Not long to go before my first off road event.

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
Just 15hrs to go, and the weather looks promising. :)

I've booked onto the 28mile 'standard' route. For some reason depending upon where you look, the standard route is stated at 25miles, 27miles, and 28miles.

southern-rough-ride-map.jpg

http://www.ukcyclingevents.co.uk/preinfo/ukce-wss-srr-pre-2014.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Wiggle Southern Rough Ride 2014 - Important Pre-Information - PLEASE READ&utm_content=Wiggle Southern Rough Ride 2014 - Important Pre-Information - PLEASE READ CID_34bbe016914f2a35b28e578b18b0dc0b&utm_source=E mail Newsletter&utm_term=Event Pre-Information Pack

The bike is all clean and prepped ready to go and I even thought that I'd splash out a new pair of Slim tubes especially for the day. The old tubes both had more patches than tube.

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Loaded and waiting. Just hope that I remember to bring the battery out of the house in the morning. :)

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Odd that I'm taking tools that I wouldn't normally bother with, and I even bought a spare cobra tube, which again something that I don't normally bother with. Whilst the bike has the CE approval on the frame, I'm also taking the written EC declaration of conformity with me just in case of any problems. It'll be interesting to see if there are any other e-mtb's on the ride, or whether my taking part in the event on one, is something that doesn't normally happen, or has even possibly never happened.

Official clip of last years event.


The first hour of last years ride speeded up. The first road climb looks very long.

 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
More to follow later, and I'll also add further photos and make them thumbnails at the same time, but here is a brief summary from today.

The start of the review, I'll expect I'll think of more things as time goes on.
Gates didn't open officially until 7.30am, but I was there ten minutes early just to be sure of getting a good spot to park.

Registration couldn't have been simpler or more efficient, and once this was done and the helmet checked and tagged, I made my way to the start. Because of how wet that it's been, I figured that with over 700 riders, things could get very muddy quickly, so I made sure that I was in the first group of riders to go. Typical for me, as they were also some of the fastest. Groups left at 2 minute intervals.

The first mile was on the road and nice and flat, then the first many lengthy climbs began. The overall ride distance ended up being 30miles, and I really had to work hard to get the battery to last, and gambled when to use it and when not to. The last 5 miles were on completely empty with the battery warning blinking.

The first ten miles seemed okay, nothing too hard going in respect of mud, still plenty of long climbs though. After the first stop I had only used a quarter of the battery life, and figured that although I was still unsure of the route distance, I'd risk using more power. The next 10 miles saw me taking two tumbles, the first on a long climb when I decided to play around a bit whilst being held up and popped a wheelie. The bike looped straight over!!! Slightly embarrassing!

The second off happened when I tried to cross ruts at about 25KPH. Down I went. Judging by the skids marks cut into the grass, I wasn't the only one. The next section and several other sections took us into very narrow, wooded off camber pathways, with a seemingly thousands of slippery routes. This was horrid to ride, as the pace was pretty quick, with a barbed wire fence running the length of one side. I couldn't help but look at the wire, and one lad took a big tumble into it and cut himself big time. This out of the way it was yet more long climbs, followed by more long climbs. The climbs certainly outweighed the descents. Because I'd left sharp, the mist hadn't really cleared from the top of the South Downs, but boy was the wind strong. Of course it would have to have been a head wind.

Much of the second half of the ride was spent on wet chalk and flint, which really caned the bike big time, and the chain became as dry as anything and mirror polished. The side stand also snapped off as did the front mudguard. I also had an issue with brake squeak which didn't show up yesterday, but irritated me today. The front mech also jammed, so I couldn't select the Granny ring. This I discovered when washing the bike, had simply been chalk blocking everything. There were countless punctures, so I was grateful for the slime tubes, I saw one chain snap, and another lad who fell braking his collar bone. Although not 'officially' a race, the event is still timed, and I had hopped to try for a good result. This idea didn't last long as I stopped to ask if other riders were okay when they had broken down, and just to offer help.

I didn't take that many photos as there just didn't seem the chance and the weather wasn't clear enough. More later, but here are some photos to start.

Ten mile stop and still smiling, even a clean bike! This stop also taught me that high energy drinks make me want to puke. Handy when you have just tipped away all of your water.

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Half way up a climb.

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With this still to go, or so I thought until I got around the corner only to see it go on and on. All of the climbs seemed like this seemed like this.

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Sadly not a clear view.

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The finish.

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The poor bike.

electric-bike-very-muddy.jpeg extremely-dirty-electric-bike-mud.jpeg

In relation to comments, everyone was very complimentary and cheerful, and I might have even converted a few riders to consider e-mtb's.

From talking to other riders and officials, no one had ever seen an e-mtb enter the event before, and I certainly never saw any other bikes. It does make me wonder why people buy them, then don't use them for this kind of fun. Not that I'm going to worry about that, as it just means potentially less hassle for me. I've already entered my next two events. :)
 
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EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I must admit that the bike was hard work to get clean. The chalk and clay had baked on like concrete.
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
I have just checked the times and bearing in mind that I stopped to help a few people and also to take the odd photo, I came 33rd out of the 207 who had completed my distance. The time was 3.32 hours and the fast lads had finished an hour and a half before me. The slowest was about six and a half hours.
One lad that I spoke to before the ride, said that himself and three of his mates had been doing the ride three times a week, as they wanted to clean up. He suggested that I rode with them, but I laughed it off and declined. I think that he thought that I could do the whole ride on battery power with no effort.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Awesome Eddie! I kept a close eye out for you on the Neo Jumper but they must not have gotten any shots. What a beautiful country, maybe someday I'll come and ride it with you! Looks like a very fun (dirty) event. Friendly too, were there many women who attended or mostly guys?
 

EddieJ

Well-Known Member
You didn't look hard enough Court.

Bare legs, black shorts, and red gloves at 52 seconds in at the start. That's me. :D

I only know that because that was the first group of riders out. :)

The comment about women made me laugh. :D

Actually there were some very fit girls out there. Fit on several levels. ;)

Joking aside, I had expected more woman, but the ones that I did see, were certainly going for it.

The South Downs are certainly a nice part of the UK, and if you do ever happen to find yourself over this way, I'd gladly take you up there for a ride.
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Nice! I'd love to take you up on that offer... Do you have plans to go to Eurobike? I'm still debating, it would be tons of fun :D