• This topic has 43 replies, 23 voices, and was last updated 7 months ago by tlr.
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  • Anyone else doing the Fred Whitton on Sunday?
  • BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’m finally able to use my place originally from 2019 – cancelled then by a mystery illness, then plagued off in 2020, then cancelled last year thanks to long covid – so here I am.

    Slightly worried given that I spent 18 months not being able to exercise, let alone ride a bike, thanks to long covid and have only been back on the bike properly for maybe six months, but hey, this time last year I could barely ride five miles on the flat, so just chuffed to be able to even contemplate it.

    Plan is to potter round looking at the scenery and hopefully not getting too battered – yeah right – last minute panic over whether my lowest possible 34/29 gear will get my sub-par legs over the Hardknott or should I ride my cross bike on road tyres with 34/36 instead. And mostly which bar tape to fit…

    Joking aside, I feel okay, am climbing pretty well, but haven’t done anything quite as long or epic for a while.

    Anyone else? How are you feeling?

    tlr
    Full Member

    Yup. Similar story to you – entry delayed by a couple of years, riding was going well, but then I finally succumbed to Covid a few weeks ago and had 2 weeks off the bike (so still more fortunate than you by the sounds of it). Feel ok, but still seem to lack top end power – did all the steep hills in the Hope Valley the other day but was slower than previously.

    Couple of mates are going for 6.30, but I think it is unlikely I can manage that now, so will probably just hang on for as long as I can.

    Shoehorned a 32 cassette onto my bike to go with the 36 chainring. 28 is supposed to be the max, but seems ok.

    Good luck, forecast looks ok at the moment….

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’ll be very pleased and slightly astonished if I get round in less than eight hours – all my sub-7 hour targets have been consigned to the dustbin of long covid in a sort of bonfire of aspirations. And likewise, good luck! Fingers crossed for decent weather – last time I did it people were dropping our with hyopthermia thanks to un-forecast rain 🙁

    Duggan
    Full Member

    Not this year, but have done it in the past, so good luck.

    I’m sure you will be fine, I was lucky with the weather when I did it and seems you will be too I think?

    I just treated as a long ride rather than going against the clock, I made it round all of it with a 28 on the back but for sure I don’t think I could do that now.

    Now I think of it, I did double-up my bar tape at the time actually.

    ac282
    Full Member

    If you can get lower gears, fit them. I’ve done it before and I’m a compact with a 32 at the back but would fit a larger cassette if I could.

    Most of the climbs would be fine with a 28 but Hardknott, Wrynose and bottom of Honister are so steep that I had to do a max effort just to keep upright.

    tlr
    Full Member

    Fingers crossed for decent weather – last time I did it people were dropping out with hypothermia thanks to un-forecast rain 🙁

    Yeah, that was my last go at it too – a very unpleasant day indeed. Was that 2013? Put me off for a while.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Yeah, 2013 sounds about right. It was truly horrible, shivering, bone-chilled wet cold. I did in 2009 and got hailed on coming down Wrynose, but that was at least quite short lived.

    I’ve ridden the whole thing with a compact and an 11-27 before and was fine, unfortunately 11-29 is as low as my antiquated Campag set-up will take, so that’s where I am. Normally it’d be fine, but who knows. I figure I’ll start early, eat and drink lots and see how it goes. Just properly chuffed just to be riding tbh.

    simondbarnes
    Full Member

    Not for me, once was plenty!

    I got round with 34/28 bottom gear but it wasn’t pretty. Chipps was riding around with something like 28/36, I wasn’t envious at all 😉

    I figure I’ll start early, eat and drink lots and see how it goes

    That’s what I did. Best of luck 🙂

    expatscot
    Free Member

    34-50 and 11-28 for me on my gravel bike.
    Last time I rode the northern loop (Honister, Newlands, Whinlatter etc) I was on 39×21 bottom. Oh the days of old school road gears.

    I don’t think I will be trying to keep up with the faster people. I’ve had a couple of recent bouts of Covid and my endurance has really suffered.

    Hopefully the weather is clement and allows us some decent views.

    How busy is the start? When to arrive?
    I don’t want to start too early, but don’t want to arrive and find there’s an hour’s queue to park and register…

    StuF
    Full Member

    Yeah, I am, training hasn’t gone to plan for various reasons. Went out for a spin yesterday and felt crap after 30 miles / 2500ft. Seriously contemplating the shorter route – pissed off that I’m not as fit as I hoped

    robfury
    Free Member

    I am doing the Fred Whitton on Sunday too. Just like everyone else, training and prep for the event never quite goes as planned.

    Had some leg issues that put me in hospital end of last year and been training hard since January to get fitness back.

    Gears wise I have a 50/34 front 11/40 on the back. I am over 100kg hense the dinner plate.

    Good luck everyone, it is all about fuelling and the mental game now.

    Vortexracing
    Full Member

    I’m in, 4th attempt due to covid cancellations and a torn Hamstring last year 🙄

    TBH I’m getting a bit apprehensive, I have tried to train over the past 4 months (Zwift Build me up plan) and got some decent outdoor rides and lost a stone, but I think that’s just going to make it hurt slightly less ☹️

    I’m on a 34/29 (Campag here as well) and not looking forward to it.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    I’m trying to remember that it’s an incredibly beautiful ride and not to forget to actually look at where I am and appreciate it. I’m part worried and part really, really excited. I kind of love that moment when you get to the bottom of the Honister Pass and everything explodes around you as stuff gets real and steep. Good luck all, have fun 🙂

    GavinB
    Free Member

    Good luck fella! It’s a tough day, but I think you’ve got the right attitude for it.

    TomB
    Full Member

    I did it on 34/28 and it was fine, and I was an 8 hour rider so not strong. Had 2 goals: to finish, and not to dab on the climbs. Succeeded on both but worked hard on minimising effort on the steeps and avoiding going in to the red as much as possible. It’s a great day out and hopefully the weather will be kind, take care descending especially honister and wrynose, there are always some nasty offs.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    I’m pretty sure there are sections of Fred Whitton on Rouvy, if the gradients are reasonably accurate, you could test your gearing.

    jwt
    Free Member

    Good luck to all riders, it’s not called the Fred Whitton ‘Challenge’ for nothing.
    remember it’s not a race (despite what some people think) just a big day out on the bike with (hopefully) some beautiful scenery to look at?
    Ridden twice, marshalled three times, planning to ride to Elterwater to provide some cowbell encouragement!

    mikeyp
    Full Member

    Good look everyone. It’s a brilliant route. It’s all about pacing and having enough in the tank for hardknott 100miles in. No matter how big a cassette you have you still keep clicking up hoping you have another gear.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Reading people’s target times makes me realise just how slow I am. I can’t recall my Fred time, but I’m pretty sure it was double figures.
    Can’t imagine what effort it would take to get it down below 8 or even 9 hours.

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I did it in 2015 I think, 9h15ish and rode it all. I was happy with that. They were dropping like flies on hardknot, I nearly stalled when the guy in front of me just stopped and fell over still clipped in.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Reading people’s target times makes me realise just how slow I am. I can’t recall my Fred time, but I’m pretty sure it was double figures.
    Can’t imagine what effort it would take to get it down below 8 or even 9 hours.

    I’ve got a certificate from one of the events with a sub-8hr time on it but the certificate doesn’t state the year…

    It must have been pre-2012 (which is when i started using Strava). I do have a shortened version of the FW in 2015 where I seem to have missed out Honister / Newlands – not sure if I was supporting a mate or something that year or what and only rode some of it, can’t remember at all.

    I know I’ve done it about 4 or 5 times though, think I only got sub-8 on 2 occasions. One of them was the year that Rob Jebb set a new course record in about 5.5hrs, basically just a 2-up TT with a guy called Stuart. They came past us all like we were standing still.

    Sandwich
    Full Member

    My memory of Hardknott is that the cattle grid on the steep start was not very sporting. The descent was a bit bumpy off that and Wrynose which can cause problems if you’re a little knackered (or a lot as was my experience).

    Duggan
    Full Member

    I nearly stalled when the guy in front of me just stopped and fell over still clipped in.

    Yeah my advice for Hardknott if anyone can remember when they get there, and are planning to ride it all, is to keep an eye on the guys in front. It was packed when I went up it (I was for some reason, pretty much the last to start the event though) and people were stalling all over the place….by that point everyone is too goosed to have the presence of mind to step off the road to the side if they dismount.

    expatscot
    Free Member

    i watched a couple of youtube vids last night, which seemed to suggest horrendous queues at the first control. Any tips / insights? (one chap skipped the control and refuelled in Braithwaite village shop).

    I quite like the idea of starting later (say 7.30?) for a bit of a lie in, but not sure how that will work with queues for car park, and at the control.
    I’m expecting that there will be congestion on the steep climbs, whenever you start, and it’s a game of keeping a keen eye out for trouble just ahead.

    I’d like to get round without unclipping on the climbs, and potter round at a sensible speed.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Good luck fella! It’s a tough day, but I think you’ve got the right attitude for it.

    Cheers Gav, it’s the legs I’m more worried about tbh. And a sort of niggling uncertainty over what long covid’s done to my body as a whole. But mostly I’m just chuffed to be able to even contemplate doing it 🙂

    Garry_Lager
    Full Member

    i watched a couple of youtube vids last night, which seemed to suggest horrendous queues at the first control. Any tips / insights? (one chap skipped the control and refuelled in Braithwaite village shop).

    Couple of times I did it I started with the lark, first control was busy but you weren’t queuing too much as there was loads of food and volunteers, nothing to worry about. Don’t know how it would go later on in the day.

    If you were an experienced roadman then it probably would be good to skip and refuel continuously / later. That was definitely not me, though – it was a big adventure, and I didn’t want to miss the chance of a cheese sandwich, refill the bottles etc (was hot both times I did it).

    Hope it goes well for everyone doing it – great event that I’d love to do again some time.

    Duggan
    Full Member

    i watched a couple of youtube vids last night, which seemed to suggest horrendous queues at the first control. Any tips / insights? (one chap skipped the control and refuelled in Braithwaite village shop).

    Do you mean feed stations? I don’t think I stopped at any and just ate loads of soreen I took with me. I started really late in the morning (mainly just because I didn’t realise it began so early and I think we were the last people to register/start) and it was surreal at first as me and my mate didn’t see anybody in front of us for some time and then eventually started to encounter loads of people. I’ve only done it once but not sure if that was better in the sense that there were lots of people to aim to catch and get a tow off, though I don’t really recall drafting anyone other than my mate tbh.

    There were loads of queues at the feed stations that I saw but I did get some bottles refilled by some “spectators” who were camped at the top of Newlands (?) I think it’s called so never needed an official stop.

    Duggan
    Full Member

    On that note actually, I don’t really do sportives normally but the crowd/spectators/locals at FW were really great. It seemed like they were really on board with it in the same way you get cheered on in a marathon or something and it made it quite special, not sure if you really get that with other cycle sportive events (well not on open roads anyway).

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    i watched a couple of youtube vids last night, which seemed to suggest horrendous queues at the first control. Any tips / insights? (one chap skipped the control and refuelled in Braithwaite village shop).

    Tbh, the times I’ve done it, it’s not been that bad. I don’t think there’s much you can do about it unless you have a mate who’ll sort you bottles and stuff – top of Whinlatter is a common spot. I’m not sure I’d be relying on a shop, but hey, you know it’s there.

    Likewise, the climbs are what they are, some people romp up them, others really struggle, but again, all you can do is chill out and watch out for yourself. All you can really do is OD on beet shots and pray! 😉

    fooman
    Free Member

    Timing controls are ride through, if there are queues at feed stations you can stop elsewhere. It was hot the year I did it I went through 6.5L mainly from shops on the way though an ambulance on top of one of the passes was topping folk up as some riders were fainting. Is Hardknott closed to cars this year? It wasn’t when I did it but I heard they do now.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Is Hardknott closed to cars this year? It wasn’t when I did it but I heard they do now.

    Yep from the start of the Hardknott over to Blea Tarn I think. Other stuff: it says in the rider notes that all riders are required to carry a long-sleeved wind/waterproof top, though I’m not sure how they can enforce this unless they’re going to check every single rider at the start, plus masks to be worn inside the event marquee / other indoor spaces. You also need photo ID for registration.

    TomB
    Full Member

    How did everyone get on? Beautiful day for it, unusually…….

    expatscot
    Free Member

    I got round in 8h 30 elapsed / 8h ride time.
    Excellent weather (albeit the headwind felt quite strong for a lot of the latter sections).
    My tan is coming along nicely.
    I had one “dab” about 25m from summit of Hardknott (not the steep section, ironically) when I was boxed in.
    The hardest bits were the descents off Hardknott and Wrynose. My WW rotors overheated.
    It would have been much easier if I’d found a decent group, but I set off too late to find some at my level.
    I didn’t really enjoy the section after Whinlatter to the main feed station – headwind, lumpy, lonely, slow, tired.
    There were a couple of accidents: someone flat out on a stretcher at the nasty bridge on Honister, and someone who hit a bus part way down off Whinlatter. Both looked pretty serious. Hope they are OK.

    Vortexracing
    Full Member

    Hardest ride I have ever done

    9hrs 50 (9hrs riding). Bit embarrassed if truth were known ☹️, but if you had asked me what I wanted form the event the night before, it was just to complete it, so I shouldn’t complain too much 🙄

    I didn’t really enjoy the section after Whinlatter to the main feed station – headwind, lumpy, lonely, slow, tired.

    Same here, just plodded to try and keep some energy left for Hardknott and Wrynose, and subsequently watched my average drop. ☹️

    But saving all that energy didn’t help, I was goosed by the time those last climbs came, up.

    Had to walk some of HK and Wrynose, but got up Blea tarn just and then seem to fly back to the finish. I can’t help thinking more hills would have been better as part of my training as opposed to riding around flat Southport and Rufford.

    There were a couple of accidents: someone flat out on a stretcher at the nasty bridge on Honister, and someone who hit a bus part way down off Whinlatter. Both looked pretty serious. Hope they are OK.

    I saw those including a guy under a space blanket about 500 yards down Honister, in addition to the one at the bridge.

    Great day all in all and fantastic atmosphere 👏

    tlr
    Full Member

    Very happy with 6.52, my quickest time so far despite the course being 6km and slightly hillier than last time I did it from Coniston in 2013.

    Weather was great, as were the crowds and the Marshalls. Skipped the first feed and just topped up water at the second. Honister was busy, and the combo of riders and cars down Borrowdale slowed things down for a few km, but otherwise was surprisingly quiet I thought.

    I did vow halfway up Hardknott that I would not be doing it again, as my rpm dropped to 36….

    Fastest time of 5.36 is incredible.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I didn’t really enjoy the section after Whinlatter to the main feed station – headwind, lumpy, lonely, slow, tired.

    That bit gets everyone. Cold Fell in particular is almost invariably right into a headwind, it comes at that mental low point of about 70 miles where you’ve ridden a long way but it’s still not *that* close to the finish and everyone forgets about that section as it’s not a named climb.

    Fastest time of 5.36 is incredible.

    😲

    It did seem to be lovely weather all over the Lakes though, I was right down at the southern end where I had ice cream on a beach and it was glorious. I didn’t even have to ride over any big hills! 🙂

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    That bit gets everyone.

    I’d managed to convince myself the feed station was before cold fell…and it was raining.

    jonjones262
    Free Member

    Looked like amazing weather for it. I had to defer to next year as my bike’s still in Zwift mode (i.e. no brakes connected or bar grips), plus changing jobs has led to less training time.

    I’ll aim for the win next year!

    Well done to everyone on here who rode, it’s a cracking day out! I rode 2018 as a last minute placer (i.e. 2 weeks notice) that was a long day out!

    2nd time in 2019, more prep time and the forethought to add a mtb cassette to my CX bike! 🙂

    StuF
    Full Member

    I got round in just over 10hrs, pretty pleased to make it to the finish given the lack of training. Road from and to Ambleside which added another 8 miles to it, might not have been my brightest decision. Surprised I’m not feeling too bad today even if last night I was walking like John Wayne 🤣.

    Well done to all who made it round.

    daern
    Free Member

    Fastest time of 5.36 is incredible.

    To save people the calculation, that’s an average of just over 20 mph. Sweet baby Jesus…!

    Mate of mine was top-50 and went round at 18mph, which is pretty bloody awesome too, if you ask me.

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