Ridgeway double attempt

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  • Ridgeway double attempt
  • Premier Icon molgrips
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    I’m doing it on Saturday 1st, weather permitting*. Booked a day off work the previous day, found a suitable camp site. Following this route.

    Start: 5am at the Avebury end
    Target finish: 11pm
    Bike: rigid 29er
    Clothes: full lycra
    Lights: Lezyne Macro Drive 800XL
    Computer: Garmin Edge Touring with bog standard ‘portable charger’ from Amazon
    Tyres: Racing Ralph 2.35s
    Food: Taking a Camelbak Octane for spare clothing (it’ll be chilly that early and late), energy drink in bladder, real food in the back.

    I’d like to ask advice about stops:

    1) A cafe in somewhere like Goring where I could sit outside or by a window with a coffee and cake would be nice. Nervous about leaving the bike.

    2) Near Ivinghoe Beacon there’s a National Trust estate for what looks like the Bridgewater Monument, this seems to have an ideal cafe with outside seating called Brownlow Cafe. Any issues with that?

    3) Any other places I should consider?

    * I’m not doing 175 miles in the clag, no way.

    Premier Icon TheGingerOne
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    Pierreponts cafe in Goring, just off the bridge – can’t miss it. Loads of cyclists use it

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    And in fact, on the Google Streetview image of Pierreponts, there is a cyclist parking his bike 🙂

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Molly, if you get stuck and want a bed about 4 miles from Goring and 100m off the Ridgeway i can put you up. I have a full set of tools/spares for 27.5/26 and 29er including wheels, tyres, etc

    We’ve also got a village shop that does pretty much all the food you can need/want along with a pub 🙂

    The Cafe as discussed is spot on.

    throw me a PM or whatever.

    If you want someone to ride a chunk of it with you i think i should be about too.

    adsh
    Member

    Enjoy it – it’s a great route. Watch the chalk in the damp – lethal.

    Good luck

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    I did the full length last year on the CXer, loved it. Got to Lyme Regis and cycled back to Axminster and caught the train home…

    Great route, enjoy.

    Premier Icon angeldust
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    2) Near Ivinghoe Beacon there’s a National Trust estate for what looks like the Bridgewater Monument, this seems to have an ideal cafe with outside seating called Brownlow Cafe. Any issues with that?

    Seating is outside only. It’s not great imo, but perfectly adequate, and there is not much else around. Plenty of bikers use it. Can get very busy with families etc, and take an age to get served at busy times. In the past there have been times I’ve intended to go in, but couldn’t be bothered due to the queue to get served. Overall, I’d say no issues unless you are in a massive rush, or are as impatient as I am.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I will be in a bit of a rush, the clock will be ticking. I’m aiming to post my best time, and I’ll have to get a move on just to get back at a sensible time and not run out of lights.

    Any backup recommendations for somewhere to eat for lunch? Wendover maybe?

    @weeksy thanks – might stop by for a brew on the way home if I am desperate. Get cakes in, but don’t let me in the house as I won’t want to leave.

    whitestone
    Member

    Get one or two Stem Cells* for food – much easier to eat from when on the move. You can get around 6-8 energy/chocolate bars in one – I can check for you tonight if you want.

    *other makes are available.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Don’t really want to spend any more money. My Camelbak has waist pockets that can take three gels on one side and a bag of wine gums or nuts etc on the other. I will stick to that and then stop for real food I think.

    Premier Icon jameso
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    Tyres: Racing Ralph

    You sure? : ) Flint cuts can cost you a lot of time and they’re not the most robust tyres. Both times I’ve timed myself on the ITT route I’ve had tyre issues from flints, like a ITT curse, going through thicker rubber than those. A fair few places where speed and loose flint creates a lottery.

    I will be in a bit of a rush, the clock will be ticking. I’m aiming to post my best time, and I’ll have to get a move on just to get back at a sensible time and not run out of lights.

    Avoid relying on Brownlow cafe then, can be slow/busy. Off-route 200yds or so in Goring is a co-op. Start with the right food and buy right at the co-op on the return and that may be all you need stop-wise – depends how focussed on time you are though. Once past Goring there’s no on-route food options but there’s water at Waylands Smithy, a useful location.

    Premier Icon flashinthepan
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    ‘The Catherine Wheel’ in Goring has a nice garden and you can prop your bike at the door/window while ordering

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
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    Hmm can’t think of anywhere to get served quickly in Wendover – there is a farm shop near chequers that might fit the bill, can check it out for you if you want.
    There is a water stop and cafe at the bunkhouse above Wantage – only a short distance from Ridgeway route.

    Premier Icon Rio
    Subscriber

    Budgens would be your best bet for fast service in Wendover – there are plenty of cafes but depending on what day (Sat 1st is some time next year in my calendar) they’ll be full of either ladies who lunch or people who walk.

    tommyhine
    Member

    There’s a great cafe in wendover woods called,…… the Cafe in the Woods. generally quite busy but you’ll be ok. Following the official ridgeway route drops you into Wendover anyway i beleive in which case there’s load of options. also there is an option at tring station which you go paste. one of those little coffee van things which should be open on a satruday. Also there will be an icecream van on ivinghoe beacon

    Premier Icon angeldust
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    To avoid confusion, the icecream van is usually just outside Brownlow cafe by Ashridge monument, rather than on Ivinghoe Beacon? I’d also question the nutritional value of what can be purchased from the icecream van!

    Trimix
    Member

    Don’t use Racing Ralphs. Way too prone to a flint slice or two.

    All my weight weenie mates have suffered from this issue. You want to finish the ride, not end up slashed close to the end.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Snakeskin carcass though? I’d heard they were better.

    Slashing tyres is not something I think about. Never slashed a tyre in 25 years of MTBing all over. No idea why, tbh.

    Re cafes, beginning to think that even a quick cafe stop is half an hour, so that’s going to be no good. Something like a coffee van would be ideal though, so may try Tring station for a caffeine hit then a sandwich/sausage roll wherever possible.

    Premier Icon MarkE25
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    I’ve never had a problem with snakeskin racing Ralph’s either (although I don’t ride down south as I live in the Peak). I’ve slashed plenty of conty sidewalls, but never a schwalbe one.

    adsh
    Member

    Eat on the go – 17 gels, 6 bars, 5L drink.and a coupe of bannanas.

    Even pee breaks and bottles only meant 50minutes stopped!

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I must admit that taking gels, choccie bars and whatever else on my back and just not stopping does appeal. Maybe just grabbing water on the way, since it is rather heavy.

    DrP
    Member

    Oooh, that looks like a good route…

    Might put that on my list of things DrP wants to attemtp and probably never will….

    DrP

    Best of luck! That route passes very close to Aston Hill.. quick couple of runs down Surface to Air while you’re there?

    This sort of ‘Adventure’ really appeals.. however I think I have a mental ‘block’ when it comes to non-circular routes.. the idea of turning around and riding back half way through some how feels wrong!

    jobro
    Member

    Might put that on my list of things DrP wants to attemtp and probably never will….

    Current singlespeed record of 13hrs 26mins. Go on,go on,go on!

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    the idea of turning around and riding back half way through some how feels wrong

    Last one I did was 15 hours one-way. Only reason I could do it was that it finished 15 miles from my folks’ place so my dad picked me up and took me to a warm comfy bed and homemade cake at 12am.

    That was Trans Cambrian way though, which was a lot hillier. The western side of the Ridgway I’m familiar with and it rides pretty quickly and easily, which is the only reason I’m attempting 175 miles 😯

    DrP
    Member

    blimey… that’s, like, (opens calculator app) 13MPH average…

    How hilly is ths compared to the SDW?
    Looking at the stats, it’s 175miles with 4000m climbing…the SDW is what, 3400m in 100miles?

    The issue would be gearing… not too spinny, but not too tough…

    Hmm… (I don’t know why I say that..I’d not bother changing ratios!!)

    I’ll see what opportunities I get!

    DrP

    Edit; I did the SDW in about 11-12mph, so actually that’s doable…OK…. hmm..thinks some more……

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Hills on the western bit are not steep and the surface is smoother than most tarmac roads in a lot of places, so it’s a breeze. I did quite a bit of riding there last year and was surprised at how easy but satisfying it was.
    Eastern bit, not sure – it looks like more short sharp climbs, which is energy sapping. However there aren’t too many of those it seems.

    I reckon the biggest issue you’d have with singlespeeding is not missing a low gear, it’d be missing a high gear to really take advantage of the fast bits.

    DrP – see you in Avebury at 5am on the 2nd? 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    You’ve got me worrying about tyres now.

    DrP
    Member

    I reckon the biggest issue you’d have with singlespeeding is not missing a low gear, it’d be missing a high gear to really take advantage of the fast bits.

    That’s often the issue… meh..what can you do..there’s simply so fix for these sorts of problems (bar, or course, a [cough] derralier….!!)

    DrP – see you in Avebury at 5am on the 2nd?

    I would love to – even if just for a one way scope and support…
    However, I’ve kinda left my family as biking widows in August, and we’ve big bike bash the weekend before, and there’s already ‘wifey’ stuff in the calendar, so best of luck with your solo attempt chap 😉

    DrP

    Keva
    Member

    Mol, re slashing tyres… how much of your riding is on flinty chalk though? I’ve slashed tyres a few times on the Wayfarers, sometimes ending up with a 3/4ins gash. okay it isn’t the Ridgeway but both are very similar ground. I pulled a piece of flint out of a Bonty XR2 just last weekend, it didn’t gash the sidewall but went straight through one of the knobbles, the stuff is sharp 😯

    I don’t know what you do with tubeless if the tyre slashes but if you run tubes it might be an idea to have something you can wedge inside the tyre if it does happen. Gel and bar wrappers have worked okay for in past but gaffer tape or a proper plastic boot insert is probably better.

    Premier Icon angeldust
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    Don’t use Racing Ralphs. Way too prone to a flint slice or two.

    You’ve got me worrying about tyres now.

    I wouldn’t worry. I’ve used Ralphs in the Chilterns for years and never sliced one. On a couple of occasions I’ve sliced ‘tougher’ tyres, so it’s not something you can anticipate imo. Just take spare tubes and a tyre boot/patch just in case.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    there’s simply so fix for these sorts of problems

    Or v-brakes and a flip-flop hub.

    Re tyres.. this seems a thorny one (geddit? 🙂 ). Seems that CRC have been selling various different tyres all under the same listing over the years that have collected lots of reviews. There are some reviews saying they are puncture prone, but they go back quite a while, and some appear to be for OEM tyres which mine aren’t (at least, they are boxed). The modern listing says they have a puncture resistant fabric in the weave, as well as snakeskin sidewalls. They are also Pacestar, whatever that means.

    Also didn’t see any issues riding last year, but like I say I was in Swindon so did the Western end mostly. Oh so I was on Butcher/Purgatory and not Ralphs, but I didn’t puncture and wasn’t picking bits of flint out of my tyres either.

    The tyres will become my normal summer tire I think, so they just have to survive this ride.

    Premier Icon WildHunter2009
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    Just a heads-up they have been flailing all the hedges around the Swyncombe, Wallingford end of the Chilterns this week, thorns and unexpected broken glass ahoy! Had a good ride ruined by a big old slash this afternoon.

    Premier Icon DavidB
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    I did this last year and in not too bad a time.

    Jameso is right on the food stop as I used exactly that strategy, but wrong on the tyres, you’ll be fine on the Ralphs. I ran Conti-X-Kings. Just make sure you go tubeless.

    Premier Icon jameso
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    Snakeskin carcass though? I’d heard they were better.

    Relatively, compared to the paper-thin std tyres, but still a tyre I’d avoid around here. Still, as said above a good hit from a flint goes through anything, it’s equally about luck – I just wouldn’t waste all that prep on a lighter-weight XC tyre.

    I think I have a mental ‘block’ when it comes to non-circular routes.. the idea of turning around and riding back half way through some how feels wrong!

    There’s something interesting, mentally, about the longer out-back. It messes with your perception of distance and time, I like it. In many ways I also think it’s easier than an end-to-end of equal distance.

    The SS record is a good one. Not an easy pace to maintain on a SS, there’s a few places where not being able to push on will dent av speed. I’m guessing 13-odd hrs was a no-stop ride.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    DavidB I see you sneaked in under the 16 hours 🙂 I think I agree with you both re food. Now I just need to decide what will fill the protein/savoury hole.

    I think I will try the caffeine de-sensitising technique. So no caffeine for a week beforehand then wait until I am knackered on the route before having a redbull or two.

    whitestone
    Member

    Not faffing is the key to doing these rides quickly. Last year I did the YD300 in 31hrs53, this year I did it in 28hrs55, yet my riding time was just one minute quicker. There’s only so fast you can ride for these sorts of distances, if you go any quicker you’ll just blow up.

    Multi-task at stops: if you are at a cafe and have to wait for food/drink then fill your water bottles, sort rubbish out, etc. while waiting. You are doing the right thing finding out about what’s available en-route.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Agree.. I did Trans Cambrian Way in 15 hours but three hours was spent stationary.

    Thinking about about what to eat – any recommendations for a decent butchers/bakers en route where I can get a good meaty savoury sausage roll that’s not all pastry?

    Aim for 1 cafe /shop stop out and 1 on the retuen leg
    Carry Oat cakes, Malt loaf, flapjacks etc and eat and drink something every 30 mins . You can often set calorie beepers on your Garmin as a reminder .
    Time stationary is very hard to make up, better to keep moving.
    Would like to do a one way trip as I havent ridden any sections before ,and its not that far from me really.

    large418
    Member

    Did this 3 years ago or so, andpunctured within a few km of the start (racing ralphs), so ended up riding back to the van to stick a tube in and get a spare. Carried all my food, but picked up water at the cafe near the far end, and at the canal (there are taps for the boats to restock) that was 2/3rds of the way back. Good easyish ITT – 175 miles..

    Defintely use decent tyres, and acrry food you like. Jam sandwiches are a favourite of mine…..

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