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Etape Loch Ness

Looks like there's 1200 riders signed up for theis one. Anyone here doing it ?
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  • Yup - did you get an email from McMillan today with top tips ?
    All the gear, but no idea...
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    Yup, will be there.
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    I'm in, but having done very little over winter i'm worried about getting overtaken by the sweep team...

    :(
  • crescentcrescent Posts: 1,088
    Yep, looking forward to it. I spent a week up in Foyers last year (without my bike :( ) and it looks like it will be a good route. If you don't know the area the climb out of Fort Augustus looks like it will be pretty tough.
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  • Couldn`t get a place :( . The second lot went in 3 minutes

    Enjoy, it looks like it will be a cracking ride
    Trek,,,, too cool for school ,, apparently
  • Crescent wrote:
    Yep, looking forward to it. I spent a week up in Foyers last year (without my bike :( ) and it looks like it will be a good route. If you don't know the area the climb out of Fort Augustus looks like it will be pretty tough.

    I've done that climb three times, it's great :) Cramped the first time which was on the Ness 360 years ago. Did it again myself one day, then again on the First Monster team event and did well.

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  • ajkerr73ajkerr73 Posts: 312
    I'm in with a few other mates. Route looks like a very similar terrain to Etape Cally but less 15 miles.

    Looking forward to it!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Just seen today that they intend to order the starts from fastest to slowest ... the slowest starting off last ...

    er ... that's entirely logical - those who may only just scrape through average speed will get swept before the top of the climb and be out the event - whereas if they let them off first they'd at least get and extra 20 minutes to get to the top ...

    Should've put in that our expected time was 2.5hrs shouldn't I ... :(

    /*pissed off*/
  • htsw5htsw5 Posts: 72
    I thought most big events did it this way so you don't get lots of slower riders needing to be overtaken by the faster ones.

    I hear what you are saying about average speed, but it will be more pleasant to be with riders of the same pace and not too many riders blasting past.

    At the Etape Caley last year me and a mate had differing experiences. We both ended up with similar middling times, but he started in the first group and was repeatedly dropped (which he found depressing) - I started in the last group and was continually overtaking slower riders, which wasn't always easy given the narrow roads.

    We both ended up wondering what it would have been like if we had started with similarly paced riders - this year we'll be in the right groups.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    None of the sportives I've ridden have had allocated times - other than for the various distances - and I've never had a problem. We've always tended to head off early - with my wife this means we get overtaken most of the day - although some do pause to draft us for a bit. The one I did with my brother was somewhat different and we ended up well in front of anyone else - having headed off in the second wave, overtaken practically everyone and as we were riding the shorter course we rode the vast majority by ourselves - we were first at the second feed station (shared with the longer route) and first back home - but I did the sportive to ride with him (was originally with my wife - but she got injured) and the country rather than ride with others.

    I believe it will be the same for this one - we're not trophy hunting - just trying to get around in good a time/pace - we're practiced at riding together.

    I can understand in a big race (race, not sportive) where you want the participants to have a clear run - but this isn't a race, it's a sportive, and whilst there is still a desire for faster riders to have a clear run, setting off a mixed bunch of riders every 2 minutes over a 24 minute window isn't going to hold up many - if any - providing the riders stick to the code and ride on the left.

    In future I'll stick to sportives or audaxes where you don't get jumped up organisers telling you "it's for safety" - because that's rubbish and they (should) know it.
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    I think it's very sensible, personally... Most hobby cyclists will be fine with the average speed requirements even if they start in the last wave. The last thing you want is a group of 100 of the very fastest guys trying to squeeze past 900 slower riders.
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,377
    Slowbike wrote:
    None of the sportives I've ridden have had allocated times - other than for the various distances - and I've never had a problem. We've always tended to head off early - with my wife this means we get overtaken most of the day - although some do pause to draft us for a bit. The one I did with my brother was somewhat different and we ended up well in front of anyone else - having headed off in the second wave, overtaken practically everyone and as we were riding the shorter course we rode the vast majority by ourselves - we were first at the second feed station (shared with the longer route) and first back home - but I did the sportive to ride with him (was originally with my wife - but she got injured) and the country rather than ride with others.

    I believe it will be the same for this one - we're not trophy hunting - just trying to get around in good a time/pace - we're practiced at riding together.

    I can understand in a big race (race, not sportive) where you want the participants to have a clear run - but this isn't a race, it's a sportive, and whilst there is still a desire for faster riders to have a clear run, setting off a mixed bunch of riders every 2 minutes over a 24 minute window isn't going to hold up many - if any - providing the riders stick to the code and ride on the left.

    In future I'll stick to sportives or audaxes where you don't get jumped up organisers telling you "it's for safety" - because that's rubbish and they (should) know it.

    It is one of the very few closed road sportives in the UK. It is my understanding that unlike public road sportives, the technicalities of it being closed road means that times etc can be listed in order of fastest > slowest rider thus meaning that it is actually a race.

    Etape Caledonia do exactly the same. If you do the big European sportives / Gran Fondos they do exactly the same.

    I you wish to have a leisurely ride around the route can I suggest doing just that. The organisers cannot prevent you from finishing the course. Even if the roads were not closed you will be riding in some of the most quiet roads in the entire UK. I have ridden the Sth Loch Ness roads many many times and seldom encountered traffic.

    No matter what time you start you will have a brilliant day riding on brilliant roads.
  • NairnsterNairnster Posts: 602
    How are people travelling from further afield coping with having to Register vthe day before?
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    We've managed to find a place to stay for 4 of us costing about £45 each...
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I've been told that a) they don't rigerously enforce your start time and b) the sweep car is quite generous - so I'm hoping to get away early - prob 2nd or 3rd wave to give us a fighting chance to get to Fort A and head start on the Cat2 climb - that's going to be the sticking point as my wife isn't a mountain goat (pleased about that). If we're swept on the climb then fine - it's over 1/2 way and I'm half expecting that we don't make it to the top - happy to complete the ride on open roads - it'd just be a bit galling if they do as stated on the website and we started last as we'd be caught before 2.5 miles as there is a short climb to get over first....

    we've got a hotel booked for 3 nights - but we are coming up from the other end of the country so it's a mini-break for us really ...
  • alan_aalan_a Posts: 1,377
    Enjoy your mini break. Wonderful part of the country.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I know - we've driven around there in the winter - usually stay near Fort William - never taken bikes up though ..
  • Names / numbers now out - the various waves will be off between 06:30 and 07:00, so not much in it.

    Local newspaper had a public notice by Highland Council for the Order for road closures. Woohoo, getting excited, but have no idea how the. Glendoe climb is going to go....

    :lol:
    All the gear, but no idea...
  • eheh Posts: 4,854
    thus meaning that it is actually a race.

    It's not according to the organisers, it's just a ride. Which is exactly how I'm going to treat it. Races don't have 1000+ riders.

    Hoping for nice, weather, but not looking good at present. :(
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Depends where you look - weatheronline has it as overcast ...
    Don't mind as long as it isn't torrential ...
  • GarryboyGarryboy Posts: 344
    I've found xc weather to be fairly accurate, particularly for wind. I don't mind a bit of rain, take that over a strong wind any day.
    http://www.xcweather.co.uk/forecast/Inverness
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    and so the forecast changes again ...

    that's the problem with these detailed long range forecasts - we want to believe them, but most of the time the models aren't good enough for an accurate forecast for tomorrow - let alone a few days time.

    I've been keeping an eye on the forecasts and the wind has changed from an easterly to a westerly and now a XC is suggesting a SSW ... judging by the lay of the land a surface level SW is more likely but it should be fairly light.
    Rain has gone from showers, to occasional showers to now cloudy with sun - the latter would be nice, but I think I might just put the rain jacket in anyway!

    5 days ago they were forecasting temperatures of up to 13°C - so we've prepared for a chillier ride - now we're looking for midday temps of around 17°C - so perhaps short sleeves and arm warmers may be more appropriate!
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    If the weather is going to be naff, I might get to the registration early and take these guys up on their offer...


    GORE BIKE WEAR(R) will be offering the opportunity for riders to demo one of their award-winning GORE-TEX(R) or WINDSTOPPER(R) jackets during this year's Etape Loch Ness for FREE!

    Simply visit the GORE BIKE WEAR(R) stand at the Event Hub, choose a garment to borrow, use it for your ride on the Sunday and drop it back to the GORE BIKE WEAR(R) team on the finish line......simple.

    All GORE ask is that you give the garments a thoroughly good testing!

    GORE BIKE WEAR(R) will also have a range of products available to purchase on the day for a special event price with every purchase receiving a free pair of Gore socks!

    Men's and ladies GORE-TEX(R) and WINDSTOPPER(R) jackets, Jerseys, bib-tights and gloves from Gore's best-selling POWER range will be available to purchase.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,118
    It’s bitterly cold and wet in Dundee today. My hands still haven’t warmed up. Hoping it’s a wee bit warmer up there on Sunday morning!

    I’ve gone from having a strong block of training last week to feeling really rough this week with streaming eyes. I could end up crawling round at this rate! :-(
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    If the weather is going to be naff, I might get to the registration early and take these guys up on their offer...
    Hmm ... that's an idea ... although if it was going to be that wet then I'd wear the dinghy racing kit ... complete with buoyancy aid! ;)
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It’s bitterly cold and wet in Dundee today. My hands still haven’t warmed up. Hoping it’s a wee bit warmer up there on Sunday morning!

    I’ve gone from having a strong block of training last week to feeling really rough this week with streaming eyes. I could end up crawling round at this rate! :-(

    Have packed the mild winter gloves (ie not the ski-gloves for negative temp) as well as mitts ... I intend that we'll take both pairs with us as I suspect it'll be chilly to start with, so long fingers required and if they get soaked then I can change gloves for a dry pair part way round ...
    I did a sportive where it rained heavily from about 1/2 way round, my hands got wet, cold and were that stiff that I couldn't easily change gear for the last 15 miles ... so rode it single speed ...

    Training hasn't gone to plan either ... injury, colds and weather have put paid to the longer rides and climbing practice I'd been planning for my wife ... so will have to wing it ... :(
  • nweststeynnweststeyn Posts: 1,574
    It’s bitterly cold and wet in Dundee today. My hands still haven’t warmed up. Hoping it’s a wee bit warmer up there on Sunday morning!

    I’ve gone from having a strong block of training last week to feeling really rough this week with streaming eyes. I could end up crawling round at this rate! :-(

    That depends on your definition of crawl! You got your start time yet?

    I've been looking at two different profiles and one shows most of the route is undulating, the other shows it's super flat. Anyone got experience of these roads?
  • ColinthecopColinthecop Posts: 996
    Yeah, the southbound bit from Inverness to Ft Augustus is fairly flat as it follows the loch. There's a bit of a hill coming out of inverness at Torvean and another leaving Drumnadrochit, passing urquhart castle.

    The biggie is leaving Ft Augustus up to the Suidh viewpoint. There is a bit of flat to break it up as you pass Loch Tarf.

    Short steep climb coming into Foyers than a long climb, but not steep leaving Dores up to Scaniport.
  • thegreatdividethegreatdivide Posts: 5,118
    nweststeyn wrote:
    It’s bitterly cold and wet in Dundee today. My hands still haven’t warmed up. Hoping it’s a wee bit warmer up there on Sunday morning!

    I’ve gone from having a strong block of training last week to feeling really rough this week with streaming eyes. I could end up crawling round at this rate! :-(

    That depends on your definition of crawl! You got your start time yet?

    I've been looking at two different profiles and one shows most of the route is undulating, the other shows it's super flat. Anyone got experience of these roads?

    I’m meant to be off at 6:30….#10 – FFS!

    It’s my mate’s 40th on Sunday and his first sportive, so depending on how I’m feeling I might just forgo an attempt at a fast time and chaperone him round the course.

    By the way, said birthday boy did a recon by car the other month – some of the roads are not in the best condition…
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Yeah, the southbound bit from Inverness to Ft Augustus is fairly flat as it follows the loch. There's a bit of a hill coming out of inverness at Torvean and another leaving Drumnadrochit, passing urquhart castle.

    The biggie is leaving Ft Augustus up to the Suidh viewpoint. There is a bit of flat to break it up as you pass Loch Tarf.

    Short steep climb coming into Foyers than a long climb, but not steep leaving Dores up to Scaniport.


    Ta :)

    Aiming to do the first 1/2 at 14-15mph average ... all bets are off for the main climb and from the top back it won't matter although I suspect I'll have to pedal quite a bit ...
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