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Northern Rock Cyclone 2011

BBHBBH Posts: 476
Hi all,
Anyone done this before?
Have just signed up for this and am really looking forward to it!
This will be my first sportive so am trying to get the training hours in ready for the event.
Is it worth going down and checking out the crits the night before??
Feed stops ok? Are the climbs ok?
Any other experiences/advice would be greatly welcome
2012 Scott Foil 10 (Shimano dura ace) - in progress
2011 Cervelo S2 (SRAM Red/Force)
2011 Cannondale Caad 10 (Shimano 105)

"Hills Hurt, Couches Kill!!"
Twitter: @MadRoadie


  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,144
    i did it in 2009. it was my first sportive and a good event, a nice route but i didnt really use the feed stops. i'd be a bit worried if what i read in cycling plus is true, that they're after 5000 entries. think it was 2200 when i did it.

    definately worth a trip to the crits if only to register for the sportive, the queues where huge when i did it and that was with a far smaller number of entries.

    im sure peter (the organiser) will be along soon with some info, think he's a regular contributor
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • brinbrin Posts: 1,122
    Done this event since day one, altho just the mid route 63m, down for the big route this time round.
    The mid route isn't all that tough and is quite enjoyable,a few hills and bumps to get over, but nothing serious, the Ryals are quite steep but not too long, and if you are quite fit shouldn't be a problem.The feedstops are well stocked with food and drink to suit all. I would advise to go down on the friday to sign up as it's a bit hectic on the day and, as above, they are hoping for a 5,000 field this year,it's worth watch the crits too. Don't set off to fast as the climbs come later, and altho not to hard you will suffer if you don't pace yourself.Be careful where you park on the day tho, as quite a few returned to awaiting parking tickets last year.
    Enjoy the day,hopefully like previous years the weather will be spot on.
  • saunaboysaunaboy Posts: 116
    I did the 63 mile one on a MTB last year to get fit. They have good tech support (on motorbikes circling the course). 5hr on the MTB last year, hoping for sub 4 this year on a road bike.

    Firstly, def register on the Friday, although last years easy Friday reg might be explained by first world cup game being on that night. Criteriums are good.

    For course itself, be aware that first 5 miles or so are shared by family ride so be prepared for frequent pelotons of kids & breast cancer charity-type groups. No offense intended at all but in some places there were literally hundreds of people on small roads. Once youre out of that, it's into Northumberland which is either undulating or hilly depending on your view. One annoying time check on a descent that caught a lot out last year! There are no climbs that should really be worried about though until almost at end where two short steep killers get you.

    Great course & day overall.
  • gsk82gsk82 Posts: 3,144
    when we did it you had to stop at all feed stations to have a key fob scanned, which was pretty annoting. don't know if it's the same this year or if they've just sorted a mat to rollover
    "Unfortunately these days a lot of people don’t understand the real quality of a bike" Ernesto Colnago
  • My experience is good of the Cyclone from last year. I enjoyed. You don't mention what distance you're doing so we can't comment of that route :wink:

    The main problems because they were an annoyance to me, seeing as I'm a grumpy old fart.

    1. Parking is a nightmare at the start. DO NOT park outside on the main roads or the housing estate (you'll get a ticket). Get there very early or use the free car park 1 mile away.

    2. The bloody data tag is a glued on plastic strip, it's annoying if you go to the crits and get registered there. I peeled mine off and superglued it back on again the next day.

    3. The beginning and the same return section is on busy roads until Ponteland. Also watch out for low flying jumbo jets!

    As mentioned the Ryals are 2 steep short hills with little rest between them. There was some very fast sections I topped 48mph not long after the first feed station - this was then followed by a few miles of uphills. Most of it is on lovely quietish Northumberland roads. You do need to train for hills if you can rather then the mileage in my opinion.
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • saunaboysaunaboy Posts: 116
    Good advice from last poster - once out into northumberland there are very few stretches where you could really get into a rhythm. It's very up & down, no great climbs in terms of height gain but just enough to mix it a bit. Few stretches where you could say it was 7-10% for a hundred metres or so. There is also one long drag on the 63 mile route, just after it leaves the long route, that caught a few people out who went off like idiots. The two climbs at the end for about 20% of people off their bikes from what I saw, they don't last long but I guess could be in excess of 20% in some sections. They go straight up in front of you on a dead straight road so you can see them in advance. You'll have met up with the club riders on the long ride by then so the roads busy up again.

    Also a good shout about the roads at the beginning - you cross the main roundabout for the airport entrance so that can get busy. On the way back it's fine as you miss that.

    If there's any significant weather it could get interesting. A lot of the area is fairly exposed so not many places to hide if there's any rain or wind it could get messy. Last year the day was great but we were lucky - the pros on the Sunday got soaked with temps of about 15C.

    There is/was a long stretch between the feed stations, with the final one on the 63mile ride in Stamfordham, but you're almost home by then. If you feel you don't need anything at the first place, bear in mind you might have 40+ miles to the next. Not an issue for the fit lads but your average rider (like me) could suffer a bit if not prepared.

    Last year we did the event, rode home after that (about 10 miles) had a bowl of pasta then went out to watch the debacle that was England vs USA. Great day apart from that sh!te at the end...!
  • BBHBBH Posts: 476
    Thanks so much for the responses guys!!!
    Making me wish is was next w/end :wink:

    Its really great to hear such positive reviews about it, am excited but apprehensive all in one - mainly 'cause hills are not my friend at the moment, but I guess with the right training and weight loss all will come right in June!
    Have signed up to the 63mile route as am going to use it as a warm up to riding one of the tour rides this year (during the ToB).

    Am going to see if as part of my training may drive up and ride the ryals before the event so that they are not too much of a shock on the day :wink:

    Hope to see some of you on the day
    Thanks again!
    2012 Scott Foil 10 (Shimano dura ace) - in progress
    2011 Cervelo S2 (SRAM Red/Force)
    2011 Cannondale Caad 10 (Shimano 105)

    "Hills Hurt, Couches Kill!!"
    Twitter: @MadRoadie
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