This years cycling challenge...

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Replicant
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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Replicant » 22 Jan 2018, 14:24

Well I have been off the bike for 4 months being lazy. I went out at the weekend and did 18 very muddy and wet miles and realised I have lost a fair bit of fitness since September.

Anyway, I was thinking about what to do for this years challenge and have been thinking about doing the BHF South Downs Way Off Road Ride. This is approximately 4000m of climbing over 100 miles in one day and is a big step up on the 75 mile London to Brighton Off Road due to the climbing.

In addition to this I was also thinking of doing the 2019 Strathpuffer if you were interested Johnmcl7 or anyone else?
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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Johnmcl7 » 22 Jan 2018, 23:26

The advantage of the rigid fat bike is there's no excuses for stopping riding over winter, I had a superb ride up the Cairngorms just before Christmas and a four hour ride out in the snow under a bright moon before New Year. I had a pretty rough start to the year work wise though and annoyingly after getting the brakes bled, the rear one still isn't working properly after being at -9 so I'm wondering if I've wrecked a seal. Toying with just sticking a new brake on it and get it working, I've bought a new set for the hardtail to replace its crappy Sram brakes which I should probably get on with doing as it's near the end of January already. I'm really looking forward to getting back onto hardtail when it dries up a bit, the fat bike makes the crappy conditions a lot more enjoyable but I am missing the faster plus bike to throw around.

I have been thinking about events to do as well although I've mostly reached about as much as I want to do on a single day, now it's looking at multiple day events which I'm not so keen on as after a long ride I generally don't want to see the bike again any time soon never mind get back on it. I did Ten under the Ben a couple of years ago which aside from being a bit tough doing a downhill course on a fully rigid bike, it was quite fun as it's just ten hours long so you just ride for the day without worrying about the overnight part. They also do a mountain marathon which I quite want to try but sounds tough as it's Enduro timing so there's some technical downhill stuff but it's also cross country so while the fat bike is good for the latter (particularly given how wet the area often is) it would b poor for the former. There's a seven hour endurance event at the Edinburgh trail centre which I should really give a go as I've never ridden there and now I've done a solo endurance race (always wanted to get a team before I'd do it), I'd prefer it again as there's no pressure and you can go out when you want.

I also quite fancy doing Fort Willliam to Inverness particularly now with the channel 4 program on it but that's quite a tough run and I've been preferring focusing on endurance on the road bike and fun stuff on the mountain bike.

I can't see me doing the Puffer again, the first time I did it in the snow and ice it wasn't bad but the last time it was too warm and as it's not purpose built bike track, the mass of bikes tore up the track and turned it into a soft muddy mess which was really hard work to get the bike through even on its massive low pressure tyres. The mud there is quite gritty as well so in those conditions it just ruined the bike leaving it needing new pedals, mud guards, cassette, chain and bottom bracket despite being washed every lap. That and I crashed on the first lap landing hard on my shoulder and wrist which take a lot of abuse with the rigid anyway and that made it a lot worse. I was thinking this year was a lot better as it was all frozen but teams were having to deal with parts on the completely freezing solid and just in general being very cold. All that aside, it's just not that fun a track to ride as it's designed to be a physically punishing event that's widely accessible so there's no technical features or anything interesting to actually ride despite the fact there are some great trails in that forest. At least on the Fort William trails which I've done a few 24 hour events on, you look forward to the awesome downhill parts.

I really should do something though as that's two years since I last did the Puffer at which point it was the fourth endurance race I'd done and was also doing local CX races but since then I've not done a single official event on or off road.

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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Johnmcl7 » 11 Feb 2018, 23:45

Signed up for my race although hopefully more for fun rather than a challenge, a seven hour race near Edinburgh which I'm doing as a pair. I've never ridden properly on the trail centre so it seems like a great chance to do so and near the end of May which should improve the chances of better weather.

When discussing action cameras I was watching some footage from summer last year and really keen to get back on the summer bike now. I was thinking now we're in February we're making progress until this week was the coldest of the season and the snow is back today so maybe not.
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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Fodder » 05 May 2018, 21:30

If your looking for some organised events, I'm going to give this organisation a try on one or two this year... hopefully. They seem a bit better for the south Downs 100 as well, giving you two options of 100km or miles and support. http://www.cxsportive.com/cx-century-th ... downs-way/
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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Johnmcl7 » 10 May 2018, 01:02

First challenge done with the Etape Loch Ness finished last week:

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https://www.strava.com/activities/1538475779

Although it was only 66 miles I was concerned about the speed of this one as I haven't done many road bike rides this year and finding them harder going than I should plus due to misunderstanding how the start times were allocated I started right at the back just ahead of the sweep vehicle. Thankfully it all went fine, the weather was good and managed to do the ride without stopping plus no major bike mechanicals. Well apart from the bottom bracket which is making some horrible grinding/creaking noises under power now which is a bit of a concern particularly as I've another race with it on Saturday.

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This years cycling challenge...

Postby Replicant » 21 May 2018, 13:26

Fodder wrote:Source of the post If your looking for some organised events, I'm going to give this organisation a try on one or two this year... hopefully. They seem a bit better for the south Downs 100 as well, giving you two options of 100km or miles and support. http://www.cxsportive.com/cx-century-th ... downs-way/


That's an interesting site John. I will have to inspect it more closely.

I am entered into the Velo South 100 at the tail end of September which is why I bought the CX bike. Having been firmly in the MTB (almost anti-roadie) camp for 20 years I have to say that I am loving it. I amazed myself by getting two KOM's on Strava last week. What made this even more impressive is that the last 250 metres go down a country lane and as I went around a sharp 60ish degree bend I had to dodge two fire engines coming the other way with full on flashing lights. :shock:

I even did my first ride using SPD's at the weekend as well. They were a revelation. I think I am becoming a roadie (well 'adventure/gravel biker')!
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