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Kirklees Sportive on Sunday - anyone else doing it??

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by sjb, 22 Apr 2008.

  1. sjb

    sjb New Member

    Losing my Sportive virginity on Sunday with the Kirklees Sportive - 80 miles and ~2,800m of climbing:eek:


    Anyone else on here doing it? Any tips for a sportive newbie?

    Preparations have been lots of 15-20 mile rides, as hilly as possible (inc as many of the actual route hills as possible) - haven't had the time to do any longer rides.

    Fitted a new cassette with a couple of lower gears (12-27 vs old 12-25) and riding a Giant SCR2 triple - so even Holme Moss in a headwind should be OK. Got some new brake blocks which have improved braking immensely - there's some fantastic descents!

    Got some energy gel packs and will take a couple of litres of fluids with me - banking on the promised feed stations being of use.

    Have provisionally arranged to meet wife and kids at a nice pub in Dunford Bridge about 50 miles in, but most advice I've seen suggests not stopping for long due to legs seizing up?

    Any other advice welcomed! Hope to see some of you there?
  2. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    I'm not doing it ... the reason being that I only have had chance to do hilly 25milers so far this year (we have an eight week old baby and it is difficult to do much). With so little time in the saddle I didn't think I would make it round! So good luck. The route appears EXTREMELY hilly to me - to the extent that they appear to have sought out the hilliest option in almost every case.

    I'll keep an eye out for you though, I live in Emley so expect to see a few tired people heading thrtough the village.

    I think ColinJ (if I remember his name correctly) - from Hebden Bridge and sometime poster here is doing it.
  3. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    By the way, re lunch, I'd just enjoy yourself at the pub with the family! I am sure you know the route anyway but there is only a brief uphill then very long downhill past Hade Edge to Holmfirth. The next uphill of any note is from New Mill towards Crow Edge by which time I would have thought your legs would have loosened up.

    Funnily enough it looks like they have amalgamated parts of two of of my normal morning spins to make the Holmfirth - Grange Moor section.
  4. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    My ears are burning :biggrin:!

    Yes, I'll be there. I'm riding over from Hebden Bridge and will aim to get to HQ about 08:30. I'll be on my blue Basso, easily recognisable by the (sloping) rack that I've bodged on the back.

    One piece of advice I'd give - watch out on the descent off Holme Moss! I have done it 4 times and all but one time there was a swirling crosswind which was really nasty. I was once descending at over 40 mph when the wind suddenly caught me and I got blown straight across the road...

    Also - the traffic along Woodhead can be a bit dodgy.

    Say hello if you spot me. I won't be riding quickly, if you want some slow steady company up to your lunch stop.

    PS My triple is even lower - 52/39/30 and 14-28 cassette!
  5. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Yes, I have had the fear descending Holme Moss. Once I alternated between braking hard because I was scared of coming off and then letting the bike have its head as I was scared I had braked so much the hot rims would blow off my tyres!

    Have a great day both of you. Metcheck now seems to think it will be nice weather too.
  6. sjb

    sjb New Member

    Sounds like my sort of gearing!

    I'll keep an eye out for you Colin, I'll be the overweight beardie on a Giant SCR2 with mudguards.

    I've only done Holme Moss once, about 6 months ago. There was a howling headwind all the way up, I was doing 3mph at one point:sad: After a short stop in the car park at the top I set off down the Glossop side and was overtaken by a guy on a very nice looking Bianchi. He was only about half my body weight through so I caught him half way down and gave him the shock of his life:biggrin:

    Woodhead was pretty dire but lorry drivers were all very courteous and I had the benefit of a tail wind so was able to keep the speed up. Best bit was the drop down from the Woodhead to Dunford Bridge - registered my fastest ever speed on a bike 52mph:ohmy:

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement, lets pray to the old weather gods for a still, warm day....
  7. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    I rode with a couple of friends yesterday evening. On our way home we had a long descent into a headwind. 15 stone me freewheeled down at about 25 mph. Smaller mate pedalled down at about 15 mph. 7.5 stone wife of mate was pedalling as hard as she could and hardly moving!
  8. sjb

    sjb New Member

    You see, I knew there was an advantage in being a heavyweight, you just need the right conditions;)

    Metcheck, Met Office and XCWeather all agree on a 15mph westerly and showers on Sunday now, looks like the climb out of Meltham on the Greenfield road and the Moss won't be a lot of fun, but the descents could be quite entertaining....
  9. dan_bo

    dan_bo How much does it cost to Oldham?

    I'm gutted. I'd pencilled it in as part of my build up to the three peaks in september but I was coulnting on EOL. dickhead.

    Meltham-greenfield road? that'll be wessenden head will it? that's a toughie- I might see you on there sunday for the fun of it!
  10. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    I've plotted the route profile. It's a bit hilly folks... :eek:

  11. dave p

    dave p New Member


    The only advice I'd give is to take it really easy if you've only 15-20 mile rides. Go your own pace. Go really slowly up the hills and try and eat and drink plenty. Good luck!!!!! I'll look out for you. I'll be on Focus with AG2R kit probably.
  12. sjb

    sjb New Member

    Well Dave and Colin - how did it go?

    I managed to finish in 8 hours, average speed of 11.5mph which was better than my target of 10mph so dead chuffed. Met some good people and got loads of support - managed to help a couple of people with mechanical problems too, so all in all a good experience.

    Only down side was leg cramps about 3/4 of the way up Holme Moss and on every hill after that despite drinking like a fish and eating huge amounts of gels, bars, bananas and flapjacks.....must lose some weight and do some more long rides before the next one!

    Looking at the White Rose Classic now....definately got the Sportive bug:biggrin:
  13. Chris James

    Chris James Über Member

    Well done sjb. that sounds pretty good going especially as the conditions must have been appalling for the first section.
  14. ColinJ

    ColinJ Slow Hill Climber/Station lift avoider!

    I suffered like a dog! I've just written a long write-up on BikeRadar, so I won't bother posting it again - you can read my report here.

    Well done! I won't tell you my speed, but including the extra 26 miles I did, I averaged less than your original target ;) !

    My legs actually felt okay, but my back was a disaster zone...

    Ditto! And I must start doing some stretching and back/core exercises or I'm going to end up crippling myself.

    I think that will probably be booked up already, but take a look at Pain in the Pennines. The start in Greetland isn't far from yesterday's. It goes over all my favourite local climbs. The hardest of the lot is Mytholm Steeps on the fringes of Hebden Bridge. You can play these photos of the climb as a slideshow but I uploaded them in the wrong order so remember to play the show backwards.

    Also highly recommended - The Pendle Pedal. I've done it twice and it is a lovely scenic but very tough event, this time in Lancashire.

    Both of those events are 100 milers and have about the same degree of hilliness as the Kirklees Sportive, so I'd say that they are about 20% tougher overall but it sounds as though you'd be ready to tackle them.
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Über Member

    There's a short version (60 miles) of the Pendle Pedal. I might do that this year, as the 100 miler was so hard it wasn't fun in the least for me. Think I even burnt out a bit re cycling in general as I've ridden a lot less since then...

    BTW congrats on doing the Kirklees Sportive you guys. I thought it was in Scotland, not near Wakefield! Well, Kirklees...