The 3 counties ride

Yesterday I took part in a local charity ride that starts in Bracknell, Berks
and takes in a loop of countryside through Oxon and Bucks including a big chunk
of the Chiltern Hills. A team of people from work were taking part, and I tagged
along on my Coker. There were two options to the ride, 33 and 50 miles. I chose
the latter as I really need the training.

Quite a nice day for a ride really, not too hot and not too cold and no rain
(which given that this part of the world has had the wettest April and May on
record is almost a miracle!) The first 13 miles of the ride were great - the
miles slipping easily under the wheel as I battled with a man on a hand-cranked
wheelchair extension cycle. He beat me down hills (freewheel and gears coming
into play) and I beat him up hills (thighs are generally stronger than arms).
Eventually there were more ups than downs (we were climbing up onto the
Chilterns at this point) and I gradually pulled away from him. I also seemed to
pass lots of bike riders uphill, always a nice feeling :slight_smile:

There were 3 checkpoints on the ride for refreshments and a bit of a rest (my
teammates waited for me there and got far more of a rest than I did).
Unfortuately, at the first one I stopped rather abruptly and getting on again
afterwards discovered that all was not well with my left pedal/crank/axle as it
felt rather bent. I spent quite a bit of time this evening trying to work out
exactly was wrong (Odyssey Twisted Team pedals are supposed to be twisted and so
look odd even if they are ok!) and eventually discovered it was the crank that
was twisted. If you have a Coker, beware as your crank may behave as if it were
made of putty!

This meant that the rest of the ride was rather hard on my left knee as it had
rotation in the wrong plane to deal with as well as propulsion. The ride was
really quite pretty with lots of riding through quite country lanes (and some
main roads - yuk!) and plenty of rolling (and some quite long) hills. This
included a 6 mile gentle descent into Henley which was rather pleasant even if
Henley itself was stuffed with traffic and not a place for a tired unicylist to
try to weave through the narrow streets.

The last 10 miles were really hard work. I was a bit dehydrated and was very low
on energy. This was confirmed when eating a few glucose tablets gave me a 15
minutes spurt of life so that my legs merely hurt rather than feeling drained.
My left knee was feeling the extra rotation a bit and I was getting rather
saddle sore.

I did finish though (despite slowing down a bit in the last few miles) and was
really pleased to have done my first fifty. The total time taken (including
breaks) was 5:25 - so averaging just under 10 mph when actually riding. I was
quite pleased with that. A number of my collegues from work were amazed that I’d
finished, but they don’t all know how much of a uni-freak I am…

A couple of points

  1. Check your Coker cranks for bendability…
  2. Maybe an air-saddle is in order (even having ridden a number of 20s and 30s
    before I’ve not really seen the need up to now)
  3. Make sure you eat and drink lots when riding for a long time/a long way
  4. Huge respect to the UAM crowd!


Paul Selwood paul@vimes.u-net.com

Re: The 3 counties ride

— Paul Selwood <paul@vimes.u-net.com>
> wrote: Yesterday I took part in a local charity ride that starts in Bracknell,
> Berks and takes in a loop of countryside through Oxon and Bucks including a
> big chunk of the Chiltern Hills. A

Sounds like fun!

>2) Maybe an air-saddle is in order (even having

An air seat can do wonders for long rides.


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Re: The 3 counties ride

Interesting report, Paul. Well-written and informative. Congrats on the ride!

Jake Cooper

> Yesterday I took part in a local charity ride that starts in Bracknell, Berks
> and takes in a loop of countryside through Oxon and Bucks including a big
> chunk of the Chiltern Hills. A team of people from work were taking part, and
> I tagged along on my Coker. There were two options to the ride, 33 and 50
> miles. I chose the latter as I really need the training.
>
> Quite a nice day for a ride really, not too hot and not too cold and no rain
> (which given that this part of the world has had the wettest April and May on
> record is almost a miracle!) The first 13 miles of the ride were great - the
> miles slipping easily under the wheel as I battled with a man on a
> hand-cranked wheelchair extension cycle. He beat me down hills (freewheel and
> gears coming into play) and I beat him up hills (thighs are generally stronger
> than arms). Eventually there were more ups than downs (we were climbing up
> onto the Chilterns at this point) and I gradually pulled away from him. I also
> seemed to pass lots of bike riders uphill, always a nice feeling :slight_smile:
>
> There were 3 checkpoints on the ride for refreshments and a bit of a rest (my
> teammates waited for me there and got far more of a rest than I did).
> Unfortuately, at the first one I stopped rather abruptly and getting on again
> afterwards discovered that all was not well with my left pedal/crank/axle as
> it felt rather bent. I spent quite a bit of time this evening trying to work
> out exactly was wrong (Odyssey Twisted Team pedals are supposed to be twisted
> and so look odd even if they are ok!) and eventually discovered it was the
> crank that was twisted. If you have a Coker, beware as your crank may behave
> as if it were made of putty!
>
> This meant that the rest of the ride was rather hard on my left knee as it had
> rotation in the wrong plane to deal with as well as propulsion. The ride was
> really quite pretty with lots of riding through quite country lanes (and some
> main roads - yuk!) and plenty of rolling (and some quite long) hills. This
> included a 6 mile gentle descent into Henley which was rather pleasant even if
> Henley itself was stuffed with traffic and not a place for a tired unicylist
> to try to weave through the narrow streets.
>
> The last 10 miles were really hard work. I was a bit dehydrated and was very
> low on energy. This was confirmed when eating a few glucose tablets gave me a
> 15 minutes spurt of life so that my legs merely hurt rather than feeling
> drained. My left knee was feeling the extra rotation a bit and I was getting
> rather saddle sore.
>
> I did finish though (despite slowing down a bit in the last few miles) and was
> really pleased to have done my first fifty. The total time taken (including
> breaks) was 5:25 - so averaging just under 10 mph when actually riding. I was
> quite pleased with that. A number of my collegues from work were amazed that
> I’d finished, but they don’t all know how much of a uni-freak I am…
>
> A couple of points
> 1) Check your Coker cranks for bendability…
> 2) Maybe an air-saddle is in order (even having ridden a number of 20s and 30s
> before I’ve not really seen the need up to now)
> 3) Make sure you eat and drink lots when riding for a long time/a long way
> 4) Huge respect to the UAM crowd!
>
> –
> Paul Selwood paul@vimes.u-net.com

Re: The 3 counties ride

Nice writeup - 50 miles is a great accomplishment. Way to go!

—Nathan

“Paul Selwood” <paul@vimes.u-net.com> wrote in message
news:529hh8.mo.ln@vimes.u-net.com
> Yesterday I took part in a local charity ride that starts in Bracknell, Berks
> and takes in a loop of countryside through Oxon and Bucks including a big
> chunk of the Chiltern Hills. A team of people from work were taking part, and
> I tagged along on my Coker. There were two options to the ride, 33 and 50
> miles. I chose the latter as I really need the training.
[snip]