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Tour de Yorkshire Sportive and potatoes

I did the long (140km) ride yesterday. I have some observations people might like to comment on:

I nearly didn't start but thought, "How bad can it be?" Pretty bad as it turned out. Probably the worst conditions I've ridden in for a long time. I set off at about 7:10- and was soaked by 7:20! Couple of things I don't really get: It was +5 with near horizontal heavy rain which was forecast to last a couple of hours- how could some people think it was a good idea to set off in shorts, short sleeve top and armwarmers with no rain jacket, overshoes or even gloves? I saw a couple of people at the first feed shivering uncontrollably- only one step away from hypothermia.

Second: Potatoes! Nice to have a savory choice at the feeds but this seems like a strange one. By the time I got to the second feed they were cutting energy bars in half and obviously close to running out (okay, maybe I should pedal faster...). By the time I got to the third feed (Addingham) it was flapjacks and Yorkshire puddings (even more strange than spuds and nutritionally a bit dubious for a sportive) only! A sportive is all about the route and the food- the feed stations need looking at if they do it again next year. On a positive note, the route would have been wonderful if it wasn't hidden by low cloud and rain and the support from both organisers and crowds was excellent.


  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Clearly beginners there and foolish ones at that. You dont have to be an experienced cyclist to realise that you need a bit of kit to survive in bad weather.

    Potatoes sound quite good to me ?
  • alanp23alanp23 Posts: 696
    cougie wrote:
    Clearly beginners there and foolish ones at that. You dont have to be an experienced cyclist to realise that you need a bit of kit to survive in bad weather.

    Potatoes sound quite good to me ?

    I help run the 65 Roses Holme Moss Classic in September. Its the third edition this year (plug plug!!). After the first edition, the feedback we got from some quarters were for "Minted Potatoes". Weird, in my eyes but we provided them last year, courtesy of Albert Bartlett. People loved them. Some people want something savoury as well as cake, sweets and fruit. However, I have to say the little Yorkshire Puddings yesterday were absolutely gorgeous.

    I totally agree with the comments on kit. I went out yesterday at 6.40am, in full weather gear. Totally soaked within 15 mins, but I managed to stay warm. Could possibly have done without the leggings but to do it only in a top and nothing over the shoes seemed like a recipe for disaster.

    Good ride and ironically not quite as wet as the Cheshire Cat.
    Top Ten finisher - PTP Tour of Britain 2016
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    Agree Big Geordie - I was under the roofed bit at the first feed stop next to one guy who couldn't hold his phone right as he was shivering so much. I had to go in there to take my overshoes and boots off to get to my socks - which I rung out and put back on. Nice. I had two changes of gloves, and all of them were soaking wet by the end. Carnage.
    Yes, the lack of views on the high bits was a bit of a disappointment, and I wish I had bothered to fit a front light as I had just dismissed the advice thinking they wouldn't be needed from 6.30am onwards (I set off at 6.50am). Saying that, there were always people who did have lights in the groups I was in, so not really a problem.
    The food was a bit poor tbh, I had a few of the Zipvit energy bars (which were quite nice), and a handful of Jaffa Cakes, but I thought the spuds were a weird idea. The Yorkshire puds might have been a nice alternative, but given they had bits of dead pig in them (I'm a veggie, can you tell?), I couldn't partake.
    The climb of Howarth's cobbled hill and the Cow and Calf in Ilkley were high points (ho ho) for me, as there were already plenty of people out to encourage us.

    I don't know about anyone else, but getting back to the car park at the leisure centre was a right pain. I followed instructions from some bloke and I ended up doing the last 5km again!

    Not sure I'd do it again though, not sure it was worth £50 - the Fred Whitton is much better!
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,534
    Weather was atrocious but manageable. I got the sense that there were a lot of cyclists who were (in the nicest possible way) either fair weather or relatively new cyclists. So they didn't all have the kit. It's taken me many years to get the right mix of kit for riding all year round in UK weather. If I hadn't paid up TBH I wouldn't have ridden...

    A big fan of the potatoes. Always like something savory and with a bit of salt and butter they're a lovely alternative to all the sweet stuff.

    The feedstops in general through were very disappointing. The worst bit of the ride, particularly given the entry cost. Poor mix of food and nowhere nearly enough. The Maserati feed was a joke. The Yorkshire Puds were a nice idea, but how about catering to veggies. And only having flapjack as an alternative wasn't good enough.

    On the other hand, great signage and marshaling. And I was blown away by the number of supporters on the road at 8am in the pouring rain. The crowds definitely made the day.

    Alan - 65 Roses looks good. I like the separate loos idea!
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Yorkshire Puddings - whats not to like? :D

    Vegetarians well pah! :D
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  • PART1 forget the spuds,lets talk about the rain.Right ,first of all, I didnt finish,no I didnt even start.This is what happened,I was due to start at 830,got my gear on inside car with doors shut ,as I was getting soaked ,just getting ready,put a cagool on and over trousers , rode to the start shivering ,got there for 800,listened as the comentator called for all us long course riders to go ,now,just go NOW,.I stood under the trees watching in disbelief,hundreds of riders just rode off, some sensible ones had lights, some in shorts ,others in flimsy raincoats ,others had the luxury of wearing a bin bag.apart from about 20 of us hiding under a tree nobody seemed to care,as the rain flew past horizontally,and off they all went like lambs to the slaughter,
    As the man shouted for more riders to go ,the more ,I didnt want to go,maybe it was my new 35£ shimano goretex gloves that wernt working, I already had wet cold hands,maybe it was the fact ,i had pulled my calf muscle going up that hill ,to the start,or was it ,that doubt had set in, how far would i get, how would i find my way back if i had to quit,what if i had to be rescued ,how many people actually fit in that broom wagon,could i ring my wife ,who would be 80 miles away in lincolnshire,she might not be brave enough to navigate round these parts ,looking for me shivering on some roadside.I think I had the main excuse ,2 years ago i rode the 3 peaks cross race and suffered close to hyperthermia it wasnt clever,so there you are the terrible decision was made and I dejectedly rode back to the car,please read part 2,
  • PART2 forget the spuds,so there i was riding back alone,feeling very sad,I struggled to get my keys in the car door when I got back ,my hands were totally numb,I talked to 2 police ladies who looked colder than me,who said they had no choice being there because that was there job,and a couple of frozen car park attendants ,who had well had enough.
    I got out of the car park,spotting lots of cars ,stuck in the traffic still trying to get to the leisure centre,I went to macdonalds and sat watching out the window, as hundreds more cyclists rode to the start.At that point I was feeling really down,all the training I had done to get here,weeks of riding in censored cold weather,all in vain,what a waste of money,maybe I just wasnt tough enough and all sorts of negative thoughts but then I had a real positive thought,maybe if I had gone for it and got round ,although realistically ,in those conditions, probably about 2 hours slower than i had planned,I would have come home even more miserable ,cold wet and battered .So there you have it.we live to fight another day.
    What i d like to know does anyone else want to share their experience,ive nearly got over it now and contemplating buying some warmer gear and maybe doing another one soon..
  • markhewitt1978markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    That's the reason I don't do a lot of sportives any more. Too many I've paid out my money and didn't get as far as diving there. Saw the forecast and decided against the day before. Bike riding is about enjoyment and fitness is a nice byproduct.

    So these days I just ride from home if the westher is bad doesn't matter I'll do that route next time.
  • I think the lesson is come prepared, to think their's people out there willing to do a 100+ sportive in a bin bag is just crazy. I might look a Tw%t with a waterproof jacket, waterproof over pants, boot covers and best of all a pair of petrol station gloves (cost nowt) over my own supposedly waterproof gloves, but I'll be mainly dry and more importantly warm and and a whole lot happier. All fits in 2 back pockets if its forecast heavy rain. I love cycling in the rain and getting wet if i'm close ish to home, but being out in it for 8 hours and losing the feeling in your hands and feet is one of the worst feelings a cyclist can have. I'm sure a lot of us have been there and theirs nothing manly or more miserable about standing at a feed station 50 miles in shivering and soaking wet wrapped in a life saver wondering if you can go on and wishing you'd stayed in bed.
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    I think normally for Sportives I'll wait until the last possible minute to decide to risk the weather, as I did for the Open Wheel West Riding Classic back in April, and that turned out well as it was a lovely sunny day (if a little cold). With this type of event though, you are forced to sign up early as they sell out well in advance. I think therefore a different mindset is required - 'I'm doing it whatever the weather' (especially as they normally cost around £50). I almost think this is better as there's no pontification required, you've done the hours of training, shelled out the cash, booked the accommodation (if required) etc, etc. To not then ride because you've not brought the correct gear/just don't fancy it is a shame.
    I understand the weather was appalling, and I too got drenched just getting my gear on, but I'm still really glad I did it, the sense of achievement outweighed the discomfort (just!), and there were enough people on the road to engender a sense of cameraderie.
    Having said all that, I don't really blame people for sacking it off - sometimes just getting going is the hardest part - but personally I just couldn't not do it having made all the effort of getting to the start line.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 11,177
    "There's no such thing as bad weather - only unsuitable clothing"

    But then I find cycling in bad weather strangely satisfying.
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