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British Heart Foundation ride

apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
edited March 2010 in The bottom bracket
http://www.bhf.org.uk/events_and_volunt ... ps=1000656

Has anyone done this in previous years? Just wondering what it is like.

Think I will do it with my 9 yr old lad - he should be able to do the distance easily and will love it.

Will need to get a train from Reading to Richmond and then from Windsor back to Reading later.

Never done an organised ride before - any tips or thoughts?

Posts

  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 7,573
    37 miles is a lot for a pair of 9yr old legs.

    Great idea, but just keep an eye on the little 'un.
    Ben

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  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    I should have said that we did 45 miles along the kennet & avon last summer when he was not long 8 yrs old.

    Initially thought about doing the shorter one with him but he insists on doing the longer one - it should be easier on roads too.

    The only problem I had last year was that he wouldnt drink enough and got cramps briefly at one stage. He has learned about that now and thinks nuun tablets are magic. When he was running out of energy he had half a zipvit gel and took of like a rocket singing "Dont stop me now" but it was a good job it was time to stop for lunch when he came down.

    I think this year we can manage things alot better with energy bars (we love the zipvit Chocolate Orange protein bars and the Go Bars in Cherry Vanilla) to help and try to avoid use of gels.

    We will probably also do Reading to Devizes, overnight and then come back the next day.

    He really wants to do Reading to Bristol along the kennet but has not been up to it previous years. Want to assess how he would be on a multiple day ride and then maybe do this next year.
  • balmainbalmain Posts: 6
    I've done this with my nieces aged 9 to 11 for the last three years as they wanted to do a 'proper' ride and it fitted the bill perfectly. The route is good, (I've subsequently used it for training rides), generally back roads, but there are a few sections on busy roads so some traffic training before hand was a good idea. The few small hills added to the sense of achievement for them. Three thousand odd riders on the road of very mixed ability, so no problem getting lost and a good fun atmosphere with no time pressure. The bib numbers, medals, certificate, finish line, band etc give it the feel of a real event which my lot loved. I was surprised how easily 9 year olds coped with a 50+ mile day (we came up from Essex), but the shortcut about 20 miles in allows you to lop a few miles off the route and is a useful bail out if they are having a tough day. So all in highly recommended. We normally just turn up and pay on the day, did the sponsorship thing once, but to be honest it was difficult due to school holidays and I got the impression that no one actually believed that kids that young could have ridden 50 miles. Its become a fixture for us so i'll probably see you on route.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Very good point about the timing RE sponsorship... Not a good time of year for kids in that respect. I think I will still give the sponsorship a go though - even if just a small amount from family and friends, he will feel proud that he has raised some money for charity regardless of how much.

    Are there any water or support en-route, or just at the end?

    Presumably the busy roads are not too bad? I am considering taking my 7 yr old daughter too, but she gets nervous around traffic. She probably wont come as her longest thus far is about 15 miles and I am not sure about throwing her into even the shorter one yet.

    How long does it normally take you to compete?

    Am looking to travel by train - Reading to Richmond is easy enough but Windsor back to Reading has to change in Slough. What will it be like taking the bikes on the train? Presumably there may be a few other bikes around and the trains could be full of them?
  • apreading wrote:
    Never done an organised ride before - any tips or thoughts?

    Never done this one, but I did London 2 Brighton (twice) and London to Southend. Tips? Show up early. There are marshalls and foodstops every few miles so you won't have to do the whole thing in one go.

    Enjoy!
  • balmainbalmain Posts: 6
    There are 3 or 4 official support stops en route, plus you're never far away from a small stop to pick up a mars bar or whatever. The one thing I've found with my lot is that I need to make sure they kept up the snacks and drinks on a regular basis, otherwise they just keep going until they run out of steam.

    I'd say we took about about 4 to 5 hours to complete, plenty of time stopped though.The busy roads aren't too bad, one of mine was very nervous of traffic before hand, but I got the impression that the line of cyclists in vision all the time was quite calming. The trick was getting her to agree that it was better with me cycling behind or alongside her rather than her following me. That way she could set the pace and cars had already pulled out wide to get round me. There are so many riders on the road that cars are wary anyway.

    We got the train back to London and it was full of bikes, so no problem with disgruntled guards. Definitely worth getting your ticket in advance though - the ticket queue at Windsor Riverside station stretched way out of the station. Probably easier on the Reading line though as most riders were heading back to Richmond on our line.

    Difficult call on a 7 year old, my lot had never done 15 miles at the time and I was impressed at their stamina. The extra two years may be a big difference though. You'd always have the bail out short cut.
  • DrewDubyaDrewDubya Posts: 35
    As far as the trains you could also do Windsor to Staines and get the train from there.

    I appreciate you'll have a little one with you - but you could also ride from Windsor to Egham and get the trian back from Egham - you can do nearly all of this off the road/by the river if you fancy and depending on what you are riding.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    apreading wrote:
    Never done an organised ride before - any tips or thoughts?

    Never done this one, but I did London 2 Brighton (twice) and London to Southend. Tips? Show up early. There are marshalls and foodstops every few miles so you won't have to do the whole thing in one go.

    Enjoy!

    Looking at the 8:55 from Reading getting into Richmond at 9:55 - start is between 9AM and 10:30 - should this be OK?
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    balmain wrote:
    We normally just turn up and pay on the day, did the sponsorship thing once, but to be honest it was difficult due to school holidays...

    I suppose the big advantage of this is that if the weather is really bad or someone is ill you are not commited either...
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    balmain wrote:
    There are 3 or 4 official support stops en route, plus you're never far away from a small stop to pick up a mars bar or whatever. The one thing I've found with my lot is that I need to make sure they kept up the snacks and drinks on a regular basis, otherwise they just keep going until they run out of steam.

    I can understand this - had to keep telling my lad to stop and eat/drink on our other long rides. I found out afterwards he was trying to make his drink last the entire trip - but I had told him I had spare water bottles in my pannier and I was always going to refill mine in the pub where we had lunch (all our rides seem to involve a pub somwhere...!). I also couldnt get him to have the zipvit energy drink and he just had squash. I have since managed to get him and his sister onto nuun tablets though - they think they are like fizzy drink because the tablet fizzes away.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    balmain wrote:
    I'd say we took about about 4 to 5 hours to complete, plenty of time stopped though.The busy roads aren't too bad, one of mine was very nervous of traffic before hand, but I got the impression that the line of cyclists in vision all the time was quite calming. The trick was getting her to agree that it was better with me cycling behind or alongside her rather than her following me. That way she could set the pace and cars had already pulled out wide to get round me. There are so many riders on the road that cars are wary anyway.

    Yes - I always go at the rear of the convoy and cycle further into the road than I need to - to ensure cars give us a reasonable berth and dont come too close to the kids (even if they come close to me).
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    balmain wrote:
    We got the train back to London and it was full of bikes, so no problem with disgruntled guards. Definitely worth getting your ticket in advance though - the ticket queue at Windsor Riverside station stretched way out of the station. Probably easier on the Reading line though as most riders were heading back to Richmond on our line.

    Good tip! Want to use the old family railcard too.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    DrewDubya wrote:
    you could also ride from Windsor to Egham and get the trian back from Egham - you can do nearly all of this off the road/by the river if you fancy and depending on what you are riding.

    Good point - it is not that far really. We could ride to Egham along the river or to Acot through the great park.
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    If you live in Richmond, you can do the national cycle route all the way to Bristol with your son and do very little road work the whole way and camp. We did it from London with breaks at every 40 miles or so and stopped (camping) in Bray, Newbury, Bradford on Avon (this was a long drag) and then Bristol. Train back to Paddington. It was a really fantastic thing to do. I did it with my wife on a tandem and apart from the bike gates around reading (needing a complete unpack of the tandem and a lift), it was great. Probably not best on 700x25 tyres though - with a slighlty "whippy" old peugeot tandem - but only one off (her into nettles, me one foot into canal!) Saw a few people "wild" camping, but campsites were good and cheap.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    mroli wrote:
    If you live in Richmond, you can do the national cycle route all the way to Bristol with your son and do very little road work the whole way and camp. We did it from London with breaks at every 40 miles or so and stopped (camping) in Bray, Newbury, Bradford on Avon (this was a long drag) and then Bristol. Train back to Paddington. It was a really fantastic thing to do. I did it with my wife on a tandem and apart from the bike gates around reading (needing a complete unpack of the tandem and a lift), it was great. Probably not best on 700x25 tyres though - with a slighlty "whippy" old peugeot tandem - but only one off (her into nettles, me one foot into canal!) Saw a few people "wild" camping, but campsites were good and cheap.

    We live about 200 yards from the kennet - about a 2 miles from its start at the Thames. So Bristol along the Kennet and Avon is about 100 miles. Probably next year, the plan is to cycle to Bristol stopping in hotels in Devizes & Bath en route. Then get the train back. Or possibly do the train first and then cycle home but there is something nice about the thought of the end of the journey being the Bristol with its bridges and then the open water of the Severn Estuary.

    Unfotrunately we run the gamut of all the styles and gates which are a real pain but it is still fantastic countryside.

    We did Reading to Newbury and most of the way back 2 years ago when he was 7 on a bike with 20 inch wheels - 26 miles total.

    Last year did Reading to Kintbury and most of the way back when he was 8 on an Alu Hotrock with 24 inch wheels - 46 miles total.

    If we did all those miles in one direction we would have made it to Devizes ready for the first overnight stop.

    What I dont know is whether he would be ready for another full ride the next day, and then the day after.

    The bonus in follwing the Kennet is that up to Bedwyn we can just jump on a train in most of the towns and be whisked back to Theale if he has had enough and then it is only a mile and a half to home.
  • nolfnolf Posts: 2,016
    apreading wrote:
    apreading wrote:
    Never done an organised ride before - any tips or thoughts?

    Never done this one, but I did London 2 Brighton (twice) and London to Southend. Tips? Show up early. There are marshalls and foodstops every few miles so you won't have to do the whole thing in one go.

    Enjoy!

    Looking at the 8:55 from Reading getting into Richmond at 9:55 - start is between 9AM and 10:30 - should this be OK?

    I'd lean towards no to be honest.
    If theres a train at 7:55 getting in at 8:55 that would probably be better.
    There'll probably be a huge queue of people at the start, and waiting around for an hour on the start line is a rubbish way to begin a long ride!
    "I hold it true, what'er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    'Tis better to have loved and lost;
    Than never to have loved at all."

    Alfred Tennyson
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