Archive for December, 2008

No. 24 – DIY Golders Green – 107 Km

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I did not submit my application to Andy before riding it. I truly had no idea whther I will be able to finish it and if I did – how long it will take me. So I played it safe, and just went on the ride.

The reason for my apprehension was the fact that I decided to do it on my FIXIE (look ma – no gears!). I had a few weeks of riding experience on it doing my 25 km a day commuting, but that means I only did 12.5 at a go, hardly an indication for a 100 km. Also, I knew full well that the major obstacle I will be facing would be the hills on the way. The route indicated a total elevation of about 850m, which is very gentle over such a distance, but I had no idea what it would look like in real life.

Well – I do now. And it’s just FINE!!! I had to walk only four times up the steeper hills, but, obvioulsy, I managed to do 99.9% of the way riding on the saddle. I also managed an impressive 19.1 km/h average speed so I even got back home while there was some light outside.

So, where was I? – here is the route.

OK – some more highlights from that journey. First – it was COLD – very cold. I think about 5C and obviously less if you factor in the wind chill factor. I was overall quite well protected – but not enough. I am buying more winter clothing. Second – it felt bizarely …. short. I don’t fancy doing a night ride soon, so that’s more or less what I can cover in a day, but it just was over quickly. Third, I think I managed to do the Maswell Hill (which is the last ‘real’ obstacle before the home straight section) at an astonishingly fast pace. I was wondering if I should attribute it to me munching a super duper Mars Bar minutes before tackling that hill. I shall experiment some more.

Am pleased.

Rules are Rules

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

I received an email from Andy telling me that, unfortunately, he cannot ‘validate’ my epic 315Km ride as it was ’29Km short’. At first I was quite stunned. What on earth is going on? I did 5% more than required and now I am told that it was, actually, 10% less?? I then remembered the rules – ‘one should take the SHORTEST distance between the controls as the correct measurement for a DIY route. Now check the following routes on a Google map:

View Larger Map

compared to:

View Larger Map

The routes are quite similar – aren’t they? Well, they certainly do not MEASURE the same length. The first is 279Km while the second comes up as 305Km. In reality, as I said, I covered a full 315Km!

So now I know. I have to use the point-to-point measuring first and THEN making any changes or tweaks to it. It will obviously imply an even further ‘detour’, having to bypass and ignore main roads as much as possible, but as the title says ‘Rules are Rules’.

Perhaps sometime in the future the rider will simply upload their GPS ‘trail’ as validation, rather than receipts from stores and bank statements from holes in the walls – but I am not holding my breath 🙂