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Cobbled Roads

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by DanRVV2006, 1 May 2008.

  1. DanRVV2006

    DanRVV2006 New Member

    Location:
    West Midlands
    I know its a bit random but does anyone know of any cobbled roads in shropshire?
    I want to take part in the Tour of Flanders cyclosportif next year and as i have heard from many, nothing can prepare you for the cobbles in Belgium i at least want to be a little prepared ;)
    The only one i know of is St Marys Street in Newport but thats hardly a long strech and pratically smooth!
     
  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    Location:
    S of Kendal
    Umm, there's a good reason why people tell you that nothing can prepare you for Flanders' Pavé and that's because nothing can prepare you for Flanders' Pavé! Unless it's the 'real thing', anything else will only comfort you and lead you to believe it 'won't be that bad'.

    But it will be that bad. And more so.

    I used to find the stuff in Lancaster, Sedburgh and Dent okay, but I was variously told that the continental 'sets' were bigger (or smaller) so therefore smoother (or rougher), or that there's more (or less) camber on the continent, etc, etc depending on who the 'expert' was. So I gave up listening and thought I would just wait and see.

    Well nothing could have prepared me for my first sight of the Arrenberg Forest section! You just have to convince yourself that it must be possible as people have done it before you! This 'act of faith' is the only preparation that's possible.

    People talk about using more handlebar tape, etc, but my feet, hands and backside have never suffered. It's the rest of the body! I would recommend the best preparation is to be as lean as possible, to spend the first part of next winter on a serious 'core strength regime' in the gym, get some sticky 25c tyres and go for it. Finally if there is any downhill on the pavé (however slight) then think of some 'cross levers' for the brakes. It just gives you another hand option as swapping from tops to drops at speed on the cobbles is not easy (nor is speaking, seeing, thinking, breathing...)
     
  3. gavintc

    gavintc Guru

    Location:
    Southsea
    To be honest, the cobbles were bad, but not unbearable. The first section is a shock and then you try different body positions and speeds until you find a comfortable spot. For me, a carbon seat post in a carbon bike meant that I was getting very little problem in the rear. The handlebars were rattle around a lot, holding the STIs was uncomfortable. Someone told me to hold the middle of the bar lightly. This worked for me until the downhill section. As for speed, I found that a reasonably fast speed was better than slow and just ploughed on. The wet cobbled hills were challenging and I know that my bike handling skills are not as good as some and I found myself being taken by the cobbles rather than defining my route. I had to really concentrate on the steeper camber sections.
     
  4. GrahamG

    GrahamG Über Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    King St in Bristol! Although the pub goers would think you were well weird going up and down there every 30 seconds :ohmy:
     
  5. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Staff Member

    there's a little street in macclesfield that is a real bone shaker (behind sunderland street). probably not far off the pavé, but you'll have to go up and down a lot.
     
  6. peekay76

    peekay76 New Member

    Don't let people put you off. It is true that nothing can fully prepare you for the cobbles over there but that's mainly because the cobbles there are a bit rougher than here and the sections will be much longer.

    However, you can do a lot to make sure you are as prepared as possible. There is a small cobbled street near my house and I made sure I rode this at the end of some of my training rides or rides home from work for a good few months before I rode Flanders this years. After riding it a few times I soon learnt what gear worked best and what position worked best and how to riding them at a higher speed than initially felt safe was actually more comfortable and was actually safe. If you can find cobbles on an incline it is a good idea to practice riding up and down hill on the cobbles. I found that I needed a slightly different position on the bars to brake effectively when decending on cobbles.

    Good luck, it is a great sense of achievement when you get to the end in Ninove.
     
  7. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    I was going to say a really short section by the Prince Street Bridge (in Bristol) - been across those ones today.