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Old 01-26-06, 02:13 PM   #1
stapfam
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I had a problem in that at the end of May- I had 3 rides I wanted to do. That is now resolved as I am doing the South Downs Way Randonnee. Decision was made on the Tandem ride last night.

The South Downs is a chalk Ridge that runs along the South Coast of England. It is chalk with a covering of Clay. The randonnee will take part on the South Downs Way which runs the last 100 miles of the Eastern end of the Downs From Winchester to Eastbourne. 100 miles along a chalk ridge with good paths and signing for most of the way. Maximum height of the Downs is around 250 metres so this ride sounds easy. Only problem is-- The numerous rivers at sea level that cut into the ridge. Then you have the climb back up to 250metres. Then there is the time limit. A 6 am start will give you a maximum of 15 hours to do the ride in.

So there it is 100miles offroad in one day. Then there are the drawbacks. It is offroad and the track will be broken Chalk with plenty of ruts from the winter rain. Those hills be be sometimes long- 200 metre climb in 1 mile, sometimes short 15% average with the odd 20/25% bit thrown in. Flints that cut the tyres to ribbons or slow you down as they can be numerous and big. Oh, Then there is the total climb for the ride 10,000 ft

I have done the ride 8 times now- I have also failed twice. This will be my 9th time of doing it, and 3rd time on the Tandem. Forgot to tell you that, but not many Tandems have done this organised ride. Many have started but until 2003 none had finished. When Stuart and me entered, were told we were foolhardy to attempt it, and we proved them right by being the first Tandem to finish. Then in 2004, 2 tandems finished. Don't know about last year as we did not do it.

I may be foolhardy for attempting this ride, but it is my target ride for each year.
Don't expect many to do as severe a ride as this, but remember that I have been riding for 15 years now, always off road, and at least 48 weeks a year riding. On top of that I do extra training to just get fit for this one ride.

Now what rides have you got planned for this year? (With a description of it of course)
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Old 01-26-06, 03:58 PM   #2
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This is a solo adventure so in that sense it is not a big ride. The distance is big.... maybe too big.
I am in the planning stages for a ride late this summer... after labor day. The rough plan is to ride from my place northwest of Portland, OR to the coast on Hwy. 30 through Astoria. Then south along Hwy 101 to Florence, OR. Then to Springfield via Oregon hwy 126 and from there north through the Mohawk Valley to Sweet Home. Then a short jog west to Lebanon and north on the Cascade Highway to Silverton. From Silverton, north on Oregon hwy 213 to Portland and west on Hwy 30 to home again.
The total distance is about 430 miles which I will try to ride in 50 to 75 mile chunks. I will stay in motels and not carry any camping equipment. Somehow coffee just doesn't taste right when it's cooked over a cigarette lighter that wants to be a stove when it grows up. I haven't worked out all the details yet but will probably stay over in Astoria, Garibaldi, Lincoln City, Newport/Waldport, Florence, Springfield, Lebanon and Silverton. I might stay an additional night in the Oregon City/ West Linn area, depending on where I cross the river.
I will ride the bike I am building now; a fixed gear/single speed Kogswell G58 and will probably put a freewheel on the flip side in case I need it on some of the longer climbs like Cascade Head north of Lincoln City and Hwy 30 from Rainier to Clatskanie. It would be better to be able to coast down those two. And then there is the stretch through the Coast Range on Hwy 126 which is a lot of up and down but not any really long grades.
Of course, I reserve the right to bail out at any time but for now that's the plan.

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Old 01-26-06, 05:04 PM   #3
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I'll be part of a group riding from Thunder Bay Ontario, down thru Duluth, Bayfield Wisconsin, Hayword WI and winding up in the Twin Cities. 500 miles in 7 days with the long day of 105 miles and just 25 on the last day. It's the annual "Tour Des Trees" which is a fund raising event for "The Tree Fund", the research branch of the International Society of Aborculture. All I need to do is secure $3500 in sponsorship money and get myself in great shape. It will be an incredable ride with over half the mileage right on the shores of Lake Superior. It will be in the last week of July but it's usually pretty nice and cool up there. Now, further south down towards the Twin Cities it could be very hot. Anyway, it's giving me a great goal to prepare for in my winter conditioning.
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Old 01-26-06, 08:17 PM   #4
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Stapfam-how many cyclists do the South Downs ride? That's a heck of a lot of climbing for not being on pavement.
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Old 01-26-06, 11:55 PM   #5
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During the second week of may we are planning a three day - 375 mile group tour from Metulla (the northern most point in Israel) to Eilat (the Southern most point) via the Jordan Rift valley. It is organized with stops, support, ambulance, food, drink, etc.
While it is much less challenging than Stapfam's ride, it promises to go through some beautiful scenery at a relatively fast pace (average of 20 mph).
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Old 01-27-06, 01:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jppe
Stapfam-how many cyclists do the South Downs ride? That's a heck of a lot of climbing for not being on pavement.
400. The ride is also set up for others, as there is a 65 miler that starts at the same spot as the 100 miler, and a 35 miler that starts where the 65 miler ends. Of the 400 that start- less than 50% finish, and it is surprising how few of the older riders drop out. They have enough sense to pace themselves for the distance.
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Old 01-27-06, 09:27 AM   #7
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We'll be taking the tandem on the Bicycle Tour of Colorado http://www.bicycletourcolorado.com/ again this year. This year's route is reversed from the 2002 tour, which should make the dreaded Slumgullion Pass a little easier on the knees. We set our record of 60 mph coming down that pass, but now that Judy has her own computer back there, I'll be in trouble if we do it again.

Whew, I'm not sure I could do 100 miles on dirt roads - my bony old butt just wouldn't take it.
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Old 01-27-06, 06:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingofbeers
We'll be taking the tandem on the Bicycle Tour of Colorado http://www.bicycletourcolorado.com/ again this year. This year's route is reversed from the 2002 tour, which should make the dreaded Slumgullion Pass a little easier on the knees. We set our record of 60 mph coming down that pass, .............
Does this mean you'll be climbing the hill you went 60 mph down?? Makes my knees hurt just thinking about it!!
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Old 01-27-06, 07:31 PM   #9
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"Big ride planned" for tomorrow-at least for this time of year. I'm planning to ride 25 miles to Gold Hill and meet up with some other riders. We will then do a 60 mile loop that takes us over to a "mountain" where we will do a 4 mile climb on roads around 7-8% grade. So, it could be a 110 mile day with some climbing thrown in.

I'm excited about seeing some new roads, nervous about the climb and nervous about 110 miles after some climbing. You would think that after all the miles I've done I would not feel that way but it's early in the year and any way you cut it 110 miles can be a long trip.

But, it feels good to be "excited" about a training ride. Wish me luck!!!
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Old 01-27-06, 09:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jppe
Does this mean you'll be climbing the hill you went 60 mph down?? Makes my knees hurt just thinking about it!!
We hit 60 coming down towards Creede last time, after climbing the switchbacks on the Gunnison side. This year, the old drum brake will be smokin' by the time we get to the bottom. I'm already getting excited.
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Old 01-29-06, 12:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingofbeers
We'll be taking the tandem on the Bicycle Tour of Colorado http://www.bicycletourcolorado.com/ again this year. This year's route is reversed from the 2002 tour, which should make the dreaded Slumgullion Pass a little easier on the knees. We set our record of 60 mph coming down that pass, but now that Judy has her own computer back there, I'll be in trouble if we do it again.

Whew, I'm not sure I could do 100 miles on dirt roads - my bony old butt just wouldn't take it.
My bro in law and sis have a summer home in Lake City and we vacation there every year. I'm pretty familiar with that country having been there once or twice nearly every year for the last 20 or so. I absolutely love it there. Between biking, atv'ing, jeeping, hiking....we never run out of fun there!
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Old 01-29-06, 02:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by hawkijohn
My bro in law and sis have a summer home in Lake City and we vacation there every year. I'm pretty familiar with that country having been there once or twice nearly every year for the last 20 or so. I absolutely love it there. Between biking, atv'ing, jeeping, hiking....we never run out of fun there!
You're right, it's a beautiful area, with some really wicked winters. The drive (or ride) between Lake City and Creede is my all-time favorite stretch of road - just amazing.

If you happen to be there around the end of June, you might think about joining the ride for a day or two.
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Old 01-30-06, 09:57 AM   #13
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Bike Virginia in June - 250 miles in 5 days. Looks like fun and a lot cheaper than a bike tour in Europe - language works too.

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