Wild Wales 2011

The route for this years Wild Wales has been out out for some time and I hadn’t given it much thought. I sat down a couple of nights before the ride and tried to enter it. It’s written in handlebar shorthand and needs to be viewed with an OS map. Three hours later I was done, briefly put anything with double chevrons on an OS map was in the ride.

It’s two years since the last Wild Wales which ended in torrid conditions with a ride of 20 miles back through sheep slurry. This year a crud catcher went on the back. I also lost my dad the week after. In fact the funerals of father and father in law were within 24 hours of each other.

Then it hits me I haven’t been out in this neck of the woods  for two year.  I’m getting up the small 10% stuff in the middle ring but haven’t tested myself on the really steep stuff.


First test of the day was trying to get money into the temperamental parking meter. Then I discovered I’d come out with 2 righthand gloves so no gloves on the ride.

Not as many pictures this year,  can’t find the ones where you could see the sea after the first Control.

A large queue was forming at the start but the new swipe in system meant you were in and out in seconds.
Setting out on the ride I tagged on the back of a group with Janet and Lowrie in it.  We seemed to be following a chap on a mountain bike so I moved up near to the front, where Geof Dutton AKA “The Dog” jumps on my wheel.  Geoff never misses a wheel that’s why he is know as the dog.
Wild Wales 2011 by frankkinlan at Garmin Connect – Details

Had to stop to take a picture of the Llama,s  they were really curious about what was going on, running up to the fence to see a group of riders go by.

Stopped before this steep descent as the valley looked really sharp and detailed, it hasn’t come out in the picture, must be the new Oakley,s.
What goes down must come up and the first climb had the rear wheel spinning out.  The next stretch looked even worse.

 Dave Newby the front Northender still on the bike.

Dave Newby has to dismount on this stretch taking the Doc with him.
Stopped here just after Llyn Brenig to remove the rain Jacket.

 Control at Llansannan 

Got a bit lumpy after this turn, opted to walk the steepest section getting back on the bike when a septagerarium/octagenarium came past me.
More nasty short sharp climbs had riders falling on them. On those I opted to walk there were guys hardly advancing on me at 2 mph in Keo,s.
Ros,s fella went down on a particullary bad descent and had to take the road back to the start.
A chap on a Planet X went down and broke his bike and another of the Sunlight went down twice, falling on the same turn.
It was about 1:3 in places and you could feel the high spots in the rim as you tried to make it to the bottom in one piece.

Got caught out by the route, saw a sign saying 20%  so got 30 yards up it and bailed off. Couldn’t see what was beyond the bend and the Garmin hadn’t told me I was off Course. Two guys went past, one of them saying “No shame in walking” only to see them at the next control as I was leaving.
Chris (who was riding to the routesheet) called me back as I had missed one of the fluorescent arrows.

Later part of the ride, there was a couple offering drinks by one of the reservoirs but most were just flying by. It was one of those parts where you just had to make the most of the road. It doesn’t get much better than this.

It was easy to make a mistake in the final section of the ride, even on the gated road section which featured in the previous ride.
Following  a Bala sign had me off Course and retracing my steps had me meet up with a chap that had rode the Etape. Chatted about Audaxes and such as another group went by and took the wrong turning through a farm. God knows where that led to but it wasn’t Bala.

Weekending 29 Aug 2011

Monday : morning spin class at West Kirby followed by some sign removal. Called in to see Brian about some car work but he was fully booked up so ended up doing it myself with only one skinned knuckle.
Only 4 in the spin class including a chap wearing a beanie hat and what looked like a fleece.
Called in at Vita where the winner of the Kuota Kebel was getting sized up for the frame.

Tuesday : Early start as it is MOT day.
Car fails MOT and I have a couple of hours to kill in Birkenhead. Writing this on the IPhone in McDonalds to kill some time. The plan is to do some more sign removal in the afternoon. Maybe fettle the bike for the Wild Wales.
As it turned out I spent most of the afternoon with Barry in the Vita shop doing a bit of post ride analysis.
It’s a good job I spent 9 hours signing the 86 miles route or the event wouldn’t have happened, the route sheet was unusable and this wasn’t picked up until it was time to sign the route.
Had a comment about a lack of marshals, I did suggest one for the Backford Hill crossing   as it is dangerous. Apart from Barry and Phil they only had help from 2 others. On any event you need bodies to run it. Marshals for Sportives cost money they don’t stand by the side of road waving you on for free.
You don’t get marshals on a club ride.
I know you’ve paid to enter but this was a true “charity” event, not an event organiser event with a charity tagged on.

Try riding an Audax.

Signage, there is only so much road furniture you can tie wrap a sign on. If you steam past a sign on a downhill section at 30 + mph I can’t help that. The chap I rode with did it but didn’t hear the shouts  and I was only 50 yards behind him.
This was approaching Heswall, missing out the lower loop.

There was a chap averaging 12 mph on the big loop who knew we we would have all packed up and gone home by the time he would finish but insisted on continuing.

There,s the rub, the first rides I did had a charity tag but wern’t as such.  Vita with a touch of naeivety dive in at the deep end but by and large pull it off.

Steve rang the shop on Monday to  see how things went,  it went off better than I had expected. Good trade supportfor a good good cause meant  the 1 mechanical got a lift back in a nice Merc. Neil Pryde and Barry manned the feed station at Delamere.

Spent 3 hours tonight removing signs and that was with the help of Val driving. Got as far as Delamere before it went dark.
Bumped into the Northend doing Keith Boardmans 5 mile TT,s  at Benty Heath Lane.
It’s dark around 8:30 pm now so cyclists need to start using lights. I know, it’s only August.

Keep the feedback coming as we  (we) need it to make next years event better.The  rides the ride but this years loop to Hoylake was unessesary, perhaps a bigger loop into Cheshire.  Feedback needed on the short ride as it sent you on roads I wouldn’t have sent you on. We can come up with a good route that doesn’t involve A roads. The new Wirral Circular coastal springs to mind.

Weekending 21 Aug 2011

Monday:  Tex’s morning spinning class at the Oval. Turned up as the online booking system is down. You can’t even book on the phone as they are using the same system. Finally got rid of the fridge by stuffing it in the Polo and taking it the recycling center.

Signed up for the Vita Steve Cummings Challenge Ride on Saturday after a short ride around the Wirral.  They new Oakley Split Jackets  are awesome giving a totally new outlook on everything. Opted for the polarised lens in black iridium. They add a surreal 3D effect to everything with a really strong depth of field.

Popped in to Vita in the afternoon where the Route was going to be mailed to everybody. Screwfix for some sockets and managed to book a spinning class at West Kirby once the booking system was back online.

Off work on Wednesday as the kitchen coming a.m. and I’m behind schedule.

Sundays route is in the Garmin only thing to do now is put air in the tyres ride out to the start and do the ride. Hope the weather is good.

One other thing clubs riding the Route without entering will be named and shamed. This event is a charity ride with profits going to Claire House. There are some good prizes in the raffle including 2 bikes and a signed jersey.
Claire,s mum called in at the shop on Saturday publicizing another event, I’d hate to see a true charity ride besmirched by some freeloading clubs.

Wednesday: rode the  Vita/ Steve Cummings Sportive.  Ended up doing 95 miles , picked up a puncture just after Dark Arc lane. The patch glue had dried out and the Park glueless patch was a let down so had to swap the tube.

Saturday: Volunteered to put the signs up for the long route.  Knew it was a fairly big job after riding the route on  Wednesday but didn’t thing it would take 9 hours. Was getting short of cable ties at the end of it.
Many thanks to I R McGarvey Opticians of Prenton for donating a pair of Team Sky Split Jacket Oakleys into the raffle. Same as mine but without the prescription lens.  A really nice piece of kit. There are 2 bikes in the raffle  along with a signed Sky Jersey, a helmet signed by Mark Cavendish.
All in aid of a good cause.
Next year promises to be even better.
The route sheet is next to unusable being computer generated it sticks the wrong turns in. The route wants a tweek here and there but is pretty much OK.  Bear in mind the abilities of people who sign up for this sort of event.
Haven’t seen Phil or Barry since I left the shop this morning but can imagine they are up to their necks in it.
Promises to be a great day. Hope the signs are still up in the morning.

Sunday: 4 AM A big heads up to Phil and Barry for sticking their necks on the line. Another heads up for all the sponsors. Next year will be mega.
Enjoy the ride and above all stay safe.
Most will be starting before the general population are up for their Sunday papers. Most of the roads are never busy but do follow the highway code and avoid riding two abreast when there are double white lines. (Mickle Trafford)
It’s not a race, but a great ride in a worthy cause.
You can do this sort of ride on any day of the week, it’s the Cause that counts.

The Ride: Got a lift to Ness Gardens as I overslept. I was still patching the tyre at 10 pm from the Wednesday recce. Things looked a bit chaotic as the security guard to open the gates didn’t turn up until 8 instead of 7 so there were no breakfasts to dish out. Signed on and headed out at 9 am. The sign in Burton was still up thankfully.
Picked up a guy in Woodbank who had latched on to a group not on the ride and backtracked to find the arrow.
Didn’t get his name but we rode together until the feed station at Delamere.
There were a couple of Tri guys looking lost at Backford as the route was going over the dual carriage way.  Steamed past us only for us to pass them in the lanes having a comfort break.
There were a couple of punctures around Wervin with one needing the Vita Assistance van.  Other than that there didn’t seem to be many problems. Passed the Tri mob again at the shop at Delamere when the feedstation was just a mile down the road.

Talked to Barry at the feedstation and ended up setting off on my own.
Had two lads on my wheel after Cob Hall lane  all the way back to Cheshire Oaks, where I took to the cyclepath. It was all big ring stuff and the legs feel like they can hack it. I’d signed the route as per the GPS track but opted to take the Missing Link it’s a no brainer, saw the 35mile group the other side of it.

Stopped for a pint of Wainwright at the Thatch the bulk of the ride completed.
Called in at the shop to have a chat and a look at the Parlee frame they have in.
Probably one of the last lugged carbon fibre frames around it looks really nice.

The long route crosses course at the shop so was hard to mark up with a few calling back in to see which way it went. Left at the junction and pick the arrows up again. Missed the Hoylake loop out as it was a bit pointless and probably won’t feature in the ride again.
Likewise , busy roads.
Nice to go along the front at Parkgate, then it was through Neston to the finish.
No signing back in, that needs addressing in future as you don’t know who is still out on the road.
The raffle went really well, fairly unique in a Sportive.
The breakfast porridge was been given away and I took a tub, saw another one on Route 56, must have fallen out of someones jersey pocket.

What doesn’t fall out of jersey pockets is discarded gel wrappers, there weren’t  too many but they were ours. I like my Cheshire countryside unspoilt  my wrappers went in the  Disco Channel Musette.
Rule #77.
Perhaps Vita musettes for next year?

There is going to be a next year, with all the bugs ironed out.

Weekending 07 Aug 2011

Monday: Work
Tuesday: Work. Watched Tour of Poland. My Colnago got a mention on Eurosport as it was a Kazak team bike on the 1992 Milk Race. Graham Weigh as got a mention too as that is where the bike originally came from. Needs the rear triangle repairing as the bonding on the chainstay has parted company with the lug.
Wednesday: Work, last day.  Seen and heard some  daft challenges in my time but a one mile race on a new cycle to work bike is the latest. £20 is at stake which wouldn’t be too bad if the guy knew what he was doing. Only ridden 2 1/2 miles on it, took the toe clips off because he doesn’t need them. Bought a gel saddle rather than a pair of shorts. Planning to ride into work (20 miles) in an hour with no spares other than the Kevlar tyres he had fitted.
I’d have come in on my day off to watch this.
Thursday: Spinning class at the Oval, Tesco meal deal for lunch. Had to go to the Coop for the comic as there is no space for it at Tesco no wonder circulation is static.
Started to rip up the  tiles in the kitchen along with the plaster. An SDS drill makes short work of it. Cleaning it up is another matter.
Evening  spinning class at West Kirby, was throwing it down when I booked it but brilliant sunshine on the way to it. Should have got out on the bike instead.
Ordered a chisel from Screwfix so will have to pick that up.
Weight has stayed steady, dropping 100g from the last reading.
No sign of the new Oaklies yet or should I say the rest of the order.
Friday: Booked an evening Trixster bike class. Might get a short ride in and there is the kitchen to do. Entered the Steve Cummings Challenge ride.
Route is still a bit vague and it’s done in reverse. The original is a cracking ride as once you’ve made it up Primrose Lane it is mostly downhill. You can use momentum on the downhill sections to attack the climbs.

Saturday:  Short ride out to the Eureka visiting a tile shop on the way out as the kitchen is in bits. Met up with Dave who had just got back from Llandegla.
28 miles and got caught in a shower. Daves found a new screen while riding a GPX Course so the Dummies Guide is going to need an update.


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