grown ups? not likely

grown ups? not likely

Cogal Report: Sussex Cogal 2016

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Someone is taking this Cogal thing seriously, except for the malted recovery beverage drinking part. And maybe we need to remove the “casually deliberate” from route pace description. One person’s casually deliberate is another person’s lactate threshold. I know this from personal experience. Well done here, from start to finish, even you Alex. 

VLVV, Gianni

View from @ChrisO

We’d ridden some of these roads before on the first English cogal in 2013, the one with the biblical deluge.

I only know this because several times Dave (Teocalli) breezily pointed out ‘That’s the paddock where the cows came over as we mended the puncture’ and other pieces of bucolic nostalgia. Honestly I couldn’t have connected that rain-soaked head-down day with the present landscape if my life depended on it.

While not-exactly glorious it was at least picturesque day to appreciate the beautiful back passageways of Sussex and Surrey, traffic-light and innuendo-heavy. A suitable day for the last fling before mudguards and winter boots become standard.

Just six started but it was a quality field and while the pace was amicably casual on the flats it was deliberately sharp on the uphills, of which there were a couple of testers. The climb above Goodwood in particular was short but nasty, a half mile at 8-10% or a full mile at 6%, which took a toll on some of our number

The real beast was at the end though leading up to Dave’s house (I asked if he’d considered moving). It has some 7-8% in the middle but about two miles of 5% which seems innocuous enough even after 130km. The fiendish thing is that it seems to come from nowhere. I usually look for a summit or ridge and think “OK, I’ve just got to get up there” to know how much further to sustain my effort. This seemed to be a rolling optical illusion, with no top that could be seen and no higher points but a constant gradient. If M.C.Escher designed hills, this would be one of his.

With some tempo-drilling on the front we made it to Dave’s place literally as the rain started to fall, and an otherwise dry day was dampened by runs to and from the train stations in some lashing rain. Still, last time I rode with Dave I came back in more pieces than I’d started out in so the text home of merely “I’m wet and on the train” was a relief to all. The fact that it had come after warm soup and home-baked bread rather than ketamine and x-rays was a bonus.

I said last time that I was surprised more people didn’t come to these Cogals, given the way in which the Rules seem to pervade cycling. I can only assume the many rule-quoters out there think we are mythical, secretive and closely-guarded, like the real Illuminati.

Perhaps on his forthcoming book tour Frank can give a plug to the local chapter. But, fresh blood or not, we’ve done well to have two Cogals in a year and next spring we aim for Wales, where even the word innuendo puts you over your daily vowel quota.

 View from Greg

Having spent much more time riding in the North Downs (and north of London in Hertfordshire and  the Chilterns), I was really looking forward to my second UK Cogal, this time in the South Downs out of Haslemere.   Even the early week email flurry of apocalyptic weather warnings couldn’t dampen (soak?) my enthusiasm!

On the day, I was second to arrive at Hemingways for pre-ride caffeine and carb (croissant with Nutella!) loading with Chris O. Soon the rest of the folks rolled up…some of the same who rode the Chiltern Cogal early in the year: Ephraim, David Hill and a couple of new faces: David’s son Alex and Dave (Teocalli) who was ill for the last UK Cogal.

Off we went and a couple things struck me as we rolled along: (1) how much lower the traffic levels were compare to the northern parts of Surrey… Dave, I’m seriously envious!; (2) The scenery and quality of the route. Our route organiser (Dave) lives in the area and put together an excellent route with a nice mix of roads/terrain/scenery…. Even the A roads we used to connect to back roads were quiet.  The scenery by the way was fantastic…not as “structured” as in Kent, not as wild/natural as some of the riding I’ve done in Wales…rather somewhere in between. And finally (3) the weather gods were going to be kind to us at least for most of the day) with sunshine was breaking through off and on over the first couple of hours. The crystal clear air and fantastic quality of the light made it one of those days that you take note of and appreciate!

The group wound along at a reasonable tempo, splitting a bit in hills but regrouping at the summits.  After a while it was clear Alex was feeling the impact of the distance/tempo/vertical…. there’s no mistaking when the man with the hammer is pounding on someone’s door.  But you could also tell he wasn’t going to open the door for him, rather he’d have to break it down…well done Alex.

Lunch at 50 miles was al fresco and super at the Compton tea house and we reduced to 4 there.  Upon departing, We set a steady tempo back and reached the final, reasonably long climb up to David’s house.  As I started up the pitch on Chris O’s wheel I began to hear some strange noises off the rear wheel…. Very similar to when one leaves coins in your trouser pocket in the washer/dryer.  I slowed, pretty much knowing I had broken a spoke, but unwilling to stop. The sound stopped and I soft pedalled along hoping things would stay silent….but to no avail.  Stopping, I found the offending spoke and did my best “Macgiver” and secured it by wrapping it around another spoke as Dave and Ephraim rolled past asking if I was OK.  Luckily everything held together and we all made it to Dave’s house for some excellent soup, bread and coffee that his wife Heather has made for us (thank you!) just as the raindrops started to fall.

A quick dash in the now moderate rain to Haslemere station and again in central London from Waterloo to home completed a fabulous 90+ mile day.

Thanks guys for a fabulous day out and ignoring (mostly) my Rule breaking!

Looking forward to a Welsh Cogal in the spring – Greg

 

View from @E-Digs (Ephraim)

SUSSEX COGAL IN NUMBERS

233 kilometres clocked up because I thought it’d be interesting to ride the 82 kilometres from my house to the start of the Cogal in Haslemere, Sussex.

Which meant 2500 metres of elevation by day’s end.

6 gentleman cyclists started our Tour of Sussex.

4 gentleman cyclists completed our Tour of Sussex.

0 punctures.

1 mild panic after 15 minutes of riding when I reached for my bidon and realised I’d left it at the start in Haslemere. No worries, only another 75km to the lunch stop. (For “no worries” read “BOLLOCKS!”)

3 names crossed off on our innuendo bingo cards: Cocking, Lickfold and Balls Cross. Unfortunately, we failed to spot Parsons Fanny, Hardon Lane and Push-In-The-Bush.

3 times I told Dave (Teocalli) how great his route was. Public roads that felt like private passageways, lumps in all the right places offering splendid views, and short sections of main road for driving the tempo.

4 sausage rolls were devoured at lunch in Compton. 2 were these Fancy Dan Italian inventions that looked delicious. The other two were your common-or-garden affairs because they’d now run out of their delicious looking Fancy Dan Italian versions. Bastards.

Although we were in Compton, we left without sighting any members of NWA. I did think we might be on for a drive-by shooting when a car drove slowly past our seating area, but it was just Heather, Dave’s awesome wife on broom wagon duty.

27 rain drops felt over the course of our 137km group ride. 5 were sensed at the point Chris O removed his arm warmers, which caused him to wonder aloud if he’d acted too hastily. The remaining 22 were felt as we pulled up at the end. Timing!

0 fucks given as I rode home from Waterloo station in a deluge. This was my second Cogal, and my second classy day out with posters and lurkers on this forum, so, at this juncture, a soaking was chump change.

There’s been a low hum about a possible Welsh Cogal in spring of next year, and my advice would be to hop aboard if you can, because in a world of shortcut reviews these gatherings get the full 5 stars.

View from @DavidHill

I was looking forward to the Cogal, riding with my son who had come over from Belgium especially for this ride. I’d warned him it would probably be a tough one, the longest he’d done, but that it would be in a beautiful area, with a great bunch of guys, and that we’d enjoy it. I’ll let him comment on that last sentiment. Once we’d all met up at the appointed café I knew it was going to be a very hard day. I could only see the grimpeurs from the earlier London Cogal in front of me, and Teocalli (Dave) who I was sure also fell into that category.

Once we left the café we quickly got into a very decent pace (none of this Casually Deliberate 23/24 km/h nonsense) and I settled down for some serious hard work. At the first few hills my fears were realised – the other 4 disappeared up them, I battled up, and my son followed. This pattern was repeated, and the grimpeurs got used to stopping at the peaks, admiring the view, and waiting for us.

Fifty to sixty km in I made a decision – I felt the others were waiting too long, and we were acting as a brake on the group. Whilst the weather was fine, it was due to turn late afternoon, and no-one wants to be riding in foul weather in late October if it can be helped. At the next climb, once I got to the top, I suggested that we would continue to ride together until the lunch stop at around the 85k mark, and from there split the Cogal into two, as the speed differential was just too great. The others demurred, saying it wasn’t a problem etc, but I still felt we should split.

However, during the ride to the appointed lunch stop the Broom Wagon was summoned, aka Heather, Dave’s lovely wife. It would have been rude not to accept (!), so our rides were cut short and we were delivered to a superb bowl of warm soup.

And before anyone quotes “Rule V” at me, we were both happy to carry on, however we would have tested the patience of even the most saintly riders by the end!

View from @Teocalli (Dave)

As I woke, after dawn, I reflected how nice it was to have a Cogal start on your doorstep as I was sure the remainder of the troop would have been up well before dawn. Little did I know that by the time I arose Ephraim would have already have been on the road for well over an hour riding to the start. Chapeau.

Tyres up to pressure, bidons filled and glad I had bought a Gabba after all, as the weather was not looking quite as dry as forecast. David and Alex arrived to leave their car at our place and a quick wiz downhill to Hemmingway’s to the obligatory pre start Espresso/Macchiato – well, isn’t a Flat White the new Macchiato?

Fortunately the weather picked up and it turned out “reet grand” (at least for the time of year) as the drizzle stopped just about as we started and as other’s have said we finished just as it started to pour down.

Once again I was struck by how well members of the community seem to ride in a group compared to many of my club rides. There was no surging and everyone held station on the lumps and bumps. Nice one guys. So we soon settled into a rhythm for the day riding as a nice tight group. Well, mostly.

It is so much easier when you know where the pain points are going to come on a ride. So it was clear that we had unfortunately rather burned Alex heading over Goodwood and knowing what was to come after lunch (a series of hills to the finish each worse than the preceding one) I had a quick chat with ChrisO to confirm that it was sensible to call the broom wagon. Fortunately, I had put the bike racks on in case we had any mechanicals and pre-booked a “just in case” with Mrs T. The challenge though would be in finding us as the car’s Sat Nav hates back roads and we were riding some very back, back roads that Heather did not know existed. So a hook up at the lunch stop village was arranged – turned out that even that village was unknown to the Sat Nav but we were discovered just as I moved from Sausage Roll to Coffee Cake. I had a plain one – that will teach me for pre-recommending the Spicy Italian ones.

So with tears in our eyes and a heavy hearts for our lost team-mates we set of for the second half of the ride and the hills that fortunately I knew. The nasty part is that as the miles accumulate in the legs the hills really do get worse on this route. In fact, just about on any route round here does that on the way back home. So it is good to know that ChrisO appreciated the last one. Greg exceeded the Star Trek Scotty Factor laying down so much power that he blew a spoke. I read somewhere that it’s one of the few remaining hills that retains the profile that was built in for horse and cart whereby it goes up in a series of ramps so the horses got a bit or respite (relative term) between each ramp. Always nice to know when you feel like your body is about to explode. All in all, a great ride in great company once again and looking forward to what @RobSandy has in store for the inaugural Welsh Cogal 2017.

 

View from Alex

I must be a cat.

We returned from the Cogal a few hours ago, and with memories still fresh I thought it would be best to write the report as soon as possible. For the moment though, the only thought crossing my mind is : ‘pain’. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Ok! I’ve had a good night’s sleep, here goes the report: The Cogal really started at the meeting point for an early morning coffee. We hadn’t started cycling and I was already panicking. Clearly, we were in the presence of those that live La Vie Velominatus. Between Chris who travels the world for sportives, Ephraim who cycled 80km to the meeting point, the equipment and the bikes around me, all hope of an enjoyable Saturday discovering Sussex quickly vanished – I died inside for the first time.

As soon as we set off, the pace was blistering! ‘Deliberately Casual’ definitely is a very subjective term. This wasn’t helping the panicking to dissipate. What did though, is remembering a conversation my Dad and I had a few years ago with a 65 year old who was training for an Ironman. As we would with any human engaging in such craziness we asked him how it is physically possible. His answer? ‘As long as you stay beneath 70% of your maximum heart rate, your body can continue all day long’. Without a heart rate monitor, I tried to evaluate my condition. I felt my heart was under control. Hope raised! Maybe I can do this! Maybe I will be able to sustain this pace for hours! As long as I stay well hidden in the slipstream, of course. We then met our first hill of the day. As the percentage increased, I increased pressure on the pedals, nothing happened. Clearly, this was going to be a long day – I died a second time.

A little later, as I’m trying to keep up, failure. A complete body failure. I had never suffered anything like it on a bike. My body shut down. Let me be very clear: I’m not pretending without it the outcome would have been different. No, you guys are monsters on a bike. If my body failed, although I don’t understand what triggered it specifically, riding too quickly for too long still is the obvious explanation. It’s not an excuse, it’s a consequence.

Not only was morale down to zero, pain had gone past 10, and 11. My (baby) guns? They weren’t hurting too much, nothing too bad, they just didn’t function. My stomach was screaming for food, drinking felt like dropping a weight into a bag. I discovered the unpleasant way blowing your nose without a tissue is not that easy. I discovered your knees can hurt. I discovered you can pedal with cramps. As I had stopped ‘riding’ my bike – the bike was pulling me home – she (a bike’s a she) became uncomfortable, badly uncomfortable. My back felt liked it wanted to escape from my body. My bottom was clearly punishing me for something really bad. I discovered Hell; my third death of the day was the most painful one.

At this point, I am begging for our lunch break. Surely it can’t be that far away? We’ve been cycling for over a couple of hours, I’m pretty sure we’ve crossed half distance point. As I’m trying to figure it out, I see the rest of the group on the left hand side of the road waiting for me. I don’t stop, they’ll catch me, for sure. Head down, trying to imagine Rule #5 written on my legs, I feel something. ‘Pain! My legs are hurting more, and wait, it’s getting much harder to keep them turning! That must mean….The road is going up! Please let it be a small one.’ As I look up, as I discover what I was in for, a few thoughts crossed my mind. It would probably be more accurate to say ‘a bunch of words’ crossed my mind, none of which I feel comfortable writing. Having given up before even starting, it did not go well. I reached a new low. A low no rider weighing as little as I do should ever have to resort to. When I almost lost balance, I decided I had no other choice but to put my foot down and walk the remaining distance. That’s probably in violation of so many rules, and definitely of Rule #5, my favourite. I got back on my bike just before the summit. Promised myself I would never tell a living soul what happened – I later found out I had to write a report, I couldn’t not mention the worst part of the ride, I’ll have to assume the shame. That was my fourth death of the day. The most painful psychologically.

There was no coming back from that. Nothing could get my self esteem back to an acceptable level. I decided to let my mind wander, I provoked a row with myself, thinking about an argument I’m in with a friend. Half of me was playing myself, the other half, her. I’m not sure what it did to my pace, but it did make me forget about the pain. At that point, it’s all I wanted,no more pain.

Eventually, we arrived at the lunch break. Finally, I could do the shameful thing. Finally I could retire, abandon, give up, chicken out, be rescued, ignore Rule #5. For my defense, I had no other choice, I was running out of lives.

Special thanks to Heather for the rescue service and soup! Truly enlivened my day! Thanks to all four believers for giving me a glimpse at La Vie Velominatus and for putting up with me. I have found one way to get my self-esteem back up, round 2! This won’t be my last Cogal.

// Cogal Report

  1. I’m happy to work towards a Welsh Cogal date in the Spring, by the way. We’ll have to try and avoid dates when there’s rugby Cardiff for those arriving by train (my house is 5kms from Cardiff Central Stn along a cycle path through a park). I’ll put it to Mrs Sandy and see how she reacts. She’ll probably try and feed you all.

    Got a 125k route in mind, flattish up to Merthyr then over the Brecon Beacons for a cafe stop in Talybont on Usk and then back over Llangynidr Mountain to return to Cardiff over as many climbs as we can manage.

    If people were feeling really strong we could try and do the Tumble, too. It’d make it more like 140kms.

  2. I went for a ride last week with a friend who’s had much better luck at keeping late season form than me. It was a tough ride, a few decent climbs and a vicious, relentless headwind. I knew he was in better shape than me, and wasn’t surprised when he gapped me on the climbs. The surprise came at then end when we compared heart rate data. I was suffering, and he was not. I spent a full third (1 hr, 17 minutes) of the outing at threshold and he barely registered any time (4 minutes) above 90% max hr.

    He always trains harder than me, and will always be a stronger cyclist, but mid-season we’re fairly close to even – I can at least make him work. The results are telling though. Too much Anti-V in my life right now. Two riders on a route together aren’t necessarily doing the same ride.

  3. @SamV

    Two riders on a route together aren’t necessarily doing the same ride.

    Ain’t that the truth!

  4. @SamV

    Two riders on a route together aren’t necessarily doing the same ride.

    Well said!

    And congrats to all of the Cogalites!!! Well done!

  5. What’s the point of a Cogal report if it doesn’t name and shame the no shows?

    It looks like it was a fantastic day out. Chapeau all.

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

  6. @chris

    What’s the point of a Cogal report if it doesn’t name and shame the no shows?

    I think you mis-read, as there were no no-shows. We were just surprised that only 6 London (ish) based Velominati said they’d ride. There must be more out there, surely?

    It looks like it was a fantastic day out. Chapeau all.

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

    Somehow it wouldn’t surprise me……

  7. Oh man, I’d forgotten about E-Digs’s (?) incredible hair! That’s amazing.

    Also, Hardon Lane. I’d write more letters if I could list that as my return address. Also, would be wonderful to play the porn star name generator game if you lived on that road…Wow!

    Good riding, good reporting! Only 6 out. Hmm, shows that even though this seems like a big community, I think all us nutjobs are scattered across the globe.

  8. @davidlhill

    @chris

    What’s the point of a Cogal report if it doesn’t name and shame the no shows?

    I think you mis-read, as there were no no-shows. We were just surprised that only 6 London (ish) based Velominati said they’d ride. There must be more out there, surely?

    No mis-read on my behalf. I was referring to my anti-v bail.

  9. @RobSandy

    Chapeau for sneaking in a picture of you climbing in the drops, @Teocalli!

    Knowing there was a camera up the road helped!

  10. @chris

    @davidlhill

    @chris

    What’s the point of a Cogal report if it doesn’t name and shame the no shows?

    I think you mis-read, as there were no no-shows. We were just surprised that only 6 London (ish) based Velominati said they’d ride. There must be more out there, surely?

    No mis-read on my behalf. I was referring to my anti-v bail.

    Ah, the bail for the previous Cogal – no wonder I was confused!

    I do hope that for the proposed Welsh Cogal there will be more than the London grimpeurs turning up otherwise I too will suffer an anti-v bail……..

  11. Great reading all the reports gentlemen! Sounds like a solid effort all the way round.

    If you will excuse me, I’m off to find some sausage rolls now.

  12. @ChrisO et al – by the by I happened to drive back down the Goodwood Hill at the weekend and the road sign at the top claims that last pitch is 15%.

  13. @chris

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

    Oh Gawd, Chris. I know you’re joking but I do love a challenge and a target. 300km from my place to Cardiff, so I could ride down the day before and stay in a B&B. It probably won’t happen, but that will not stop me thinking about it. (A slightly sarcastic) Thanks!

  14. @E-Digs

    @chris

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

    Oh Gawd, Chris. I know you’re joking but I do love a challenge and a target. 300km from my place to Cardiff, so I could ride down the day before and stay in a B&B. It probably won’t happen, but that will not stop me thinking about it. (A slightly sarcastic) Thanks!

    Why would I joke? There’s nothing like having a big ride as motivation.

  15. @chris

    @E-Digs

    @chris

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

    Oh Gawd, Chris. I know you’re joking but I do love a challenge and a target. 300km from my place to Cardiff, so I could ride down the day before and stay in a B&B. It probably won’t happen, but that will not stop me thinking about it. (A slightly sarcastic) Thanks!

    Why would I joke? There’s nothing like having a big ride as motivation.

    It’s about 300 km (with +/-2000m climbing) for me as well. Logistically it would be tricky and it would be a long schlep home afterwards.

  16. @chris

    @E-Digs

    Why would I joke? There’s nothing like having a big ride as motivation.

    It’s about 300 km (with +/-2000m climbing) for me as well. Logistically it would be tricky and it would be a long schlep home afterwards.

    Get the train to Severn Tunnel Junction and ride in from there. It’s a nice ride and pan-flat across the levels. It’s actually only 70 odd kms from Bristol.

    Shall I mention the constant howling headwind? Nah.

  17. @RobSandy

    A river crossing would have to be done though as there is a cycle lane over the old bridge.

  18. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    A river crossing would have to be done though as there is a cycle lane over the old bridge.

    Yep, a guy I ride with used to do the commute back (Bristol to Cardiff) daily, and that’s the way he went.

    He’s also a sub 20-minute 10 mile TT rider so his commute probably isn’t for everyone.

  19. hmmm – 135 K from Royal Wootton Basset – starting to look interesting to come in from part way. Just a quick plot here

  20. @Teocalli

    hmmm – 135 K from Royal Wootton Basset – starting to look interesting to come in from part way. Just a quick plot here

    Looks nice. But if you are seriously thinking about riding that, let me provide you with a better route through Newport and Cardiff.

    Also, do you want a run down of the climbs I was planning to take us up before you decide to do 130kms+ the day before?

  21. @RobSandy

    Yeah I just threw that together to see where about 130 K ended up. Did cross my mind that it might not be such a bright idea the day before but at this distance from actually doing it, it looks like a really good idea…….

    We like Cardiff so a long weekend is an option to ride out on the Friday depending on what day you pick – or maybe ride back over the bridge.

  22. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    Yeah I just threw that together to see where about 130 K ended up. Did cross my mind that it might not be such a bright idea the day before but at this distance from actually doing it, it looks like a really good idea…….

    We like Cardiff so a long weekend is an option to ride out on the Friday depending on what day you pick – or maybe ride back over the bridge.

    There’s a nice bit of Byway in that route. Grave ups the V factor.

  23. @RobSandy

    I’m happy to work towards a Welsh Cogal date in the Spring, by the way. We’ll have to try and avoid dates when there’s rugby Cardiff for those arriving by train (my house is 5kms from Cardiff Central Stn along a cycle path through a park). I’ll put it to Mrs Sandy and see how she reacts. She’ll probably try and feed you all.

    Got a 125k route in mind, flattish up to Merthyr then over the Brecon Beacons for a cafe stop in Talybont on Usk and then back over Llangynidr Mountain to return to Cardiff over as many climbs as we can manage.

    If people were feeling really strong we could try and do the Tumble, too. It’d make it more like 140kms.

    My dad first took up sailing on Llangorse just up beyond Talybont.

  24. Well done all!! At the next Dutch mid-winter Cogal (less than seven weeks away!), I will solicit ride reports from all participants too.

  25. Ran the Welsh Cogal idea past Mrs Sandy last night and didn’t encounter any resistance.

    Any thoughts as to when in the Spring, i.e. early (feb) or late (april)?

    I had thought it’d be possible to coincide it with a day when Wales are playing away in the 6N for maximum quiet roads, but all the games are Feb or March.

  26. @RobSandy

    Ran the Welsh Cogal idea past Mrs Sandy last night and didn’t encounter any resistance.

    Any thoughts as to when in the Spring, i.e. early (feb) or late (april)?

    I had thought it’d be possible to coincide it with a day when Wales are playing away in the 6N for maximum quiet roads, but all the games are Feb or March.

    Late April sounds good (or even later) – Feb could be too darned cold up them there valleys!

  27. @RobSandy

    My preference would be a Saturday in April, but a Sunday would also be okay.

  28. @RobSandy

    I’m fairly flexible in that all my weekends are pretty manic and I’ll have to cancel something to get away. Sundays are a probably a bit easier.

    I’m doing the RVV sportive on 1/4 so would prefer that it isn’t that weekend or the weekends either side of it. Sundays are a probably a bit easier.

  29. @RobSandy

    Definitely keen for an April Welsh Cogal. Have done the Dragon Tour the last 2 years (3 days of riding out of Swansea/Port Talbot) and love riding in the area (Gower Peninsula and Brecon Beacons). Sat or Sunday both work….

  30. Whilst my participation is not certain, I’d vote for a Saturday too. Means a proper post ride recovery, and returning back Sunday morning.

    Good to see see some of you at Frank’s talk the other night.

  31. @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

  32. @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

    It is early season……….

  33. hmmm – also clashes with the IoW Randonnee but if it comes to a run-in the Cogal would win.

  34. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

    It is early season……….

    Early season, but you will have The Ronde in your legs, right…

    Nice work Rob. 29th is fine by me, as is 140km option, but that might be ambitious with a mixed group at that stage of the year. Races going on over that weekend are Tour de Romandie and Tour de Yorkshire.

  35. @E-Digs

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

    It is early season……….

    Early season, but you will have The Ronde in your legs, right…

    Nice work Rob. 29th is fine by me, as is 140km option, but that might be ambitious with a mixed group at that stage of the year. Races going on over that weekend are Tour de Romandie and Tour de Yorkshire.

    At the other end of the month to the Ronde, the 29th is as painless as it’s going to get.

    140km Super Hilly with hills on top, please, I’m not going to be a fat bastid by then!

  36. @chris

    @E-Digs

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

    It is early season……….

    Early season, but you will have The Ronde in your legs, right…

    Nice work Rob. 29th is fine by me, as is 140km option, but that might be ambitious with a mixed group at that stage of the year. Races going on over that weekend are Tour de Romandie and Tour de Yorkshire.

    At the other end of the month to the Ronde, the 29th is as painless as it’s going to get.

    140km Super Hilly with hills on top, please, I’m not going to be a fat bastid by then!

    Lets work towards that date then. I’ll put it on the Sandy Family Calendar (which is the equivalent of carving it onto a tablet of stone).

    The 125km and 140km route I have in mind are the same to the top of Llangynidr mountain so we can regroup and decide then.

    @chris

    I would recommend against bringing a bike with a Standard unless you’re a very strong bastid by the date.

  37. @RobSandy

    @chris

    I would recommend against bringing a bike with a Standard unless you’re a very strong bastid by the date.

    I suspect @chris will need to move from the category 3 Sainsbury’s Car Park Ramp to the hors categorie Waitrose Car Park Ramp………

  38. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @chris

    I would recommend against bringing a bike with a Standard unless you’re a very strong bastid by the date.

    I suspect @chris will need to move from the category 3 Sainsbury’s Car Park Ramp to the hors categorie Waitrose Car Park Ramp………

    How many Waitrose car park ramps adds up to this?

    https://www.strava.com/activities/723466340/segments/17749208097

    and this

    https://www.strava.com/activities/723466340/segments/17749209405

    and this

    https://www.strava.com/segments/614820

    ?

  39. @RobSandy

    @chris

    @E-Digs

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @Greg (@gladoe)

    @E-Digs

    @ChrisO

    Last weekend of April to miss the Easter Holidays (fair chance I’ll be away/busy then)?

    Saturday would be the 29th. Doesn’t look like it will clash with any races.

    125km hilly, or 140kms super hilly?

    It is early season……….

    Early season, but you will have The Ronde in your legs, right…

    Nice work Rob. 29th is fine by me, as is 140km option, but that might be ambitious with a mixed group at that stage of the year. Races going on over that weekend are Tour de Romandie and Tour de Yorkshire.

    At the other end of the month to the Ronde, the 29th is as painless as it’s going to get.

    140km Super Hilly with hills on top, please, I’m not going to be a fat bastid by then!

    Lets work towards that date then. I’ll put it on the Sandy Family Calendar (which is the equivalent of carving it onto a tablet of stone).

    The 125km and 140km route I have in mind are the same to the top of Llangynidr mountain so we can regroup and decide then.

    @chris

    I would recommend against bringing a bike with a Standard unless you’re a very strong bastid by the date.

    Slinky, strong and fast bastid by 29/4.

    That’s what I’ve written on the training plan. In different coloured crayons.

    Not sure about the compact idea though. There is one in the garage but it would involve adjusting the front mech’s position, shortening cables and chain (?). Sounds like a good way to fuck things up and I’d only have to change it all back when I got back to Cambridgeshire.

  40. @RobSandy

    The last one look about the right profile – that scale on the left is cm right?

    I might be hitting this local route before the RVV for hill reps.

  41. @RobSandy @Teocalli

    Tescos, Sainsbury, Lidl and Aldi are all groundlevel. The locals would get nose bleeds if they weren’t. The Waitrose multi storey ensures a finer class of shopper.

    As fabulous as those climbs look, they simply don’t compare. I can’t see anywhere to buy such staples as smoked salmon with Gravadlax sauce, rare breed duck eggs or a decent Chablis.

  42. Just had a look at The Tumble and I’m delighted to see that there is an ambulance at the top. Hopefully it’ll still be there when we ride it.

  43. Bggr, the streetview link didn’t work.

  44. End of April is as good as any for me.

    My only scheduled events are club training camp at the end of March and Vatternrundan at the end of June. Apart from that it’s local races/TTs.

    I could probably be persuaded to do the 140km extra hilly edition.

  45. Oh, I was wondering why that date looked familiar – Mrs ChrisO’s birthday is April 28.

    That makes Sunday preferable for me, but if the consensus is Saturday I’ll just have to see what I can do. Lucky I’m good-looking AND charming.

  46. @ChrisO

    Oh, I was wondering why that date looked familiar –

    Quote of the year right there……..

  47. @RobSandy

    Darn, that’s what I get for not monitoring the site frequently enough (massive week at work)…is the date at all flexible? I did the Tour de Yorkshire sportive last year and was planning on doing it again in 2017, which as mentioned earlier overlaps this weekend. If not, you’re making me have to make a tough choice…….and I’d rather do both! Weekend before?

  48. @davidlhill

    @chris

    What’s the point of a Cogal report if it doesn’t name and shame the no shows?

    I think you mis-read, as there were no no-shows. We were just surprised that only 6 London (ish) based Velominati said they’d ride. There must be more out there, surely?

    It looks like it was a fantastic day out. Chapeau all.

    Looking forward to @RobSandy‘s Welsh Cogal, especially @E-Digs maintaining his 100% record of riding from his home to the start.

    Somehow it wouldn’t surprise me……

    Yes, yes there are.

    Always riding the downs from my back-yard. I can’t believe I missed the discussions about this, would love to have shown my local haunts near Goodwood, Ditcham Graffam and Cock(r)ing, Dunton, Bury etc etc.

    Damn.

  49. my first century ride i ever rode, i suffered like Alex. i had a few track omniums under my belt at the time, and i though i was pretty fit, when the truth was, i had never ridden a significant hill at tempo in my life. the group i was riding with weren’t race fit, either, but they knew how to climb. they just destroyed me when the road pointed up. it was also at this point that i began to really understand the inherent advantages of STI/Ergopower levers. i had mid ’80s chorus downtube friction levers on my bike, and i was pretty amazed at how cleanly the new stuff shifted, and how that translated to cycling efficiency.

  50. Chapeau gentlemen. I really wanted to make this cogal but unfortunately had family commitments.

    I wait with baited breath for the next one and really hope I’m available.

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