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Darryl Gunson

Etape du Dales 19 May 2019

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Just a quick update as what my plans are.  Sadly Carol has decided not to do the Etape because of a nasty bug she has endured for a few weeks, you will be missed at the weekend.  I will be in the Amaretto car park at 1330h on the Saturday to pick up bikes and people.  Except Chung, it makes more sense to pick you up from Newton Mearns, to guide me there I believe there is something like the Bat Signal, but with a Campagnolo logo.  From there it is down to Kettlewell where I have a table booked for 1900h for eight of us.  Post up if this fits in with you.

 

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15 minutes ago, Gerard Deeley said:

Just a quick update as what my plans are.  Sadly Carol has decided not to do the Etape because of a nasty bug she has endured for a few weeks, you will be missed at the weekend.  I will be in the Amaretto car park at 1330h on the Saturday to pick up bikes and people.  Except Chung, it makes more sense to pick you up from Newton Mearns, to guide me there I believe there is something like the Bat Signal, but with a Campagnolo logo.  From there it is down to Kettlewell where I have a table booked for 1900h for eight of us.  Post up if this fits in with you.

 

Sounds great to me, Gerard, really appreciate the lift!

I'm really looking forward to another Joansins adventure ............. but I just had a good look at the route map & profile for the very first time there

............ Holy Batman it's looks 'ard :shock:

Is anyone bringing a motorbike? :shock:

Cheers

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Thank you so much Gerard looking forward to seeing you.  Though I am nervous I have been looking at the route it looks stunning.  I will leave you boys to your meal I have enough of boy chat at home with my two sons ;)

Many thanks again.

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Thanks Gerard - that’s the JWCC bunch at the start of the ride - all looking relatively fresh. It was a different story at the end though!

There were 7 JWCC and two friends - Scott (just back from a weeks training in Majorca) and Glynn who was always going to be good on the hills given can’t have weighed more than 55kg - wet through.

The intention was to ride ‘as a group’ at a very conservative pace. This proved to be a very good decision. Group was intact when after 30 miles or so Linda peeled off to follow the 60 mile route - sterling effort Linda!

After that the fun and games began. I’m sure some of the others will want to add their own experience, but suffice to say that this is a very very hard ride indeed. In a word, brutal. It is every bit as hard as the Fred in my opinion.

Anyway, our policy of keeping the group intact and stopping at the feeds served us well. Everyone was in good spirits with no mechanicals or mishaps (we saw a few which served as a salutary reminder that the course can be dangerous, especially the downhills). 

I’d ridden quite a few of these roads before so I had an idea what to expect, but I kept that to myself to preserve morale , as each climb was as hard or harder than the next, with a few 25% sections thrown in for good measure.

We regrouped in Hawes for the last time and had a welcome coffee before tackling the very last climb - Fleet Moss. I hadn’t ridden this before, but Graham had, just the previous day (yes he cycled down!). He told us with a solemn look on his face that it was just as hard as anything we had already done. He wasn't lying.

Overall a great day out, which will no doubt gain epic status in our memories, once we forget about how hard it was.

It was a long day though, with the drive back to Glasgow. With hindsight, staying another night would have been good.

Thanks to all who participated - JWCC and friends. 

Cheers!

 

 

 

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Great stuff from Darryl, an epic Wheelers day out in some stunning scenery.  Very glad of my decision take each hill as steady as possible for such a long route with a couple of steep climbs.  I am a rubbish climber but based on how I fine feel today it has paid off.  Many thanks to everyone there, it was a memorable weekend.  When do start planning the next one...?

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386276D7-5EF8-43AF-BD09-7CD9300DE2D7.jpeg

 

First of all, Thank you Darryl for suggesting/organising this Sportive & all the Wheelers & friends for another very memorable day indeed on the bike!

I wouldn't have thought about doing this if it wasn't for Darryl's idea, since all I do these days are flat & cobblily :-) ............. but I'm glad I did this even though as everyone have said - it's brutal :shock: !

It's been a long time since I've done a "local sportive", probably have to go back to 2012 now, so it was a great reminder that there are still some brilliant events to be ridden without crossing the Channel.

It might not have the glitz & glamour of bigger, more internationally recognised foreign events, but what it lacks is made up for by the warm reception (everyone I met, locals/marshalls helpers etc all had a smile on their faces) friendly atmosphere ........ & less riders to elbow out the way at feed stations :grin:

In my opinion, this was an extremely well organised event with some lovely scenery & some of the hardest climbs I've ever done :shock:

I've lost count of the times 20/21% gradient reading shown on my Garmin & these were always at the end of some long constant 10,12, 14, 16% slopes. Every time I ask Darryl, how many more climbs, he just said "........... only 1 more" :grin: ........ I know full well that it was not true ........ but somehow want it to be so!

What also pleasantly surprised me was the conditions of the roads we drove & rode on, it was actually quite good without too much pot holes or broken surfaces, that was very welcome indeed, especially the brilliant & long but fairly technical descents. Which was great because after everyone climbs, the long down hills would munch away the km's, bringing us closer back to the finish!

It goes without saying that I had a great time - thanks also to Gerard for pick-up & drop off & to my travel companions .............

P.S We were lucky with the weather, because I dare to think what it would be like if it was windy & wet :shock:

Cheers

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I agree with the guys, this was a very well organised event, in a stunning part of the country on great roads... we stayed in a quaint wee village called Kettlewell in 4 different lodging all within about 100 yrds of each other and had a meal in the local hotel, food was great and for once we went easy on the pints, only 3 or 4 max Hello,beer!!.. as for the ride itself, no-one has exaggerated how tough this was, easily as tough as anything I've done before including the Fred and the Marmotte Pyrenees, it seemed that every single climb had sections in the high teens or low 20's plus a couple of 25 percents that seemed to go on for ages... as usual the company was great, so despite the pain it was a really enjoyable day in a masochistic kind of way.. Slept like a baby when I got home..

mcginty

 

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Thanks everyone for making Glynn and myself welcome. And Darryl, you were right about needing low gearing for the event.. on the last climb (think it was Fleet Moss) I needed to get off the bike for a breather.. unable to keep a 34x27 turning, even standing on the pedals!

There was a man and a woman sitting on top of the grassy embankment overlooking the road on the climb, encouraging me to keep going as I passed. I called out to them, "I imagine you've seen the full range of human suffering today". Their eyes twinkled briefly, before smiling politely in response.

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Hi

A huge well done to all the guys a fantastic achievement those hills were brutal.  I felt so proud when you all got back.

I wanted to say thank you so much to all of you who looked after me.  Chung you gave me the best laugh he hadn't got on his bike and felt sick due to Gerard taking the scenic route to KettlewellSeeme?Seehappy? This was my first sportive and I loved it. Next year definately the full distance...anyone interested:icon_yes

I recommend the wheelers skinsuit definately makes you go faster:grin:

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3 hours ago, Lc1 said:

Hi

A huge well done to all the guys a fantastic achievement those hills were brutal.  I felt so proud when you all got back.

I wanted to say thank you so much to all of you who looked after me.  Chung you gave me the best laugh he hadn't got on his bike and felt sick due to Gerard taking the scenic route to KettlewellSeeme?Seehappy? This was my first sportive and I loved it. Next year definately the full distance...anyone interested:icon_yes

I recommend the wheelers skinsuit definately makes you go faster:grin:

Linda, it’s good to know that my suffering can make others happy ....... it makes it all the more worthwhile :grin:

Well done on completing your first Sportive, you could have picked an easier one to start with, so anything you do from now on will be a breeze  :-)

P.S The times are up on the website now, makes interesting reading :-)

Cheers

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