May 21, 2014
Filed Under (Cycling, Road Cycling) by Ollie Cronk on 21-05-2014

The below are the totals for the whole challenge.

For individual days and to see the actual route we took see the Strava rides on the right hand side Strava box). We did deviate a bit as we did the Cheddar Gorge route on Day 2 as it was on safer quieter roads, and on some days I navigated on the fly choosing parts of the planned route or using other roads depending on how busy / safe the road was, elevation and directness of other options etc). Also we pushed on to Dingwall instead of stopping at Inverness (partly due to Nick’s amazing effort keeping us at 40kph for 30 mins on the front during Loch Lochy straight which saw Nick take 2nd position and I take 3rd on the Strava rankings for this piece of road!!! And also the highly favourable winds helped too! And good weather allowing for full speed descending (up to 75kph) on nice dry tarmac

Day 7 ended up being the biggest day by far in terms of total combined distance and climbing. . Only exceeded in distance by day 2 and climbing by day 1.

Total Distance = 1,491km or 926 miles – 11 miles more than the route planning suggested! This doesn’t include getting to LE either.

Elevation
18651m or 61190 ft (FYI Mt Everest is 8800m so we did the equivalent of twice up Mt Everest).

Elapsed time (includes stops) TBC
Moving Time TBC

Additional Calories Burnt = 36496

You can see over the days the average speed increasing as we get ourselves more organised and disciplined. Juggling cracking on with taking in the sights was difficult at times but we started to get around this if there was a man out front – if they didn’t get nailed back then they would stop and take pictures whilst waiting for the chain-gang or paced back rider to return.

I have to say I had immense fun once we got organised. Leading out, getting Nick, Anthony and Andy up to speed and taking turns and chasing down other team members whoever was ahead at up to 45kph on the flat was a real buzz. I fear my drivetrain might be shafted though! Later in the week cruising. At around 30kph (20mph) felt almost effortless (probably the tail wind) allowing me to conserve energy for the greater good of the team (although I did have moments on downhill and rolling up and down sections where I went off for some fun as the downhills were epic and dry). Parts of the ride to Oban and down Kirkstone pass (chasing Anthony and Andy as Nick and I set off a bit later) were highlights.

The lowlight on this aspect came just after Gretna Green. I needed to stop but didn’t want to slow everyone down so I had to chase for quite some time in to adverse winds. I think it didn’t help that I tried to catch a tractor to draft which was slightly too quick for me to catch burning up my ability to kick). Also the roads were so straight (and slightly uphill / false flat) that it was demoralising that I couldn’t see the others. I got back in the end but it was hard. When I did we.came across some.guys who had ridden from Portugal with massive amounts of bags. But possibly it was a good bit of training for the later days.

Also my left knee was pretty horrendous for a couple of days pedalling from cold in the saddle was really painful, going up Kirkstone pass was nasty and I had to just spin – only just catching Nick┬ábefore we got to the top once I had warmed up a bit.

More anecdotes and pictures to follow.

Thanks

Oliver

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