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Etape Caledonia anyone?

kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
edited May 2011 in Commuting chat
Anyone from here doing the EC this year? Think I saw SuzyB and Wallace's name on the dedicated thread over in Sportives/Audaxes/Training.

Posts

  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    Yeah, we're both doing it. At least I'll be starting it, whether I'll finish is anyones guess :?
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Yes, looking forward to it. Have been upping the miles, though doing too much on the MTB.... still it helps the muscles.

    Last Friday did over 80 miles round Morvern and Glen Etive.

    Off up north tonight to get some miles in. Out and back to Loch Arkaig tomorrow, followed by a 100 mile loop on Saturday from Arisaig down to Glenuig, over to Strontian, then Glen Tarbert to Ardgour, Glenfinnan and back to Arisaig.

    Think this training will be even more picturesque than the Etape!! As it brings in fantastic coastline south from Arisaig, with amazingly quiet roads, superb wildlife round every turn. Canny wait!!

    Sunday will be climbing a few Munro's, then maybe a few more miles on the bike on Monday....

    Just hope I am not too knackered for the Etape!

    Suzy, I am sure you will be fine.... just get a few long rides in over the next few weeks.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    That's some good training there Wallace. The EC will be breeze for you in comparison! I'm just relying on my commuting mileage with the odd smattering of London hills thrown in!

    Suzy, pretty much guarantee you'll finish it. The atmosphere and camaraderie will pull you along, and it's more or less a flat route. Only one or two bumps of note. Get into the right gear and spin your way up. Enjoy the experience and remember to wave to the people giving their support along the route!
  • Yup - doing the Etape for the first time this year and looking forward to it.

    I commute 24 miles round trip most days, and have a couple of century rides and a fair few 50-80 mile rides under my belt so far this year. Planning to go up to Pitlochry on Sunday to ride the full course and see how it feels.

    What starting group/time is everyone in? Not having done this before I plumped for the 'under 5hrs 30mins' group, so have a fairly "late" start at 0717 in wave Q.
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    I am in wave G at 6.57am. Hoping to beat last years time of 4hrs 32min.

    Blacktemplar, you will probably be far far faster than you think. I was in for the same time as you last year and broke it by nearly an hour. You just get dragged round.... and by the looks of it you have put in the training.... probably more than me this year.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    I'm in Wave C 6.49am. Aiming for sub-4hrs.

    I remember seeing the first wave set off as I was making my way to the start last year. Looked like the sprint for the line at the Champs-Elysees the speed they were all setting off at! :lol:
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    I'm a couple of minutes behind you Blacktemplar in wave R :D

    Forgot I'd put down under 5 hours 30 so was quite a shock when I saw my start time. Now feel that's a bit of an under-estimation as work and lack of motivation has meant no distance rides of any kind yet.

    I'll just do my best though and hopefully, a day like the ones we've been having will make it a nice ride in the country.
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    suzyb wrote:
    I'm a couple of minutes behind you Blacktemplar in wave R :D

    Forgot I'd put down under 5 hours 30 so was quite a shock when I saw my start time. Now feel that's a bit of an under-estimation as work and lack of motivation has meant no distance rides of any kind yet.

    I'll just do my best though and hopefully, a day like the ones we've been having will make it a nice ride in the country.

    Get out Suzy and put in a few big ones.... honestly, it is not too late, get the miles in your legs, you will suffer a lot less if you do.

    However, you will really enjoy it.... weather dependent!!! :wink:
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • BlacktemplarBlacktemplar Posts: 740
    Did the full route in 5hrs 30mins on Sunday, with what felt like a 200mph headwind for the last 50 after the turn at the end of Loch rannoch. Even the birds had given up trying to get off the deck and just sat there laughing at the moron on the bike struggling up the side of Schiehallion.......

    I really don't care what the weather's like next Sunday, so long as it's not windy (or at least the wind has the common decency to come from the 'usual' west/sw direction).

    Reckon you're right Wallace - aiming for under 5hrs with a bit of drafting in the peloton :D
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
  • BlacktemplarBlacktemplar Posts: 740
    suzyb wrote:
    I'm a couple of minutes behind you Blacktemplar in wave R :D

    Wave nicely if you pass - I'll be wearing my Sunday Best "Ivan Basso Tribute" outfit in full eyeball-searing Liquigas lime 8) :wink:
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
  • popularnamepopularname Posts: 173
    Yup, I'm there, in Wave E (6.53). Should be OK for 4.30. :shock: Hoping for 4.15.

    I'll (probably) be wearing a Fat Cyclist shirt...

    Know what you mean about the headwind on Sunday - I did a 60 miler South of Edinburgh - the back half took everything I had. You know you're in trouble when you have to shift to a lower gear on the flat :lol:

    Hope we all have a great ride!
    __________________________________________
    >> Domane Four Series > Ridgeback Voyage
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    suzyb wrote:
    I'm a couple of minutes behind you Blacktemplar in wave R :D

    Wave nicely if you pass - I'll be wearing my Sunday Best "Ivan Basso Tribute" outfit in full eyeball-searing Liquigas lime 8) :wink:
    I will defo not be passing anyone :(

    Sods law has given me a nice kick in the face for my lack of motivation to get out on a long ride and given me a load of extra work this week :/

    Sometimes I really pi$$ myself off :evil:
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Best of luck to all!! see some of you there..... 8)

    Bring your sunglasses!!
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    Best of luck to all!! see some of you there..... 8)

    Bring your sunglasses!!

    Ditto! 8)

    In Glasgow right now and heading up Sat with my mates.
  • Come on then, how did you all get on? No nasty tacks on the road that hadn't been swept, I hope.

    Incidentally, the roads near me are being closed due to the Edinburgh Marathon this weekend. This outrages me as it may cause me some slight inconvenience. Thought I might do the same kind of thing to the runners and lay bear traps en route. Either that or I'll just put branches over some of the potholes and watch all the runners fall in.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    Definately a sportif that requires Marathon Plus tyres :)
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    4.40 - 7 minutes slower than last year, but did first half with a mate before dissappearing ahead on the Schehalion climb and never waited for him. Did second 40 in about 2 hours even, it was flying time and I got in a good group.

    Enjoyed the KOM and managed 9.35.

    Next year I will attack from the start and see if I can get best time.... I think I could easily get sub 4.30, but to get 4.15..... well training starts now!!
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • suzybsuzyb Posts: 3,449
    DNF :wink:

    Was freezing when the sweep bus caught me so just climbed aboard. Not that being on the bus warmed me up any :evil:

    All in all not the funnest day of my life but deserves me right for not preparing.
  • kelsenkelsen Posts: 2,003
    A great day and very well organised event. The attempt to sabotage the race again with tacks was discovered before the event started and promptly dealt with, thank goodness. I felt this year the organisers were less strict about people starting in their designated waves. I gave up trying to get past people to Wave C where I was supposed to start, and started back in Wave H instead. Didn't make much difference anyway as the electronic timing doesn't start until you cross the official start line.

    Conditions were near perfect if slightly more windy than last year. Great fun hooking up with impromptu chaingangs and trying to bridge the gap to the next group. Took my fair share of turns at the front when I was amongst these groups, but there were quite a few steadfastly refusing to do their share. I didn't stop at any of the re-fuelling points, but was forced to stop for 2 mechanicals - the first one to adjust my front derailleur which had got stuck in the small ring, and the second mechanical was because my left crank bolts had loosened and the whole thing came off! One minute I was flying along, next minute my left leg was flapping about uselessly with a crank hanging off my shoe! Watched the group I was with disappear into the horizon as I stopped to fix the crank, and cursed myself for not checking everything the night before.

    I passed the 40 mile mark at 2h 06min. With 41 miles to go it meant I was behind schedule of my sub-4hr target. Did the Schiehallion climb in 8m 27sec. On the descent, there was a girl who was awesome (and fit in all senses!). Whether through fearlessness or just knowledge of the road, she flew down cutting through swathes of cyclists. I was forced to back off because of the number of riders around me. At 3h 30min I still had about 20 miles to go. Sub-4 was unlikely as the last 10 miles had a few bumps and my legs were beginning to cramp up. With about 5 miles to go, we were met by the infamous sharp left-hander at Logierait. This is a fast descent ending in a sharp left and immediately leaves you facing a short but steep climb. I changed down well before the turn and took the turn wide, managing to keep a bit of momentum going, but the turn caught more than a few people out. There was a cacophony of crunching gears and some riders were practically at a standstill stuck in their 53x12t! :lol:

    I eventually crossed the line in 4hrs 8mins, slightly disappointed I didn't hit my target. I did what I could in the latter half to claw back the time. Without the mechanicals perhaps I might have managed it but there're so many variables, a significant one being getting yourself into a good group to share the work. Who knows. I'm still pleased that I improved my time from last year by 5 mins and once again thoroughly enjoyed the event. The locals who came out to support us were brilliant, and deserve a huge amount of credit if the organisers manage to keep the event going next year.

    Footnote: the hardest part of the event for me was cycling the 6 miles back to the camp site at Blair Atholl. The loneliest and toughest 6 miles I've ever done!
  • Sorry to hear that, Suzy. It's not easy doing any of these long rides, make the wrong clothing choice and you can really come unstuck. I decided to go with my heavier jacket on this year's Tour of East Lothian and was about cooked - spent most of the tour with it open and flapping in the wind, not great when the wind is already fighting you.

    Good effort Kelsen and Wallace, may manage to get up there and give it a crack myself one year.
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