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  • What big silly bike rides have you done this year?
  • munrobiker
    Free Member

    I’ve been using 2021 and the restrictions on getting about to try and do some longer rides than I’d normally do – big, daft days out. I know a lot of folk on here are into this sort of thing, so what rides that are a bit silly have you done this year?

    A lap of Edinburgh

    This was one of the Komoot “know your limits” routes for Scotland that came out when we weren’t allowed to leave our local authority. It tracks the boundary of the City council and is around 70 miles, mostly off road. We tweaked it a bit (most significantly by doing it backwards so we didn’t have to push up the Hillend face of Caerketton Hill) and had a nice damp day out back in March. You get to see all sides of Edinburgh – the popular fly tipping spots, the industry, the docks, the posh suburbs and the wild feeling Pentland Hills.

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    Fife Coastal Path
    Starting from our houses in Edinburgh we pedalled off-road to St Andrews. The Coastal Path goes well until Anstruther when things start to get a bit beachy – there’s a lot of sinking and stopping and starting. It’s definitely MTB territory – there’s a lot of sections that are too dicey and exciting for a gravel bike. It was all spiced up by a time limit to catch a train home, the need to purchase a 10mm allen key in Kirkcaldy at 8.30am and then my crank arm exploding in a moderately high torque manoeuvre in Crail. Fortunately (incredibly, looking back on it now) we managed to bodge it back together with enough time for fish and chips. This is a really pleasant ride.

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    West Highland Way

    This was one of the drivers for the other two rides – to see if I could hack the WHW in a day. I did it with my pal Tom and we’d been doing long training rides for a while – some of his significantly longer than the WHW. Let me tell you now, it’s a different kettle of fish. The push along the bank of Loch Lomond really takes it out of you, and with three times the climbing of the Fife Coastal Path it’s a savage ride. Trying to do it to a time limit when I’d already put a nail through my rim bed long before we’d even reach Drymen was a lot tougher than we expected. Tom sacked it off at Tyndrum, a kindly bus driver letting him take his bike on to Fort William.

    I ate my weight in burgers and chips and headed out into the dusk alone, with ice and frost forming on the trail as darkness fell, finally rolling in to Fort William to be greeted by Tom with a milkshake and a bag of filthy food. You could do this in a day comfortably at a leisurely pace but if you’re trying to do it fast, be warned that it’s hard. Bloody good, but hard.

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    The Bradley Divide
    I was at my folks’ in Yorkshire around my birthday and faced with the proposition of either spending my birthday on a train or on my bike to get home I chose the bike. The plan was to ride 230 miles almost entirely off road in two days, using Cycling UK’s Great North Trail as the basis for it, making it up for myself to get out of South Yorkshire to join the GNT in the Dales. On the first day it pissed it down, so much so people were offering me lifts and showers. I ended day one in Appleby, with some filthy fish and chips that my broken body rejected pretty quickly.
    Day two brought sunshine and some tan lines I still have now. This starts with perhaps the stupidest bit of the GNT, Great Dun Fell. A road straight up for 2750ft first thing on weary legs is one thing, but to be rewarded with a one-hour push through a bog for your descent wasn’t fair. The rest of the day was mostly more pleasant but I can’t recommend the GNT – it’s like it’s been thrown together with lines on a map and no actual experience of the route and a lot of it is not pleasant to ride. It also relies too heavily on Keilder Forest, a horrible, bleak place to ride. The last stretch was great – when I should have been a dead man pedalling, I found a second wind and managed to mash out a healthy 16mph average for the last couple of hours off road to catch my train from Galashiels one hour early. Home in time for birthday cake.

    timizere
    Free Member

    amazing rides, well done! wish I could contribute my own rides to the thread ….

    boltonjon
    Full Member

    Tulloch to Cape Wrath and then back to Inverness

    Obvs over a few days

    Will try and upload the route and photos when i get home 🙂

    DanW
    Free Member

    Excellent effort and great thread. Mine were mostly 6 hour bimbles getting to know a new area and trying to link up various bits that looked good in theory on a map.

    How did you sort that busted crank???

    DrP
    Full Member

    Good thread…
    My big rides this year were:

    My V-Everesting in feb 2021
    Strava ride
    A great day in teh saddle (albeit, in the kitchen), as i was happily joined by several of the STW Zwifters from here!


    10.5ish hours of riding, followed by a big durty burger!!

    Myself and Kirky riding the PRL full…again on Zwift!
    Strava ride
    This one was 100 miles of loops around the zwifticles world of london… Pretty boring acheivement, but was one to tick off!

    12 climbs at BPW
    Strava ride
    Probably the most fun one, and was in real life too!
    3200m of elevation gain up Beast of burden in 12 climbs, with of course 12 descents down a variety of reds and blacks!

    I’m really looking to plan for 2022:
    -200mile road ride
    -everesting IRL
    -pretzel day on zwift.. all 3 pretzel routes in one day!

    DrP

    jimdubleyou
    Full Member

    I did the Friday Night Ride to the Coast to Whitstable, then rode home again (260km)

    Then, the next month I did Brighton & back (200km).

    Love the FNRTTC, it’s worth doing if you’re southern based (although there are some northern ones too) and you want to ride with a road club that isn’t a road club.

    Also did the King Alfred’s Way (360km) but that was over 3 days so each individual day wasn’t that epic.

    Houns
    Full Member

    Haven’t read thread yet, just scrolled down to say that I can’t believe it’s nearly time again for your year in the mountains post 😧

    jimmy
    Full Member

    Good thread and some great rides, exactly the kind of thing I’d like to more of.

    Have done a loop of Edinburgh, always a good one. How on earth did you bodge that exploded crank?!?

    munrobiker
    Free Member

    How on earth did you bodge that exploded crank?!?

    Fortunately I ripped through two chainring tabs and sheared the opposite two female chainring bolts. So I had two tabs and two female bolts left, then pedalled very gingerly home.

    Tulloch to Cape Wrath and then back to Inverness

    This interests me very much. I’m keen to try John O’Groats to Cape Wrath off road in a day. I want my CTC Cape Wrath badge goddamnit!

    scaled
    Free Member

    I’ve barely ridden at all this year but have managed a couple of fun ones, riding to the beach down the trans pennine from Manchester was nice. Got there for about half 10 on a beautiful summers day and had an hour to myself before the family arrived.

    Manchester to leeds off road was good, Halifax however can bloody do one, never seen so many steep hills in one place.

    Then I failed badly at the Reiver and having to bail onto the 130km route

    Crowning glory this year was heading to Nans near Boston in Lincs. I’d had a failed attempt at this earlier in the year when my ultegra cranks unbonded and left me stranded in Matlock. Taking the TPT east is definitely more fun, warncliffe woods look amazing and I realised I’d never actually been to sheffield before. I realise it’s not very far and virtually flat but considering how much I’ve done this year I was pretty chuffed. If for no other reason than I didn’t let the boredom of the last 40 miles get me down.

    Name:Manc to lincs off road
    17/09/2021
    VVOM:58.51
    Distance:209.9 km
    Elevation gain:1,520.0 m
    Elapsed time:11:13:40
    Moving time:08:55:00

    Nice way to visualise the year:

    Pyro
    Full Member

    When the Ride to the Sun date got shifted, some friends and I who would have ridden couldn’t make the new date, so we decided to have a bikepacking ride in the North Lakes instead. Group was varied in their ‘longest ride’ distances, so we aimed for a sedate 100km in total, roughly thinking 60km on Saturday, bivvy overnight, then 40km home on the Sunday.

    What actually happened was a very warm, very still weekend where we rode 75km on Saturday to find the proposed bivvy location absolutely hoaching with midges. We rolled on a bit and searched around for some better places to kip over the next 5km or so and stopped to have a brew and eat some food in a place where the midges were a bit better but they’d still not reduced enough to want to spend the night there. Food, drink and a bit of a group chat, and we decide to sack the bivvy off because there’s a nice holiday cottage and a bottle of wine to return to, rig lights and ride the remaining 20-odd km home in the dark. A good few months later, I’m still get mildly snarky comments for taking a couple of people who’d never ridden more than 50km on the road for a fairly-well-laden 100km gravel ‘Bike-and-no-Bivvy’ ride.

    I made up for it by taking them on a 25km unladen gravel ride to a very nice teashop on the Sunday… 🙂

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    blimey! Good efforts OP!

    Only large one i completed was the South Downs Way. Winchester to Eastbourne. On a specialized Status, in less than ideal weather. I didnt drink enough and became dehydrated with about 30 miles to go. Cramp was a killer.

    But i got it done!

    kayla1
    Free Member

    The biggest one I’ve done this year was up to Blyth and back (about 70 miles all in) but it was on an e-kitted bike, I’m fully intending to make the time to do it more often next year on a me-powered bike though.

    ton
    Full Member

    i have done a few big ones myself. had a few successes and a few fails.

    started Dales Divide, managed 100 miles on day 1 but got a chill and was poorly all night so bailed.
    did the Dales 200, which was brutal. 200 miles in 2 days in the Dales. managed the distance but used my own easier route for day 2.
    the Jennride was also pretty tough. again i did the distance but used my own variation of the route.
    also i rode a 50 mile circumnavigation of leeds. it was done on the hottest day of the year. a true killer of a day.
    done a couple of 100 milers too this year.

    a good year all round. back in AF now so next year may be not so good.

    cobrakai
    Full Member

    .

    .

    I cycled unsupported between Southampton and Prestwick for charity over 6 days. Raised £5000 in memory of a former work mate.

    Was a real eye opener to what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. Initial plan was to ride off road as much as possible but with the time frame i had, it wouldnt have been possible.

    shedbrewed
    Free Member

    @munrobiker love those routes. I’m another who wants to head to Cape Wrath. Superb.
    Biggest ride for me was ticking off a 300km. I made use of being back over in the fens to plot a flat route, I do more climbing normally on a AAA 50.
    Longest

    But the headwinds. Oh my. It was a day of 15mph westerlies and it was murder. I was on my CX bike with 32mm slicks. Also had a real failure of cafes.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Nice to see the pictures, maps and stories from the big rides.
    It’s been a good few years since I’ve done a big ride or a multi day ride.
    Maybe 2022 will be the year I’ll try again?

    tonyg2003
    Full Member

    It’s been a year for big rides for me this year.

    September – Mt Ventoux, Cingles (translates as nutters). 95miles, 3 different ascents, 4500M climbing

    July – ~200K / 112 mile off road loop from Guildford down to the south downs, along the south downs west and back up the ship wrights way

    July 520K in a day. Cobham out to Yeovil, Dorchester, along the south coast to near Brighton and back up to finish on Box Hill. Self supported. That was for charity and we raised £1.6K.

    The 112mile off road was the hardest…

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Great thread – was a rough year for big rides last year, only a truncated version of Jennride in the Lakes. hopefully will start the motivation flowing for something bigger in 2022.

    ransos
    Free Member

    Clocked over 200 miles riding from Bristol to the south coast and back, on the Sunseekers and Moonrakers.

    Then there was the fabulous King Alfred’s way.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    @tonyg2003

    July 520K in a day.

    Do you fancy a crack at the 6? I’ve been wanting to do a 400 imperial, but have realised it’s beyond me so am thinking I might make one last effort and attempt a 600 metric instead. But even that is probably too much solo. So if you know anyone that might fancy it next autumn.

    Back to the OP. This year has been piss poor for me for numbers, but I’m totally happy with that as I changed my focus and did loads of shorter rides with real people and did my mtb guide qualification instead. Who knew mtb was such fun 🙂

    Having said which, looking at Strava it wasn’t too shabby. Did the VB Graphics Top ten Peak Descents last month which was 80km and I guess 2,500 m ascent.

    Looking back to January I did a few metric tons on the MTB. The most memorable was The Beast To The East… Timperley to Macc Forest, Charity Lane, Cat n Fiddle, Derby Bridge, Buxton…

    I did it during the Beast from the East and the section from C&F down to Derby Bridge was hell. Downhill, in first gear, barely able to move forward.
    Wasn’t allowed indoors in Buxton ( obvs) and was borderline hypothermic by this point, so abandoned the Cavedale plan and took the escape route north west towards Whalley Bridge. As I wasn’t into the wind at this point it was lovely and I got my mojo back so I did a bit round Chinley Churn etc before heading home. Just over 100km and I don’t think the temperature ever got above -6c. That was a biggie.

    ahsat
    Full Member

    Great thread and photos Munro. Nothing like that from us due to long covid year, but pretty happy with my Rapha Woman’s 100 km despite everything. Have bigger aspirations for next year but long rides over several days, never anything as fast as you.


    @scaled
    – I looked at the Manchester to Leeds recently, but my route looked a bit rubbish. Any chance you have a gpx I could nab?

    tonyg2003
    Full Member

    @thegeneralist

    600K is possible. I did a couple of 300K in prep for the 500K is it’s not too big a step to 600K. Although I’d prefer some big Alpine or Pyrenean rides next year instead.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    Surprised you say that TBH. 500k is eminently doable at a fairly steady (slow) pace, but 600 requires 17mph average even assuming I could manage with only two hours stopped. Which, given how much I eat, is a big ask.

    There no point in the last 3 years that I could have managed 600 TBH.

    Which I guess is the whole reason it’s worth trying 🙂

    But got to get shot of this covid first without any lasting effects..

    Edited to say that I actually think the step from 500 to 600 is more than the step from 300 to 500. ( not that I ever did 300, or even 200 come to think of it 😉 )

    highlandman
    Free Member

    Rode home to near Glamis in Angus from Ullapool in October, at the end of a week of holiday with the Mrs’ family. We do something like this every year, I ride one way while she takes my car to or from whatever big rented and remote west coast house we’ve booked. This time I’m on my Croix de Fer with 40mm gravel tyres.
    The ride began with no traffic to worry about but loads of deer out on the main road at 0500, both red and roe clattering off the road surface as the handlebar light got too close. Spooky eyes reflecting in the dark showed where others were just out of line of sight. Rain in the first very dark hour alongside Loch Broom soon turned to a couple of hours of frost as I topped out by Loch Glascarnoch, heading east and staying cold down to Garve before daylight appeared. Turn right just after Contin, through Muir of Ord and along to the wee coastal road on the north side of the Beauly Firth. Once over the Kessock Bridge, and after escaping the traffic and road works around Inverness, it’s a long climb up from the river Nairn to the Slochd summit on NC7, passing Tomatin along the way. Over the top, down to Carrbridge for a quick fuel up at the village shop and along the main road to Aviemore. Next stop is a well-earned coffee and cake shop in Kincraig, at the fab wee deli down by the river Spey. That’s about half way. The next section was slow with a significant headwind all the way to the Drumnochter Pass, close by the A9 most of the way. Then it’s fast and flowing on the newly tarmac’d cyclepath to Calvine and on downhill to Blair Atholl and Pitlochry; sticking with NC7 means a lumpy back road to Logierait, cross the Tay on the old railway bridge and along to Dalguise while watching the moon rise above the wooded slopes at Dunkeld. On from there it’s familiar back roads nearing home, through Coupar Angus, passing by the very tempting fireside of the Ardler Tavern 3 miles further on and almost done..
    Really cracking day out and a lovely long ‘journey’ on what turned out to be a beautiful autumn day. 188 miles; I’d have been better swapping to 32mm road slicks this time, as the old gritty and gravelly NC7 section on both sides of Drummochter have now been freshly surfaced, so only a small proportion of the trip was on poor surfaces.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Biggest ride I’ve done this year was back in May when I still had a decent level of fitness from all the Zwifting during lockdown.

    82 miles riding from Cardiff into the Brecon Beacons, round the full Gap loop and back. I’ve done it a few times now and this one was my fastest time, aided by the fitness and having a new bike that flew along. Sadly shortly after that ride I hardly rode anything for weeks and weeks so when I decided to do the Wild Boar ride in the FOD in September with a mate and do the full loop we both pretty much destroyed ourselves by half way. That was very silly as it put me off riding for a bit.

    Really need to up my game as the last few years I’ve had plenty of rides over 50 miles ticked off, I’ve planned to do the SDW again the last 2 years but I really need to knuckle down on my fitness and endurance if I’m going to have a hope of doing it in 2022!

    scaled
    Free Member

    @ahsat https://www.komoot.com/tour/468871952?share_token=aiOK4hFhOJj5McRJoLmqgyXKRioWjpfpouEj9v5ZQdSjx5E4bP&ref=wtd

    The Leeds end could do with some work – I don’t know my way around there so just took the Komoot suggestion of errr, straight through the middle of Bradford. I’d assumed there was a canal or something, but no.

    stretch…
    Free Member

    Fab thread @munrobiker, some great rides and pictures to look at here.

    My daft ride of the the year was a mixed terrain 400K audax from Darlington that went through the Dales down to Ribblehead and then across to the Lakes and back via Northumberland

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mMWFpq]Screenshot[/url] by Al, on Flickr

    It was that ridiculously hot weekend in July, I saw 35deg indicated on the GPS as we were on Cam Road
    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mcaiyq]Gearstone Road[/url] by Al, on Flickr" alt="Cam Rd" />

    I discovered the alternative Borrowdale[url=https://flic.kr/p/2mc6wyn]Borrowdale[/url] by Al, on Flickr" alt="Borrowdale" />

    The Windermere ferry set us up nicely for a sunset over Langdales and a starlit trundle below Helvellyn before a sunrise above Hexham

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2mcakej]Hexham Sunrise[/url] by Al, on Flickr

    Coldberry End led us to Yad Moss and another brekkie at Middleton in Teesdale before the run back to Darlo

    Coldberry

    A stunning ride and the event should run again next year if anybody fancies a decent weekend out

    5lab
    Full Member

    bit more than an everest on my local hill https://www.strava.com/activities/5363185014

    10,000 calories there – wondering if the 500km above was more calories (I suspect so unless it was really flat)

    over a mile of climbing in one go https://www.strava.com/activities/6173455837#2888442482473688926

    those are both roadie nonsense, did a few good sized things on a mountain bike as well but nowt as impressive

    ajantom
    Full Member

    I always do a solo 100 miler on or near my birthday.
    This was this year’s…

    Check out my activity on Strava: https://strava.app.link/zzadytQ8Blb

    Very hot, pretty lumpy, and a bugger of a headwind on the return leg.
    Lovely ride over Exmoor though 🙂

    tonyg2003
    Full Member

    Yep the 500k wasn’t too hilly (relatively). Around 6000M climbing.I reckon Everesting is harder.

    thegeneralist
    Full Member

    bit more than an everest on my local hill

    Love that description. Do you think they’d send the boys round if you’d put a capital E on?

    The graphs all look like bloody combs 🙂

    ahsat
    Full Member

    Thanks @scaled. The Leeds end is the bit I know so will have a play.

    kingofthetoys
    Full Member

    Always love your threads on here @munrobiker


    @scaled
    thanks for sharing the komoot route 👍🏻

    gallowayboy
    Full Member

    Nice thread! I cant compete with some of the distances above but did manage a sunny mid July bimble from home in the Calder Valley to Grassington and back. 150km and just shy of 3000m of up (and down).
    Stitched together bits of Pennine bridleway, Leeds Liverpool canal and the Settle loop on day 1, and road down to Ilkley, over the moor, bits of the Bingley bash, and a High Brown Knoll finish.


    Bit of a preamble for a push to Galashiels next spring – very similar route to OP, but probably not in two days!
    Also managed the annual Mary Townley Loop, and a few bigger (70km+) loops around Calderdale.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Humbled by some of the mileages up there! ^^

    This year has not been a vintage year for BIG rides for me, biggest days have been long gravel loops which have been exhausting in their own way (I’ve slipped back in to bad habits, chasing segments and average speed everywhere instead of sitting up and enjoying it).

    The one ride which stands out as silly and big was a loop in the Cairngorms with didn’thurt off this forum and another pal. Was ‘only’ 60km but a LOT of quality singletrack and a lengthy bit of hike-a-bike. Think it was 9 hours total time, but I was mostly knackered because I had thoughT I could get away with a slick tyred short travel 29er hardtail when the other guys were on full suss! The descent into Glen Derry finally broke me and I limped home pretty chastened…

    (me in that last one, still dressed for gravel riding!)

    nbt
    Full Member

    Quiet year for us. 64km seems to be the biggest ride of the year.

    https://www.strava.com/activities/5867077830

    Only passed 60km 3 times, and still single figures even when you count rides of 50km and longer. We’ve enjoyed it though which for me is the important bit.

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