The cycling thread Page 151

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  • Vortex808 17 Sep 2012 10:39:12 7,580 posts
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    MikeP wrote:
    I have. I rode John O'Groats - Land's End last year, unsupported most of the way. I B&B'd it.

    What would you like to know? I'll help if I can.
    Oh, a few of my mates are idly talking about doing this for our 40th in a year or so. We might try to rope in family or friends to act as support cars for a little bit, but may not be able to rely on that at all.

    How easy was it to B&B it? Did you have to book ahead, or just make a decision on how you felt?

    Also, how much stuff did you lug along with you? I would like to do this on my road bike if possible. I would be willing to lug a small rucksack if required, but would prefer to avoid having to fit panniers and shit. That'd mean taking my mountain bike instead...
  • urban 17 Sep 2012 13:36:08 11,067 posts
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    I'd be looking to camp.

    Basically I was wondering about kit and what sort of spares you took along/needed?
  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 13:45:11
    Im doing the BHF London to Brighton off-road on Saturday. At 75 miles will be the furthest distance Ive ever ridden.

    Anybody done the route who can give any tips or advice what to expect? - forewarned is forearmed and all that.
  • Trafford 17 Sep 2012 13:55:04 5,970 posts
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    urban wrote:
    I'd be looking to camp.

    Basically I was wondering about kit and what sort of spares you took along/needed?

    Check out Bikepacking forums like www.bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk
    Lots of tips and kitlists online.
    It can be an expensive world of ultra lightweight camping equipment.
  • MikeP 17 Sep 2012 14:51:31 2,075 posts
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    I'll try to answer the General touring bike & JOGLE questions separately, otherwise I'll end up with The Post of Death. :)

    When it comes to tourers, the location of your touring and weight are two key determinants. Trekking across Africa is a whole world of difference from a touring weekend in the south of England, obviously.

    Your most hardcore of tourers would probably feature a steel frame, MTB size wheels with puncture-proof tyres, bar-end shifters, front and rear racks, and very low gearing to cope with the load (especially pulling it up hills). Something like a Thorn, for example.

    You might also get into things like Rohloff sealed hub gears. It's all about ultimate reliability and repairability. Steel bikes can be repaired, 26" wheels are more commonly available around the world etc etc. You'd also want plenty of bosses for bottles, maybe things like spoke holders built into the frame. Have a look at Surly's Long Haul Trucker for example.

    For shorter, UK & European tours then depending on weight you're looking at more of a road-bike variant than a two-wheeled Land Rover. Cyclocross bikes like the Croix Der Fer are good, and Dawes/Ridgeback and Kona make tourers too.

    Don't underestimate the effect your gear makes to the bike. Even if it's a road bike a really wide ratio rear cassette, with an MTB rear mech and a triple chainset up front will really help. Full panniers are like massive air brakes riding into a headwind.

    I did the JOGLE on a Kona Jake, which worked really well. Kit-wise as I did it with someone else we split the load. I didn't want to get stuck in the Scottish Highlands, which are really quite remote, so we had a pretty comprehensive toolkit. Short of a full bearing failure, cracked frame or rim I could've got the bikes up and running unaided.

    As we got back into civilisation I dropped the more hardcore tools, as we were never that far from help. In the end the only mechanicals were 3 punctures between us!

    Bike: http://www.notthehairybikers.com/?page_id=167
    Kit: http://www.notthehairybikers.com/?page_id=177

    We could have gone a lot lighter, but this was a leisurely (maybe...) tour, not an ultralightweight race thing.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • MikeP 17 Sep 2012 14:52:11 2,075 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    Im doing the BHF London to Brighton off-road on Saturday. At 75 miles will be the furthest distance Ive ever ridden.

    Anybody done the route who can give any tips or advice what to expect? - forewarned is forearmed and all that.
    Are you going over Ditchling Beacon? If you are make sure you leave something in your legs for the last 15 miles.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 15:06:38
    @MikeP

    Im not sure to be honest. They did send a map through the post but its pretty vague - I think they give you more detailed directions on the day.

    I know there are 2 big hills ands one a few miles from the end so that could be Ditchling Beacon I guess.

    Info on the net is suprisingly vague - oh well should be fun as long as it stays dry this week!
  • Bremenacht 17 Sep 2012 15:07:44 19,663 posts
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    Try not to stop off at the pubs along the way if you want to do it in a reasonable time. Ditchling Beacon is a real challenge - I only ever made it about 1/2 way up. There's another bugger of a hill about half way, but it has a pub on top of it, which is handy. Handy if you're not planning on doing it within a reasonable time, of course.

    Was it really 75 miles? Blimey. Most I ever rode.
  • Bremenacht 17 Sep 2012 15:09:38 19,663 posts
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    The nice thing about Ditchling beacon is when you get to collapse at the top. Make sure you secure your belongings (and bike) before you collapse. Nice view just before you collapse too.

    : )
  • Bremenacht 17 Sep 2012 15:11:12 19,663 posts
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    Oh, and there's a hill going down which you can easily get caught out. When you see the hay-bales along the side of the road, you'll know you're on it.
  • elstoof 17 Sep 2012 15:35:48 8,306 posts
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    You did say off-road right?
  • elstoof 17 Sep 2012 15:41:41 8,306 posts
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    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/London-to-Brighton-off-orad

    The 2008 route apparently.
  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 16:06:47
    Elstoof thanks! - page wont display properly but most likely my dodgy work computer, ill try it at home later. Yes it is the off-road.

    Bremenacht - pubs will be a no no. Wont be drinking all this week let alone on the day. Main goal is to finish in daylight with my dignity intact. Suspect there will be some serious cycling types but probably wont see them after the first 30 minutes or so once they have overtaken me....
  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 16:18:56
    Sorry another noob question - found a forum thread for the 2011 event with people talking about taking a spare chain.

    Really? I mean what are the chances....What circumstances exactly would cause a chain to break??
  • MikeP 17 Sep 2012 16:23:19 2,075 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    Sorry another noob question - found a forum thread for the 2011 event with people talking about taking a spare chain.

    Really? I mean what are the chances....What circumstances exactly would cause a chain to break??
    Normally a worn out chain, or one with cracked plates. Barring manufacturing faults, it's very very rare for one just to fail. There are tools that can tell you if it's worn or not, it's a quick check for a bike shop. I carry a KMC missing link just in case, but as that weighs about 2 grams it's not much of a hassle.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 16:27:41
    Thanks very much Mike - think Ill take my chances!
  • elstoof 17 Sep 2012 16:30:41 8,306 posts
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    Poor maintenance or installation. People go all out for these things, don't ride those sorts of distances often and worry about getting stuck halfway to nowhere so take a fuckton of extra stuff that's just an anchor. Off road riding might call for a couple of extra bits however - I'm a roadie so wouldn't know fully.

    A newly cycling friend did their night ride this summer, spoke to him in the build up and he was telling me about his camel backpack hydration thing he was taking. I do loops that long with a couple of bottles. These organised charity rides have got plenty of support and places to refill, there's no need to pack for every eventuality.
  • Bremenacht 17 Sep 2012 16:33:15 19,663 posts
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    Nah - BHF London-Brighton ride is all on-road. Or, it was..
  • Deleted user 17 September 2012 16:37:46
    I did a training run yesterday in 'full kit' in preparation for next weekend.

    My inventory was:
    2 inner tube
    1 puncture repair kit
    Water bottle (on bike)
    0.5l bottle Lucozade sport
    0.5l bottle water
    Banana
    Energy Bar
    Gel (energy not hair) - first time Id used it -twas foul
    Pot of pasta
    Debit Card / 20
    Warm top

    Will prob take the same next weekend - could probably lose the bottle of water but it make me feel secure! As for mechanical problems Im clueless - if bike breaks Im out!

    Edited by Alipan at 16:40:10 17-09-2012
  • elstoof 17 Sep 2012 16:42:30 8,306 posts
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    BHF do 3 Brighton runs a year, one road, one night time road, one off road.
  • elstoof 17 Sep 2012 16:43:52 8,306 posts
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    A bag of haribo could easily go on the list ;-)
  • MikeP 17 Sep 2012 16:50:34 2,075 posts
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    Trailmix - jumble up a load of M&Ms with raisins and cashew nuts. Smash a handful of that in your gob once every half hour and you're golden :p

    When I did the Dunwich Dynamo this summer I made a Shooter's Sandwich for me and my mate. It weighed about as much as my bike, but I ate like a King.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • Trafford 17 Sep 2012 16:52:01 5,970 posts
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    Some guys I know are doing that.
    Good luck

    @alipan
  • Bremenacht 17 Sep 2012 16:56:49 19,663 posts
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    elstoof wrote:
    BHF do 3 Brighton runs a year, one road, one night time road, one off road.
    Wow. How long does the off-road typically take? How popular is it?
  • Dougs 17 Sep 2012 17:04:39 69,496 posts
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    http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/bike-rides/london-to-brighton/london-to-brighton-off-road.aspx
  • Psychotext 17 Sep 2012 17:06:26 55,032 posts
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    Alipan wrote:
    My inventory was...
    I carry about three times that on an average trail. I'm a full on pack rat. :D
  • MikeP 17 Sep 2012 22:59:42 2,075 posts
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    @Vortex808 Here's wot I learnt on my JOGLE adventure.

    September is a good time to do it, as the weather is alright, but kids are back at school so it's not high holiday season, easier to get accommodation and cheaper. Nights aren;t too drawn in either. Also, training for it over the summer is more pleasant than the winter.

    We did it North to South, my riding buddy's parents had retired down in Devon and wanted to meet him at the end. Fair enough, but the consequence was I spent 900 miles riding into a headwind, as the prevailing winds at that time are from the SW. It would have been a lot less tiring going from Land's End to J O'G.

    We took a long, meandering route, covering over 1000 miles on backroads wherever possible. You can do it shorter if you want, but you know, experience of a lifetime and that...

    Accommodation was fine, we booked in advance but had to rebook the second half as we were held up for two days in Cumbria due to ridiculous storms. We got into nearly all the same places. I would book in advance, especially in Scotland as in some areas places to stay are sparse.

    We used panniers, but if you were partially supported I'd suggest travelling lighter and using a big-arsed saddlebag like a Carradice Nelson Longflap. Way more aero. Partly it depends on what off the bike kit you want to take - washing and drying is a bit of a chore.

    I wrote up as much of my experience as I could here. Both planning and in the execution.

    http://www.notthehairybikers.com/

    Overall, it was a fantastic experience. You won't believe how hilly the UK is until you ride it. It's such a beautiful and varied country, and it's a shame I think most people never get the chance to experience that. I planned the ride first and then a charity element crept in, which I hadn't originally planned. We raised almost 4,000 in the end. Which was nice.

    PSN ID: Mikenetic

  • Vortex808 18 Sep 2012 10:48:19 7,580 posts
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    Thanks so much for that Mike, much appreciated. Never gave the wind too much though I have to say.

    We sort of thpugh north to south, with a rendezvous for a family holiday in cornwall, but it might be easier to go north and get some support car/change of clothes as we move north.

    One of us has gone through scotland to london before with tent etc, so hopefully he should know how it'll work better than me!

    It looks like it may take more planning and organisation than we thought, especially as we will have to do it through the school holidays. Hmm....
  • Salaman 18 Sep 2012 14:05:46 19,602 posts
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    MikeP wrote:
    Trailmix - jumble up a load of M&Ms with raisins and cashew nuts. Smash a handful of that in your gob once every half hour and you're golden :p

    When I did the Dunwich Dynamo this summer I made a Shooter's Sandwich for me and my mate. It weighed about as much as my bike, but I ate like a King.
    Oh my god that looks good!
    I like the caption on the last picture on that site.

    Serve sliced like cake accompanied by something vaguely vegetable-based to assuage the guilt
  • Trafford 18 Sep 2012 18:40:20 5,970 posts
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    @MikeP
    Very inspiring, I love a good cycle blog.
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