April 13, 2017 at 5:03 pm #17813
The last ride to Bewl was non-stop so I’m glad the group managed a cafe-stop this time in such good weather.
My Sunday ride took in the infamous Bealach Na Ba – the Applecross Pass.
It’s Britain’s longest road climb – I’ve done Great Dun Fell near the Lake District which is private road to a weather station – but this was something else. Both are rated 11/10 by Simon Warren – I hill repped Great Dun Fell but there was no way I was going back up Bealach by bike that day!
Here’s a flyby of the ride so you can get a feeling for it.
Weather started off mild at a balmy 7C and no rain, but by the time I reached the climb (after climbing past 2 lochs) the rain was out and the wind was howling. I set off anyway as it was a must-do.
I stopped regularly to take photos and savour the scenery – but also nearer the top a few times to prevent being blown off the mountain!
At one point I had to kneel on the ground on the bike laying flat – if I stood up and held the bike – it was flapping around in the wind!
I rode up into the clouds at the top and it was freezing – 2C.
To top it off as I summitted there was an ambulance with blue lights flashing coming up too! Thankfully not for me.
A quick shivering descent and I found a cafe for hot food and tea and then set off round the coast road back – it was lumpier than I imagined – thanks for the warning Simon Lumsdon. Beautiful coastal roads – steep like cliffs up and down with no escape from the elements.
I was soaking, exhausted and freezing by the time I got back to my hotel on the banks of Loch Torridon – the staff – and Sue – were pleased I made it back – and the staff in particular were amazed that anyone would be stupid enough to ride up that road 🙂
30mins in the shower and I was able to recover with beer, scones and Paris-Roubaix on the telly.
60 very slow, wet miles – but I’m so glad I endured it – absolutely stunning roads – can’t recommend enough!
April 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm #17822
Wow, well done Steve. I’d love to do that climb…..one day! So far I’ve only managed to drive over that pass! I’m not sure you’ve really sold it to our southern Avanti friends though!! Great photos, especially the ambulance!
April 13, 2017 at 6:24 pm #17824
April 13, 2017 at 5:04 pm #17818
April 9, 2017 at 8:30 pm #17806
Great to see so many at the G this morning.
We split fairly between G1 & G2 groups and headed off on our way.
G1 consisted of myself, Lee Staples, Chris (Lee’s brother), Sam Dorkings, Richard Bingham, Graham Channon and Nolan Wilkens.
Nolan decided to go solo at the top of Ide Hill due to not feeling to great, hope you felt better later Nolan.
The group worked well and apart from a puncture we arrived at a packed Cafe in good time.
After many visits from the waitress we just about placed our coffee order by the time G2 arrived. It took a while for that and our later cake order to arrive, but the quality of food was worth the wait. We left before G2 and headed for home.
All worked well on the return journey, but due to reduced miles over the winter Chris started to feel the miles and pace so he started to drop back. Lee dropped back with him and we later agreed to split after the top of Plaxtol.
Great group and weather today which made for a fairly quick ride.
My ride: 69 miles – Ave 18.2 mph – 3,700 ft climbed – 3:47 hours ride time.
Great riding everyone today.
April 9, 2017 at 7:10 pm #17805
Heartfelt thanks to Chris for leading the group today , in spite of a seriously heavy handicap – I hope you are able to rest and recover….
Good to meet up with all the group once more in a lovely sunny location at Bewl. Also good to meet Sergei who shows good potential for the future. Also good to meet Tim , for the first time.
On virtually every occasion all I could see was his back wheel slipping away from my grasp…; oh well….😔.
April 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm #17802
April 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm #17800
OK – what a day to ride. I said I’d lead a G2 pace ride, but having had a very heavy cold all week after getting back from Flanders, did debate whether to hand on the baton.
At the G we split G1 and G2 as planned – some 16 odd riders there. I went with Russ (arriving just slightly late 🙂 ), Chris M, Sergei (new to club), Tim (new to club), Alistair, Sean and Julian.
I was determined to run the group as tightly as possible – so sorry (again!) for my endless chat, particularly en route to Bewl Water. Almost the entire way out we road in tight lines and it’s great to see. This happened on most of the climbs as well – and I needed the breather in any case!
Great stop at a packed Beals Barns – we arrived about 10 mins after G1. On our way down we lost Chris Moss to a family outing and then Russ who snapped his rear shifter cable. However, mysteriously this happened outside the pub at Groombridge (and he’d even warned his wife he might need a pick up!!).
The Cafe was packed, but it’s a really friendly and peaceful spot. I’ll put some pictures up later, but we had a huge table together.
We picked up the pace on the way pack. Everybody was riding very strongly, with plenty of turns shared at the front. I clocked about 16.5mph and 4,000ft of climbs for the 70miles. A great, varied route.
I was completely done towards the end, and then struggled to cycle home to Eltham. My legs felt like lead today and no energy at all – I slowed the group down from Plaxtol as a result. I’m now at home unable to move!! Thank goodness I was not like this last weekend.
Really well rode everyone. Very good group to be with, and no doubt less done in than I am in right nnow!
April 9, 2017 at 4:53 pm #17798
Please post club rides and other activities on this forum.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.