CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Sport

"Ride to the Sun"

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  1. bill
    Member

    My NOTP pal and I are planning to join the RTTS from Ecclefechan after a pre-ride into Berwick on Tweed, across to Eskdalemuir etc.

    Was thinking about packing the midge nest for us, so I will deffo do it.

    The piper on the Beef Tub will be my colleague's daughter this year as most pipers are attending the European Pipe Band Championships in Inverness this Saturday.

    Looking forward to seeing you!

    There is always money in The Banana Van...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  2. Greenroofer
    Member

    I seem to have permission (I think) to leave Edinburgh after tea and head to Moffat then join up with the ride there.
    I'll be going down via A70/Abington and the NCN bike path beside the M74.

    @bill if you head a bit further east than Eskdalemuir (via Newcastleton and Carlisle) you can make it a neat 400km. GPX track available on request ;-)*

    *and it actually is 400k, rather than one of my 'nearly but not quite' routes...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  3. bill
    Member

    @Greenroofer haha! Thanks, the route we have is actually 401k. @edinburgh87 proposed the route a while ago and we were planning to do it a trio but he got Covid in a meantime, so he is planning to do something shorter instead.

    I already submitted my first Audax DIY entry (no idea if correctly) so I don't want to change it.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  4. Greenroofer
    Member

    @bill - excellent. Have a lovely day. I'm contemplating riding just 40% of what you're doing, but do remember to say hello when you overtake me :-)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  5. gembo
    Member

    Was down at Crook Inn this afternoon, celebrating the 75th anniversary of the CTC Edinburgh Albert Watson Hut. Left a note for @Bill. Three hours down via Romano Bridge, Lyne Valley, Stobo, Drumelzier, Linkumdoddie,

    Two hours back, via Broughton, Biggar, Carnwath Mill, kaimend, said hello to @Greenroofer. I estimate around Tarbrax. The a little while later saw a big yellow van with the word Bananaa on it. Unclear but possibly driven by@hankchief.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  6. HankChief
    Member

    That sounds like an imposter Bananavan. My was unmarked so that I didn't get attacks by a gang of hungry monkeys.

    Another great RttS with a fantastic sunrise on the Prom at Cramond.

    A lighting & rain storm made it a bit interesting* for the riders going over the beef tub.

    (*By interesting, I mean cold and wet.)

    The CycloRave was wicked (do the kids still say that?) with the dancing warming people up before the dark slog up to Leadburn.

    Fresh Start & the scouts did a fantastic job of feeding and warming the riders in Cramond Kirk and CycleLaw were handing out beer on the Prom.

    Well done to the CCErs who did it, which I think was acsimpson, greenroofer, Steve, Bill, SallyH, EdinNightRide, Suzanne F, Stella + no doubt several others I didn't recognise in the dark. Chapeau.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  7. themightysimmonite
    Member

    Quality ride last night & my first century since lockdown.
    I was on the summit of the Beeftub when the lightning struck - was pretty scary & I was glad to be on a carbon steed rather than my old steel clunker.
    Thanks to HankChief & all the others (Cramond Scouts, Fresh Start, Cycle Law et al) for support.
    Chapeau to F & G for making it happen.
    TMS

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. Greenroofer
    Member

    @gembo - I'm sorry that I was in a world of my own so that my greeting was a formulaic one offered to any passing cyclist outside the city limits, rather than a personalised one.

    I had a 'half RttS' - so still a century but out-and-back from Edinburgh. It included a road I'd always wanted to try, curving round the flank of the hill between the M74 and the Beef Tub and joining the Beef Tub climb half way up. That road was glorious: pretty, with expansive views, a good surface and a gentle gradient. It was quite spooky though, because it was completely deserted and the sky to south was black, lit up by regular lightning strokes as if the Eye of Sauron was down there.

    The rain hit just after I'd joined the riders on the Beef Tub, and I saw the lightning strike the top of the climb. It was both beautiful and scary (having previously been on a bare mountainside with a thunderstorm going FLASHBANG around me, I don't want to experience that again).

    Posted 1 month ago #
  9. amir
    Member

    @greenroofer is that the Greenhillstairs road? I'm trying that in a couple of weeks on the Snow Hare 300.

    Sounds like a very atmospheric ride!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  10. Greenroofer
    Member

    @amir - yes, that's the one. It's lovely! Take some midge repellent with you: I stopped at start of it, where a splendid bridge takes you over the M74, and was eaten alive...

    Here's where I was eaten by midges

    Posted 1 month ago #
  11. amir
    Member

    Full of Roman stuff that area. You didn't see any in the lightning flashes marching disgruntledly?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  12. bill
    Member

    My duo 400k unexpectedly turned into solo ride the night before (my pal caught a cold). The prospect of joining the RttS later in the day and meeting some familiar faces was kept me going through the Saturday.

    I first headed into Dalkieth, then over the Rigg to Duns, where I had my first Co-op stop. Then into Berwick on Tweed and Wooler for my second Co-op. From Wooler I followed Etal-U-Can route through Morebattle and then in Jedburgh (third Co-op). Jedburgh has a castle. Who knew? (not me). Once heading out of Jedburgh I was caught in a squall -- heavy rain and the roads were steaming after all the sunshine. The squall didn't last long and once the jacket dried out it went back into a bag and the full sunshine resumed.

    Once going into Hawick I had an impression I was in Gala -- looked the same to me. From Hawick I took the road into Ettrick valley which I recognised from Ride of the Valkyries. Once I started descending into Ettrick valley I was really filled with joy, as it felt like coming home. My cycling home. Eskdalemuir had a Buddha bowl and pub quiz night on. It was filled with locals. I had a lovely meal (I read in the 'Endurance' book that we are supposed to eat healthy stuff instead of 'eat whatever you want', so that worked out well). Once down in Langholm I turned west to go to Ecclefechan. New and nice roads with blue skies and showers.

    In Ecclefechan at last I joined the RttS main drag. I expected to see hunners of cyclists but I think I was well behind the main crowd. Has the road surface there along B7076 been always so good? It was really good. Maybe I am just confusing it with the section north of Moffat which is rough. I could see black clouds and rain coming from the south west but I was hoping we would avoid it. The lighting and heavy rain came but at least I wasn't on top of the Beef Tub as some of yous!

    The chippy at Moffat was still busy when I stopped to eat my pain of choc. Going up the Beef Tub with with a string of lights was cool. I also enjoyed overtaking folks as it doesn't happen very often. I met my colleague at the Beef Tub but sadly the piper was having a little break and I pushed on before getting too cold. A banana, a little dance move and a chat with @HankChief at Crook Inn was really nice. Then I went to a CTC hut for a visit where I was treated to a fire, Ambrosia with bananas and a cup of hot tea. I took of my wet layers off and warmed up. 20min later I was out again but SO MUCH WARMER and HAPPIER. I flew back home with a smile on my face. I also got to see noctilucent clouds and a barn owl which was very exciting.

    Got home at 4am which was 23:50min after I left. Very slow but maybe that's why neither my head and nor the body were particularly tired. I was far, far more exhausted after the Snow Roads two weeks ago. I think the Snow Roads destroyed my soul and wind sensors, as the wind didn't bother me at all.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  13. Greenroofer
    Member

    Lovely write up @bill. There is something nice about joining RttS as the tail-end of a 400km, isn't there?

    I was struck this year that there were many people who overtook me at high speed with much drama, only for me to catch up with them a short distance later. I realised as I followed them that my riding style is 'pedal pedal pedal pedal' and theirs was 'pedal coast pedal coast'. Did you notice that as you overtook people?

    I'm imagining that people who can ride a long way comfortably tend to have a much more consistent (and relentless) pedalling style. I read somewhere that ultra endurance cyclists are either pedalling or braking, but never coasting...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  14. amir
    Member

    What an adventure, Bill!

    @greenroofer do you mean coasting downhill or on the flat? Freewheeling downhill seems common in audax circles, economy of effort

    Posted 1 month ago #
  15. Greenroofer
    Member

    @amir - I'm thinking that those who can ride a long way fast (like you or @bill) probably pedal at a very steady effort up hill and down dale (unless their speed down a dale gets so high that they have to brake). Someone who can ride 250 miles in one go won't be thrashing it up the hills, so won't need to rest on the descents. They just keep pedalling...

    Some of the people I was following yesterday were coasting on the flat.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    Well

    As someone who has probably never cycled more than 100 miles in a day, understanding ‘big ride tactics’ is mostly beyond me.

    The idea of constant pedalling makes sense, however less sure about the pedal/coast regime being a ‘mistake’

    The main point of cycling is fun - even half mile to the shops!

    I’m sure some people ride imagining they are one of their cycling heroes.

    So attacking hills, conserving energy in the peleton - bit hard when you are on your own… is ‘normal’.

    Especially those on a once a year/lifetime big ride.

    Of course I could be wrong.

    Presumably there is evidence/collective wisdom about efficiency - which must be a consideration for long distancers?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  17. Greenroofer
    Member

    @chdot totally agree about the main point of the ride (any ride) being fun. There were lots of people out on Saturday night creating memories and experiences for themselves in their own different ways.

    My comments were the result of early hours musings, prompted by the several occasions that I was overtaken with much energy by groups that I then caught up with, due to our differing riding styles (mine being in the 'slow but steady' category, theirs a more variable approach).

    I would have thought that, if one wants to ride a long way as fast as one can alone, then it requires pedalling constantly at a sustainable effort, because there's only so many times one can smash it up the hills before running out of gas and bringing the ride to a halt. Coasting down hills one could pedal down will save energy, but at the cost of speed.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  18. Greenroofer
    Member

    Here's a quote from the book Ultra-distance Dycling which is quite provocative.

    "For endurance riding, the key is to maintain the same level of power output at all times, at no time going into the red. Thus, if your optimal power is 230 watts for an endurance ride, this means riding up and down hills at 230W*.[...] When you master this skill, there are no hills - there is only your target power output [...] But be warned, it can feel like an antisocial way of riding. Less experienced riders will drop you on the hills and struggle to stay with you on the descents. The relentless nature of such riding means that unless their fitness is good enough to sit on your wheel they will eventually get left behind."

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. amir
    Member

    On the long ones, I find a huge benefit in freewheeling downhills. It means you are cycling less, and you can reduce saddle pressure. And you can reach good speeds. Of course it depends on the gradient.

    Whilst those I cycle with may or not turn the pedals going downhill, few are putting the power down.

    On longer rides, if you go too fast, your tired mind may have trouble keeping up

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. HankChief
    Member

    My top tip* for improving overall speed is to do at least 5 big pedals after you crest a hill before you try to get your breath back.

    You'll pick up even more speed from cashing in your stored gravity and be able to coast downhill faster than those using gravity alone.

    (*This may nit be the advice you were after)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    "I would have thought that, if one wants to ride a long way as fast as one can alone, then it requires pedalling constantly at a sustainable effort, because there's only so many times one can smash it up the hills before running out of gas and bringing the ride to a halt. Coasting down hills one could pedal down will save energy, but at the cost of speed."

    I'm not sure it's as simple as that, for example for a 5% 3km climb/5% 3km descent (70kg rider, 9kg bike)

    Climb at 200W on hoods takes 12mins 12secs
    Descent at 200W on drops: 3m04
    Total: 15m16
    Energy expenditure 183.2kJ

    Climb at 230W on hoods takes 10m51
    Descent freewheeling on drops: 3m33
    Total: 14m24
    Energy expenditure 149.7kJ

    http://bikecalculator.com/

    I know which one I'd prefer and it's not trying to mash out watts on a descent with a roadrunner-like cadence...

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. sallyhinch
    Member

    The storm hit us just as we reached the top of the climb, so we were descending on wet roads in the dark, with cold hands. I certainly wasn't about to add any more speed to what gravity was providing already, and was actually grateful for any little ascent just to get my legs moving again.

    The video in this tweet shows the moment when I realised we were about to get very wet indeed ...

    https://twitter.com/sallyhinch/status/1540928019967184896

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. amir
    Member

    Love this video! Very dramatic.
    Are the lights all cyclists?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. sallyhinch
    Member

    Thanks! Yes, that's pretty much all cyclists on the road.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. Greenroofer
    Member

    A@sallyhinch, you must have been close to the top when the big lightning bolt hit the summit, as I was lower down just after the bridge, being rained on hard when it happened.

    @murun - Isn't it interesting how things that seem simple never are when you get into the detail? I suppose the key thing to that 230W approach is whether it's truly 'sustainable' over repeated hills, not in terms of energy expenditure (which is clearly lower) but because of the general stress the heightened effort puts on the body.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. sallyhinch
    Member

    The rain started just as we reached the piper, who gamely played on until it got really hard. I think we were on the descent as the second lightning bolt hit - I remember the flash and the bang were pretty close. Scary stuff!

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. HankChief
    Member

    Not sure if this helps the debate above but is fascinating to watch

    https://twitter.com/javroar/status/1544321890449244160?t=Ur8TnoVfMDNeXB_hRm0Vxg&s=19

    Posted 1 month ago #
  28. Frenchy
    Member

    Note also the importance of the gradient at the very start. If the ball had hit an "up" before it had hit a "down" it wouldn't have gone very far at all.

    This is just physics, definitely no metaphors here.

    Posted 1 month ago #

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