A Fred Whitton Question.

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  • A Fred Whitton Question.
  • Premier Icon kennyp

    When the route goes through Ambleside why does it not then go up The Struggle?

    I’ve done the Fred a couple of times, and know how tough it is, and suspect I would maybe be reduced to walking on some parts of The Struggle, but just curious as to why a route known for its toughness seems to avoid one obvious tough climb.

    I’d guess the riders won’t be very well spread out that early in the route and the upper section would turn into a traffic jam.

    It’s to keep the mileage up, the new start and all that.
    I think it would be ace to go straight up there. Oooooooffffffff

    yeah they missed a trick not doing the Struggle. Not many cars would be on it on a Sunday am, so loads of bikes shouldn’t be an issue.

    Given the route has changed then all previous times are basically not directly comparable anyway, so who cares if it’s a few miles shorter?

    Maybe they wanted loads of bikes going through Ambleside centre, to show off the event?

    We do the Fred route as a club ride each year but start and finish in Ambleside, and start with the Struggle. It’s a better route to ride than the full Fred in my opinion (and I’ve done the full Fred 4 times now).

    Premier Icon kennyp

    Cheers. Next time I’m down that way I think I’ll try riding up The Struggle.


    The Struggle is tough. I was on 39:28 and only just made it up!!!


    the struggle is tough but doable but I wouldnt want to do it as part of the whitton, but I wouldnt manage the fred whitton. we used to do it on the mtbs to get to red screes hick up to the top and ride down.

    Premier Icon boxelder

    With the original start it would have meant riding the one way system through town.
    Troutbeck is a nicer climb too.

    The Fred isn’t really about doing every tough climb though. It also missed out Wall End when it finished in Coniston which would have been a right kick in the pants after Hardknott/Wrynose. Now it finishes in Grasmere they could have chucked Red Bank on top of Wall End as well. Even if they didn’t want to send people down Red Bank and through Grasmere they could have sent people right at the junction back down to Skelwith Bridge.

    For me, I preferred the original course as it has lost Hawkshead Hill at the beginning and Oxen Fell at the finish. Certainly an ‘easier’ course now but to be fair if you finish it then the addition of these two extra climbs wouldn’t have stopped you anyway. Its just going to be faster now.

    Premier Icon kennyp

    as it has lost Hawkshead Hill at the beginning

    First year I did the Fred I’d read up about all the hills, however Hawkshead didn’t even get a mention. Halfway up I remember thinking to myself “This is tough but it doesn’t even merit a mention in the list of hills, so what the hell is the rest of the course like”.

    More than nine hours later I’d found out., including having to walk bits of Hardknott and Wrynose. Wore out one of my cleats walking up Wrynose and couldn’t clip in one foot for the last 12 miles. If the climbs were tough, some of the descents were bloody terrifying. And then there was the wind and rain.

    Swore at the end I was never doing it ever again. So did the guys I was doing it with. By the second pint that night we were already working out how we’d be quicker the next time. And we were.

    Great event run by great people. I still firmly believe they should use it as a Tour of Britain stage.

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