Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 54 total)
  • Punctures observed during a mass event
  • Wally
    Full Member

    Hi, just finished the London/Essex ride 100 and a rough guess is I passed several hundred punctures. Even ones yards from the finish. I know I am tempting the puncture fairy, but why so many?

    ampthill
    Full Member

    Well if you hadn’t passed them you’d be out all day…..

    RichBowman
    Full Member

    There were a lot, weren’t there? I’m guessing it’s b/c it was wet and noticed there was a lot of debris. I was running tubeless, and seemed to hold up okay.

    Was talking to one guy when I was riding home, and he’d had 5. Not a great day for him.

    What I really don’t understand is the amount of riders with and no spare tubes. Why would you do that when you know you’re going to be out for most of the day?

    You didn’t happen to pass the guy on the Lime Bike with his bike strapped to his back, did you? 🙂  Apparently a puncture – not quite sure about that…

    Hope you had a good ride!

    IMG_1827

    james-rennie
    Full Member

    I did the ride100 with wife and a friend in 2022, and was similarly puzzled. I punctured twice and wife + mate got one each.  More than I’d expect, but not suspicious, they weren’t tacks or drawing pins etc.  Does the lack of other traffic mean little flints etc don’t get picked up?  Or is because we cycle in the middle of the road rather than the usual bike space/nearside car wheel space and therefore more debris?

    theotherjonv
    Full Member

    I don’t remember the year but I did Rider Safety Captain a few times on the Surrey version; one year was biblical wet. At the start Conti who part sponsored the event asked if I would carry some tubes to hand out to people, I picked up a couple and they suggested taking as many as I could. I wasn’t quite domestique in midsummer levels but had pockets full and another three shoved down my back and still managed to get rid of them all by the bottom of Newlands, about halfway round.

    The number of unprepared riders, on £000’s of bike who weren’t even carrying tubes or a basic kit; one guy said his clubmates all had kits so he didn’t bother. I asked him where they were and they’d all **** off and left him!! I was so cold, soaked to the skin, while he stood around and I had to change his tyre for him, then as soon as I was done he didn’t even help me pack the kit back up, he was on his bike and off!

    Wally
    Full Member

    Lime bike guy, we passed at mile 8. Never ever seen that before. Classic. At least the bike he carried was V light.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    The number of unprepared riders, on £000’s of bike who weren’t even carrying tubes or a basic kit

    I see this quite often. In fact on one of the events I ride-lead on, the pre-event forum page actually has punters suggesting that “you don’t need to carry a pump cos there’s always someone who’ll lend you theirs”.

    Worst bit of “advice” ever. 🙄

    RideLondon has been notorious in the past for tacks on the course; I won’t sign up to those sorts of huge-scale events any more cos there’s too much risk.

    Etape Caledonia got similarly targeted a few times.

    devash
    Free Member

    Tacks on the course? Not heard about that issue before. What a **** world we live in eh?

    igm
    Full Member

    I was on tubeless with no problems. I’ll check for tacks later. 😉

    The other things I noticed were the huge number of items spilled from pockets and mounts (tubes, CO2 canisters, pumps, lights, glasses, water bottles) the number of crashes (lots of small grazes as well as the big ones, including the deer) and the exceedingly poor fare at the food stops.

    Some folk probably had tubes when they headed out.

    quentyn
    Full Member

    hang on a sec there were food stops 🙂 ?

    did it today and my wife commented that marathons have far far better catering and a bag drop – this really was self supported with some toilets ( though i had to use the mcdonalds at 15k in). There were a load of really fast chain gangs who stopped for no one which i though was a little dangerous as you had packs ( 40+) riders going 40+ kph passing within inches of other cyclists going half that

    Have signed up for next year and this time will do the 100 – does anyone know how to get all my friends into the same wave if we registered and paid separately ? several of us just realised we all had the idea today to sign up for the 100 next year and would like to all be in the same wave – do i just email them with the booking ID’s ?

    dawson
    Full Member

    This post on Twitter shows there were tacks causing punctures

    https://x.com/Auntiekay28/status/1794812550250438828?t=cBgmVnmxx_NfsLH_9og8-A&s=19

    igm
    Full Member

    Agree on the chain gangs versus Boris bikes @quentyn

    They need their own wave /event.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Agree on the chain gangs versus Boris bikes @quentyn

    They need their own wave /event

    I did the first few RideLondon events – the ones into Kent/Surrey – and found them pretty well organised. You had to specify a ride time and they’d (to an extent) try and put the faster riders up front to minimise issues of chain gangs racing past more casual riders.

    Of course for the casual riders starting at 8am or so, it did bring its own issues with getting everyone off the course before the professional race started using it but generally it worked OK.

    People cottoned on after a while and started claiming 4hr completion times in order to get an earlier start time and again, that can cause problems when a 6-7hr rider has falsely claimed they can hold it with the 4hr folk.

    mert
    Free Member

    TBH, having worked in shops on and off, a few of them are probably those who tried to get the bike in for new tyres and a service (i.e. completely recabling, chain, cassette, tyres, tubes, brake service and bar tape) 3 days before the event, and actually being told to go away.

    So all the other punctures they are getting through their worn out tyres you won’t see, as they’re out on their own in the weeks before the event, trying to avoid having to pay for a service.

    I was out yesterday afternoon and saw a couple of dozen cyclists, pretty much half of them were stopped fixing bikes. We’re in the final run down to Vätternrundan at the moment. So, i’m expecting a lot of posts from friends in the trade over the next 3 weeks, asking how the hell they are meant to deal with 200 people wanting a service the week before the event. But they can’t drop the bike off until Wednesday after training.

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Claim to fame… I proposed the concept of ride captains after the first event and the very poor ride standards. Rides all but one of the original events before Covid and have the Continental kit in the wardrobe. I’ve given out so many tubes.

    The problem yesterday was due to a period of good weather, followed by a wet ride. This allows flints to build up on less used roads, then the wet means they stick to bike tyres and work their way into the tyre rather than fling off, until they pierce the protective layer. Unless you were riding marathons, it was always a hazard.

    No such issue with my ride up and down the A31 Bentley by-pass five times yesterday, despite the rain, because the traffic is much heavier and traffic clear the flints off the road. And I was faster than my club mates in Essex, despite rising fixed 😎. Same climbing too.

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    I did in 2018 and yes, there were huge amounts of punctures including on the way to the start. I had one on the ride itself despite being on tubeless. It rained quite a bit at the start of the day which I think washes quite a lot of debris into the road.

    I also agree re the dangerous riding – quite a mix of slow groups wobbling along obviously combined with fast chain gangs- a recipe for disaster and there were quite a few crashes.

    The last few miles through London though were quite superb – the sense of occasion was immense.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    The last few miles through London though were quite superb – the sense of occasion was immense.

    I loved that. Caning it in along Embankment – by that time you’ve ditched all the hangers-on and the folk that have blown so it’s just the competent riders left in an actual working peloton, crowds lining the roadside. Honestly the nearest any normal rider will ever come to feeling like you’re in a Grand Tour!

    Never done the new route though.

    fossy
    Full Member

    Rain always adds to puncture risk. Did the Mad Manc a few weekends ago, and that was really well sign posted (my garmin fell off a brand new Garmin out front), and the food stops were plentiful. The mechanic stations were well used though, seemed to be selling alot of tubes given the old ones ready to be disposed of.

    Many people don’t look after their bikes – I’ve one mate who can’t do anything, and usually drops it in to the bike shop, or asks a mate to fix – this is then amplified in a big event.

    With the Mad Manc, there wasn’t that many Pelotons – just a few in the first 30 miles until all the hills came for the next 100 miles. The Manchester 100 get’s some big pelotons and gets a bit hairy later on when the 100 miles joins the 100km riders and you are coming up on wobbly bobs on old MTB’s in the middle of the roads.

    infovore
    Full Member

    @quentyn the food stops are only on the full distance. Theres one, half way, and it’s colossal.

    quentyn
    Full Member

    interesting the app states that there was meant to be a welfare stop at 18 miles which we looked for and didnt see – we saw toilets next to the side of the road and stopped there

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    There were a load of really fast chain gangs who stopped for no one which i though was a little dangerous as you had packs ( 40+) riders going 40+ kph passing within inches of other cyclists going half that

    Did they not get the message about 1.5m clearance?

    RichBowman
    Full Member

    Not that I saw. Pretty sure in the past it’s been highlighted about staying to the left unless overtaking. That didn’t happen either.

    cheekyget
    Free Member

    I was behind one lady yesterday,  she had a really good pace,  then I noticed she had a puncture,  I rode past her and told her….and she didn’t belive me..lol.

    The lime bike geezer…kudos to him I saw him in the first few miles.

    In all I didn’t like the event…the start was a joke so cramped and dangerous,  the bends were so tight in places…and there really weren’t any hills….Essex part was nice…the London bit not so.

    Surrey version was much better.

    No punctures for me I was on tubeless…but I know where to ride…some parts are full of grit etc..so I can only imagine people were riding in these parts

    infovore
    Full Member

    @quentyn yes. The temporary toilets are the welfare stop. Welfare does not equate catering. The 50 mile stop is in a school grounds, and has bananas for thousands, bike racks, and loos. There are also loos and marshalls at roughly those quarter marks, hence Welfare stop.

    quentyn
    Full Member

    Aah @infovore I assumed it was like a marathon welfare stop with energy drinks, gels etc etc.

    Anyway we went prepared for anything and to be self sufficient and the plan worked.

    Next year I am signed up to the 100. Just need to build up the miles until then. I’m very comfortable at about 120 km, and I did 78 before breakfast this morning. Just getting the time to be able to put the mileage in!

    infovore
    Full Member

    @quentyn Yeah, the 50 mile stop is like that. The shorter distances really don’t demand it. Banana and snacks in your back pocket for those.

    If you’re happy at 120 on regular roads, the 163 would be fine. It is very, very fast, as you found out, to ride with no traffic or red lights, and the Essex route is really very flat. You just keep eating and it kinda rides itself.

    cheekyget
    Free Member

    You don’t need loads and loads…all I had yesterday

    Breakfast 04.30…1 weetabix and a bannana

    Rode to buck Palace…had another bannana

    Mile 30…..another banana

    Mile 50…1 jel (SIS)

    Mile 80…my last jel (SIS)

    Finish line I was given a high 5 energy bar…by the event…really nice..and sorted me out for the ride home…as I could feel my stomach wanted something solid

    Anyway…in all I was not hungry or feeling weak at any stage….just eat/ load up sensibly and you’ll be good

    My av speed for the event was 17.6 mph

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    It is very, very fast, as you found out, to ride with no traffic or red lights, and the Essex route is really very flat. You just keep eating and it kinda rides itself.

    This. I used to do the old route 100 with no stops, partly cos getting in and out of feed stations was proper hectic and a bit of a bunfight to get to the food. Decent breakfast then just use gels and 2 water bottles (one with water, one with energy drink) the whole way around – I can cope with them for that sort of thing. 4hrs was pretty standard for me, it’s amazing how quick a ride can be in a big bunch and with no traffic!

    TiRed
    Full Member

    Double porridge, gel before the start, six gels during the race. Two double espresso version and two double strength. 2L of electrolyte drink. 24 mph average. Real food for leisure pace centuries mixed in. Usually malt loaf and mini pork pies.

    igm
    Full Member

    The 50 mile stop is in a school grounds, and has bananas for thousands, bike racks, and loos.

    Just be aware they were trying to limit folk to one banana or one Soreen mini at that stop.  And while they had water there was no electrolyte stuff.  HiFive were at a couple of stops nearer London and were a bit more generous.

    I’m just used to £30 sportives handing out as much food as one could reasonably require – though to be fair they aren’t closed road.

    Closed roads are fast and I was trundling round at 18mph average on my own until I got to the crashes and then got a lot more careful in passing other riders. Waiting in the queue to get by one of the ambulances knocked the average down to 15.5 and it was only just over 16 at the end.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    A friend did the 60 mile ride, seemed to find two snack stops and an M&S Food Hall – plus an impressive post ride feast and prosecco from the Alzheimers Society.

    She did report huge numbers of punctures though.

    Everyone I know talks about the poor riding standard at Ride London, the old route and new. No way am I spending that much money to be that pissed off.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    I’m not surprised so many people didn’t carry spares. Most people on here are (at least) reasonably experienced and many of here don’t bother carrying spare tubes.

    quentyn
    Full Member

    Talking of crashes, did anybody see the crash right at the very end before the last tunnel? All of the other crashes that I saw seemed relatively minor with the rider wrapped in a blanket waiting to be picked up. This one the rider was face down in the recovery position with two paramedics. One of them about to inject something.

    I hope the cyclist was okay?

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    I’m not surprised so many people didn’t carry spares. Most people on here are (at least) reasonably experienced and many of here don’t bother carrying spare tubes.

    Off-road vs on.

    Off-road I can’t remember when I last had a tubeless tyre fail beyond a plug or patch job.  Especially at trail centers where at worst you’re an hour’s walk back to the car. I don’t deliberately set off without one often, but I’m out of the habit of checking.

    On road tubeless is a bit more temperamental. So I carry a tube all the time.

    igm
    Full Member

    I haven’t carried a tube road or off-road for a couple of years now. The hawthorn round here means it’s not worthwhile.

    I do carry Dynaplugs, a valve core remover and spare Stans.

    Yet to have a problem with Scwalbe, Conti, or anything off-road or gravel.

    Panaracer Gravelking Slicks on the other hand… the devil’s tyres.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Breakfast 04.30…1 weetabix and a bannana

    Rode to buck Palace…had another bannana

    Mile 30…..another banana

    Mile 50…1 jel (SIS)

    Mile 80…my last jel (SIS)

    Finish line I was given a high 5 energy bar…by the event…really nice..and sorted me out for the ride home…as I could feel my stomach wanted something solid

    How is that close to enough calories? 100 miles on 1 Weetabix, 3 bananas and a couple of gels. 🤨

    winston
    Free Member

    Re the being prepared thing – not sure it isn’t a MTB v Roadie difference?   Whenever I go out with roadies I’m amazed how little they carry, 1 pump between 4, never a 1st aid kit, rarely a rain jacket…..I reckon most of them just have their wife on speed dial!

    belugabob
    Free Member

    All of these posts remind me why I don’t do massive participation events (with an exception for Dorset Dirt Dash, which is a slightly different beast)

    Too many people, too expensive, too much faffing (logistically), no guarantee of a place, limited food, etc.

    If the rain ever stops, I must do my 100 mile Sussex loop, on quiet roads, again – when I want to, with who I choose.

    Each to their own, I suppose.

    mrauer
    Full Member

    I have worked at a road bike sportive a couple of times several years ago, as a mechanic in a neutral service car, helping people with punctures and mechanicals. Many, many people turn up at events with very worn outer tyres, or with other mechanical issues that should certainly have been sorted beforehand. We also sold and changed a lot of tyres before start, near the start area.

    And some people got mad that we did not have tubular tyres and would not change tubulars during the event on the road, then got mad that we could not take him and his bike in the van (no space!). And we were a voluntary, free service car.

    The worst thing that happened – I changed a tube for a guy, and then his friend turned up with a car! And he promptly rode away with his friend driving the car ahead of him, for tens of kilometers, him riding in the draft of the car – passing large groups of cyclists with the draft car ahead… Dangerous, stupid, and definitely not allowed. No private cars were allowed at all during the event and roads were closed for other traffic. The things some people do for a sportive with no prizes, astounding level of stupidity.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    All of these posts remind me why I don’t do massive participation events (with an exception for Dorset Dirt Dash, which is a slightly different beast)

    RideLondon is worth it for the closed roads. No idea about the “new” route or if the organisation has changed since the original Surrey days but while the idea of “I’ll juts ride the route some other time” has its merits on normal Sportives, it’d be rubbish on the RideLondon route – some of it uses big dual carriageways or the wrong way through a town centre plus you’d be forever stopping and starting, dealing with traffic etc. You’re buying the closed road experience.

    That said, it’s worth looking out for some of the Spanish sportives which can be races in all but name (right down to the sheer number of amateurs who dope – see this article for info: https://www.globalcyclingnetwork.com/racing/news/its-a-joke-anti-doping-testers-swoop-spanish-amateur-race-130-riders-abandon ) and Etape du Tour etc which are on closed roads.

    And some people got mad that we did not have tubular tyres and would not change tubulars during the event on the road, then got mad that we could not take him and his bike in the van (no space!). And we were a voluntary, free service car.

    I’ve seen people on guided / supported tours get very upset that the free tyre they were being given mid-stage when they’d ripped their old one to shreds was a basic Conti, not a GP4000. One guy was sorted out with a wheel on loan just to get him to the end of the stage and he complained it wasn’t carbon to match his rear. He did realise what a cock he sounded and tried to make like it was a joke. 😉

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