Worst 50 miles of my life - Never again

Thelittlesthobo Posts: 184
edited July 2011 in Road beginners
I started riding in April following a knee injury. The road riding is my rehab which tbh will also be my main sport for future so its all good. Have slowly developed my speeds and distances so i can tick off things like

10 miles under 30mins
20 miles under 1 hr
30 miles - Regular
40 miles - Twice
Commuting etc etc.

Its all good and feeling quite a bit fitter atm.

So yesterday i had a job to do in St Bees. Thought it would be an ideal oppertunity to get some proper miles in. I am based in Carlisle and the road linking the two is the A595. A road and dual carrieageway all the way. Very undulating (41mph top speed).

It rained from the minute i set off and the wind on my solo ride was horrid. Add to that the constant drone of cars and trucks flying past, my head was pounding. Managed to complete 50 miles in just over 3hrs but i was a phsical wreck after. It was so bad i think i will be scared to ride another one in those conditions.

Not really canvassing comments but it opened my eyes to how the conditions can effect a ride along with poor choice of route.


  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    Yep - agree - I do everything to avoid major roads, and when I do have to do them, it's usually at 0600hrs on a Sunday morning!
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I don't do major roads. Plenty of quiet alternatives round here. If I do get knocked off the bike it'll be by a suicidal badger wanting to get the cull underway.
  • antlaff
    antlaff Posts: 583
    Secteur wrote:
    Yep - agree - I do everything to avoid major roads, and when I do have to do them, it's usually at 0600hrs on a Sunday morning!

    same here - avoid at all costs, try to stick to country roads although it does affect my average speed due to road condition, etc.
  • andy46
    andy46 Posts: 1,666
    Same here, Only really do main roads early on a morning or late evening.

    When I go to work on the bike it depends what shift I'm on, even then though if it's busy going to work it's nice and quiet on the way home as I work shifts.
    2019 Ribble CGR SL

    2015 Specialized Roubaix Sport sl4

    2014 Specialized Allez Sport
  • solosuperia
    solosuperia Posts: 333
    Like many I guess, I abhor roads other than the country lanes but.......................
    In the rural east Midlands... Same lane, same time, same day of the week, out of the blue it is like the M25 on a Friday night at 6:00pm. Alright a slight exaggeration, 6 or 7 vehicles and a tractor, not obviously together.
    What in heavens name possess them to suddenly up and drive down this bit of road, where for months the only sign of life has been a hare or a pheasant?
  • I wish i had thought like that. I actually times it to coincide with rush hour.

    Couldnt believe how much noise a truck makes going past within mm's.

    I did learn a valuable lesson though which i will carry into further rides. Because it was so wet and undulating after about 20miles i started to get down on the drops to get a bit more streamlined. Even on the uphills i noticed my speed increase by 2-3mph. I havent been too comfortable on the drops really but this enforced periods of time helped me.
  • ColinT2
    ColinT2 Posts: 29
    I know the road (A595) quite well as I'm also based in Carlisle. I tend to avoid it (being notoriously busy and dangerous) and use the quieter side roads but if I do it's only for a short distance then off again.
  • MountainMonster
    MountainMonster Posts: 7,423
    Be a man, draft a truck.

    Jokes aside, I know the pain, a few months ago on a ride we were about 60km from home, and it started pissing it down. Rather than taking the nice scenic route and get home after riding 60 more km, we decided since we had no waterproofs, and it was disgusting to balls and it take the side of the autobahn. Huge headwind, torrential downpours, and 2 dudes on mountain bikes. Not a good combo.
  • Hi Colin. Do you ride with any groups in Carlisle. Just trying to get myself along to one of the BCW rides.
  • It wouldnt have been so bad if i had someone with me to take the heat for a while.

    The lesson i learnt was to not go out gung-ho and just ride. Plan the ride and the route to avoid A roads.

    I am hoping the next 50mile ride i do will be a much more pleasant experience
  • ColinT2
    ColinT2 Posts: 29
    Hi Colin. Do you ride with any groups in Carlisle. Just trying to get myself along to one of the BCW rides.
    Hi, I'm not a member of any groups and generally cycle on my own but as it happens I'm looking for a cycle buddy or two.
    PM me if you are interested in a ride out.
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    When I started cycling, the only roads I knew were the ones I drove, so that's what I cycled & I quickly realised how horrible it was.

    I started doing random rides along random local B-roads and lanes and discovered some fantastic country roads right on my doorstep that I didnt even know existed.

    I will often plan a route that is significantly further, more hilly & time consuming just to avoid a main road, but I have come to enjoy it.

    Occasionally, needs must and there is an unavoidable A-road, but just try and minimise those.

    Bike mapping sites (ridewithgps, mapmyride, bikeroutetoaster) are very useful to study - you will be surpirsed how many little roads you will spot that you didnt know about!
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    PS a local cycling group will also show you safe routes you may not have known about
  • springtide9
    springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    I have shared your pain. Found myself in that situation after doing my first Sportive... and was trying to meet my wife half way to get picked up. Raining, cold, high winds, trucks that suck you into their wheels. Not nice at all.

    It was my main reason/justification for getting a Garmin - to be able to plan routes (or navigate) avoiding the main roads.
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    Bah did the Newbury Maginficat in the pouring rain this year...rain didn't even stop for 2 minutes...127 miles of wet fun ;)

    There were 2 points in that day where I seriously considered giving up...one was up on a moor with the rain coming sideways and a massive crosswind...blind in one eye from rain coming in behind my glasses and the glasses steamed up in the other eye doing a 30MPH decent....couldn't see a thing and was not having fun!

    Never been so wet and my feet and hands were shrivelled to hell when I did eventually finish :p
  • carl_p
    carl_p Posts: 989
    Cycling is supposed to be a pleasure so why the hell ride on a busy dual carriageway? Motor vehicle only land in my view, otherwise you are dicing with death - especially with pillocks like me tanking down them at 90 mph :wink:
    Specialized Venge S Works
    Cannondale Synapse
    Enigma Etape
    Genesis Flyer Single Speed

    Turn the corner, rub my eyes and hope the world will last...
  • Yep it was a lesson learnt.

    Collin - PM sent