Bit of an epic - what lessons to be learned?

deadhead1971
deadhead1971 Posts: 338
edited February 2013 in Road general
Had a bit of an epic day out yesterday.
What's the moral of the story?

http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2013/02/su ... f-an-epic/
Alan
http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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Comments

  • Had a bit of an epic day out yesterday.
    What's the moral of the story?

    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/2013/02/su ... f-an-epic/
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


    The Ultimate List of Strava Add On Sites!
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/strava-sites
  • bianchimoon
    bianchimoon Posts: 3,942
    Nice story, brings back memories of very cold days on hills BBRRRRR
    All lies and jest..still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest....
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    Forget the co2 inflator, what happens when you have no cylinders left or it goes horribly wrong and your tube explodes ? A decent pump is better, a lezyne road drive.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • Looks like a nice route. My mother-in-law lives in Llangwyfan so not a million miles from your circuit. I've had some cold rides around that way myself and I know that ford well from the last two Etape Cymrus. You guys must've been close to hypothermic, I think I might have stopped at the pub at the base of Horseshoe Pass and phoned for a lift :)
  • We did think about it!
    We were so desperate to warm up that cycling up the horseshoe pass seemed to be the natural thing to do. It helped, and I could almost feel my fingers again by the time we got to the top.
    Thinking of carrying a blizzard bag if I go up there in winter again!
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    What happened?
  • antfly wrote:
    Forget the co2 inflator, what happens when you have no cylinders left or it goes horribly wrong and your tube explodes ? A decent pump is better, a lezyne road drive.

    Good point! I like lezyne stuff, always feels well engineered. Actually lezyne do a CO2 inflator with a nozzle to vary the speed of inflation. This minimises the risk of blowing it up too far. You could still run out of gas though...
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


    The Ultimate List of Strava Add On Sites!
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  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Nasty. Just shows how quickly you can chill on a ride. If you're doing more winter epics - maybe get a survival blanket to put in your back pocket - you could wrap that round you under a top and keep the heat in if needed ?

    And another vote for the Lezyne.
  • There isn't much to be learned here to be honest. It's just bad luck! I always take 2 tubes with me when facing such conditions just in case I puncture more than once, simply because of one really bad ride I had once, but stopping in the middle of a storm to fix a puncture is always terrible when it's cold.

    I don't remember the distance but it was a long ride in a very bad day (very cold and lots of rain right from home). It was a solo ride and I punctured on top of a mountain in an entirely open area, just as I started descending it. I didn't have another tube as I had already punctured once, so I had to fix the tube under a serious storm. By the time I was done I was extremely cold and my HR was dangerously low. I got on my bike and started sprinting like crazy to the top of the mountain and descending a bit repeatedly just so I could warmup. After a few repeats my legs were dead but I could at least feel my body (except my fingers, etc). My fingers were so cold I couldn't even put enough pressure on the water bottle for any water to come out (they just folded back), let alone actually brake. I had to take the gloves off and put the fingers inside my mouth as I was riding for them to warm up enough to work properly. I'll never forget that ride.

    Moral of the story: You survived so it's just another cool adventure to remember (and hopefully it won't happen again).
  • Does sound like and epic ride indeed.

    Guess there is not much to be learned as you were pretty well prepared by the sounds of it. In winter I tend to ride with both Co2 and a mini pump that sits behind my bottle cages just in case.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • what do they call it? - character building :lol:
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Good little write-up,

    Always a great feeling after rides like that when the feeling finally comes back in your fingers and toes, back in the house in fresh clothes feeling very proud.
  • Mikey23
    Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Lessons to be learned... If you had been on your own you could have been in deep trouble.

    Being with mates probably spurred you on beyond comfort where being on your own you would have long since turned back

    You were as well prepared as you could have been

    You might have been better off staying in and watching rugby on the telly like me
  • random man
    random man Posts: 1,518
    It's a good story, luckily no-one was hurt too much, but maybe, sometimes, it isn't wise to MTFU :)
  • philwint
    philwint Posts: 763
    Sounds good - one of those if it hasn't killed you it's made you stronger moments :)

    Plenty to talk about for years to come.

    A survival bag is a great idea though - been meaning to get one for winter mountaineering jaunts, but can see that cycling applications too. shame they are a bit bulky for a jersey pocket.
  • antfly wrote:
    Forget the co2 inflator, what happens when you have no cylinders left or it goes horribly wrong and your tube explodes ? A decent pump is better, a lezyne road drive.

    Good point! I like lezyne stuff, always feels well engineered. Actually lezyne do a CO2 inflator with a nozzle to vary the speed of inflation. This minimises the risk of blowing it up too far. You could still run out of gas though...

    Iv got the lezyne one and its spot on. As long as you carry spare cylinders your laughing!! Good read, at least you all made it back in kind of one piece!!
  • A friend of mine does a lot of mountaineering, qualified mountain leader and so on. Bumped into him today and told him this story, he recommended a "blizzard bag" which is basically like a foil sleeping bag, but multi layered so that it's insulated and reflects the heat back to you. The best thing is that it comes compressed - about the size of an old vhs tape, so that would probably fit in a jersey pocket. Worth it if there's a chance of being on high, exposed ground in awful weather.
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    A friend of mine does a lot of mountaineering, qualified mountain leader and so on. Bumped into him today and told him this story, he recommended a "blizzard bag" which is basically like a foil sleeping bag, but multi layered so that it's insulated and reflects the heat back to you. The best thing is that it comes compressed - about the size of an old vhs tape, so that would probably fit in a jersey pocket. Worth it if there's a chance of being on high, exposed ground in awful weather.

    Blizzard bag is a good product. One word of warning though; don't, out of curiosity or otherwise, open it up unless you intend using it. It will not fold down to such a size again :(

    Good read by the way, although I won't be coming for a sunday ride with your club any time soon :wink:
  • Garry H wrote:
    Blizzard bag is a good product. One word of warning though; don't, out of curiosity or otherwise, open it up unless you intend using it. It will not fold down to such a size again :(

    Good read by the way, although I won't be coming for a sunday ride with your club any time soon :wink:

    Thanks Garry. It's not always like that! At least we always look after each other. Nobody gets left behind :-)
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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  • Thanks for all the positive feedback - firstly about my write up (I'm glad people found it enjoyable to read) and also the support element. My wife wasn't so understanding and seemed very keen to find something or someone to "blame".
    If I had to pinpoint something, it would be the Flak-Jacket tyres that came with the bike (my winter bike, a specialised allez). I've had a few punctures commuting to work but it takes something like that to make you realise the benefits of investing in something more puncture resistant. Currently researching what to get, as one of my club mates said those hardshells are near impossible to get on the rim.
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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  • petemadoc
    petemadoc Posts: 2,331
    I've had a few rides like that in the past.

    Co2 is a must in cold weather bit always carry a good pump too.
  • philwint wrote:
    A survival bag is a great idea though - been meaning to get one for winter mountaineering jaunts, but can see that cycling applications too. shame they are a bit bulky for a jersey pocket.

    Sorry - been reading this thread for the past day but had to reply.

    Do you not think that if the conditions are sufficiently bad that you might want to consider taking a 'survival bag' that actually, it's not sensible to go out cycling?

    From the original post it sounds like one of those things - and as others have said it's a good day for character building. But I can't see the idea of a survival bag for cyclists taking off - if it's bad enough weather to need it, you shouldn't be out!

    Lessons learned for the OP:

    Bad (weather) days on the bike are always made better by riding with friends
    Knowing you've conquered the elements and thrived should give you confidence for when the weather gets better
    Always know your nearest port-of-call if the weather turns treacherous
  • I'm not sure where you are geographically, but we have some big hills in Wales, and the weather at the top of those hills can be very different, and less predictable than at lower altitudes.
    The difference in altitude between the start of our ride and the point at which we ran into difficulty was about 1200ft.
    So yes, you might say well don't go up hills then.

    I think there will always be risks in any given environment. Had I not been unlucky enough to suffer my second puncture of the day, right at the high altitude point, in blizzard conditions, we'd actually have just ridden through it (because we're men of steel, hehe)

    A space blanket is a good idea anyway (not necessarily the bulkier bag type ones) because any cyclist anywhere has the potential to have an accident and be immobilised. It's frightening how quickly you can go into shock and suffer a dangerous drop in core temperature, so you could argue that a basic space blanket (about the size of a pack of cards, folded up) should be an essential part of everyone's kit.
    But where do you draw the line, you know?

    People will have different levels of what they see as an acceptable risk.
    Alan
    http://www.scarletfire.co.uk


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  • andyrr
    andyrr Posts: 1,819
    A ride of any decent length should see you carry 2 tubes plus a pump that you are confident will get sufficient air in the tyre so that you can actually continue on your way and not have to turn for home with a semi-inflated tyre bouncing off the rim. Similar if you're riding with a group, there really should be a simple agreement that everyone has at least 1 spare tube and ideally 2. If some of the group split off then that can see 1 lone rider, having punctured once with the group, then puncturing again with nothing to get him going again. Obviously anyone can puncture more than twice but these days carrying tubes+pump+phone+a few quid for emergency food is easy enough.

    Weather can obviously change on a ride - IA club run I was involved in a couple of years ago left in nice enough weather but barely 5 miles later had us encountering horrible sleet and that was as we were close to the coast, not way up in the hills. The sensible thing would have been to at least alter our route to facilitate a shorter return home and we could have started cutting through the back-lanes to allow a continuation of the originally planned distance but a more zig-zag course if the weather steadied but oh no, we carried on regardless and about 30 miles later most of us were soakng wet and cold and when we all finally reached our various homes we were frozen to the bone and I had to have my wife assist me with the removal of various items of clothing as my digits were totally ineffective at gripping anything.

    The stuff of legendary club rides is what days like those are made of ! Or stupidity - it definately felt like the latter at the time - I stopped a number of times in the last 10 or so miles to my house as my gloves were acting as sponges for the freezing water and riding bare-handed actually wasn't much worse than with the gloves on. Had I punctured I think I might have just walked home !
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    I spent many of my formative years camping and winter climbing in among other places North Wales. I was always told to prepare for the worst and hope not to need the extra gear. Only once did a spectacular change in the weather catch us out, but I know without the survival gear we'd have had frostbite and possibly fatalities (this was in Glencoe).

    I suspect if I was cycling in N Wales in February I'd be taking extra clothing and food. Each to his own I suppose.