)

    After the 'Cat' you have Axe Edge straight after, a steep descent towards Leek then 4 shortish sharpish climbs on the way to the finish.
  • pdstsppdstsp Posts: 1,264
    Signed up yesterday but email response said to ecpect an entry pack in a few weeks!! Just looking to plan weekend really.

    Done the ride three times and always been lucky with weather so keeping fingers crossed.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    I'm doing this one. I'm taking Mr P and I'm going to ride round with him - I'm trying to get him back into it again so I'm not going to drop him 8)
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I'll be in beddy-byes :(

    Would love to do this one.
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    If the weather is OK - I'll be there also.
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