upcoming rides

August  2014
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Ride Surrey 100 (well 86)

After entering the ballot for this event over a year ago and failing to get in both me and Karen decided to take part anyway, Karen through a place in her work ballot and me via a charity place. After we received confirmation training started in earnest. Even though we both had road bikes we had never used them for much apart from quick local loops so it was quite nice to discover the wealth of riding on our doorsteps, Box Hill, Leith Hill and various short sharp climbs slowly revealed themselves over the months as we ventured further afield, a local cycling cafe came into the picture a the start of the summer and soon weekly group rides were the order of the day, leading us to new routes and challenges. Eventually after a fair amount of training and becoming comfortable with rides of 70 miles+ we approached the event itself.

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report: tour o the borders 2014

ian  cakeriders

ian cakeriders

After the deluge that was Tour O’ The Borders 2013 hopes were high that the move to August would prevent such a thing happening again in 2014. Unfortunately the weather gods didn’t seem to agree and the forecast was for heavy rain and wind (very much like the previous day).

read the rest of report: tour o the borders 2014 »

last minute glentress/inners

glentress tea and cake

glentress tea and cake

So with Alex and El being both ashore at the same time and with a wedding to go to north of the border they have decided to fit in a cheeky little weekend at Glentress.

Start Date: 16 august

End Date: 17 august

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Having resisted a return to 24 hour events following the last drenching at MM, it was with a little trepidation I entered as part of a Mixed RNRM Team to 24:12 at Newnham, Plymouth, an event famous for always being wet. As it turned out I needn’t have worried as the only drenching was of the self variety as temperatures soared into the low 30s.

Having not been before, the first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the event. I always assumed MM was by far the biggest, but 24:12 certainly matches it in terms of campers as a large number of riders brought their families along to cheer. The course itself was a really good 24 hour course with approx 300m of climbing in a 7.5 mile lap. Most of this was on the aptly named Clif Climb (after the nutrition bar sponsors of said hill) and the following tractor trail and single track climb up to Bluebell Wood. This was where the fun begun with some really flowy but technical singletrack through the wood before a short sharp climb to the top of the course where it plunged away firstly down rooty, loose forest trail and then the rock, rooty and loose Cottage Return. This was a real opportunity for flat out descending that a trail centre would be proud to own. A switchback through the camping area, a river crossing to cool down and then a slipery, rooty super fast singletrack spat you out on a final leg sapping climb on gravel, up into the woods, fast grassy descent at nearly 30mph (try that at four in the morning with dew given it finished in a solid wood fence), back down into the camping area with a switch back through the carriage racing obstacles and into transition. For the elite riders it was taking 30-34 minutes a lap whilst the mere mortals were nearer the 45 minute point. An excellent course, rideable by all but still putting some serious fatigue in the legs.

From my perspective a couple of things hit whilst I was spinning round my 6 laps. Firstly, how well resourced the other Service Cycling Unions are (the RAF turned up with a sports masseur) and secondly how much I enjoy team events like this (the weather always helps!!) Riding at four in the morning is a bit special and I was lucky enough to have the lap as the sun rose above the tree line. But it is the shared experience of team events that make them so good.

Overall, we finished fifth out of twenty teams with the only dampener being that the Army and RAF finished first and second. I loved my laps and actually felt a bit guilty I didn’t volunteer for the last lap as I still had something left in the legs. But then again, there is always next year!

Apologies for the lack of photos. I still seem unable to upload anything to the site.

2014 challenge – july

sunshine and local trails

sunshine and local trails

Heading in to the first month of the 2nd half of 2014 expecting milage to be much reduced to the Commonwealth Games and the associated increae in work got to the end of the month with a pleasent surprising mileage results.

The first ride of the month was a local one with sunshine and dry trails, just what you would expect in Scotland. Took the Cove out to make the most of some of the slightly more technial local trails whilst they were dry. Excellent stuff.

read the rest of 2014 challenge – july »

Chatel Trip – July 2014

The Charles Gnarles Cakeriders 2014 Alps Challenge was taken up by Charles and Charles last week. Here’s a daily summary of events …

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Cwm Carn Cafall & BPW weekender

After the Penmachno & Antor weekender in May a further Alps warm up was planned for week before Alps departure, mostly to make sure we could fall off without hurting ourselves. Numbers dwindled over the preceding weeks with Ben’s extended layoff, Steve Sordy succumbing to a bad back, so myself and Tony would make the 2 days with Rich joining on the Saturday BPW leg.

After much faffing around with my brakes we finally departed Cov at around 11:30, arriving at a sunny Cwm Carn we headed straight for the cafe for a quick refuel (burger and chips) before hitting the new Cafall trail.

Well what a difference, the Cafall is different to the Twrch, but there is still a long climb from the start as the trail splits off the Twrch but the climbing is mostly done on single track and there is plenty to keep your concentration as you climb, the descending is split up up into 5 sections all with there own character, with the last 3 having the biggest grin factor especially Powder House.

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2014 challenge – june

clashing jersey

clashing jersey

Having racked up a lot of miles in May and got myself ahead of schedule the plan for June was a steady one that just kept the milometer ticking over.

As with most plans things didn’t quite work out like that. With the looming increase in work in July and August putting the brakes on the miles in these months I couldn’t quite shake off the feeling that I needed to stay on top of things through June.

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ride report: antur stiniog

couple of commies

It was a weekend of highs and lows for sure.

A smaller than anticipated group rode the Penmachno trails on Saturday due to a dodgy shop putting together Tony’s bike resulting in broken rear axle and a drive for Mr Breen around the small towns of Wales looking for a replacement.
Reviews of the Penmachno trails were mixed when we all met up in Bleanau Ffestiniog.

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2014 challenge – may

open road

open road

The mainly MAMIL month of May did one thing and that was add a lot of miles on to the total, by far the biggest total yet for 2014 with over 600 miles racked up.

The other  thing to say about May is that I failed in the 8 bikes in 7 days challenge. In my defence this was down to the trek being on long term vacation to the bike shop which has seen it make an appearance at all in this months mileage.

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