Sunday, 12 June 2016

Golden Rule Adventure Club

An entirely unofficial gathering of friends aiming to organise inspirational 
new adventures and properly celebrate them afterwards


Fabian Colincellara [President]
Jan Ulrichard [Secretary]
Heyddie Merckx [Club Captain]
Alberto Johntador [Treasurer]
Carlos Sastrae [Academy Captain]

Senior Members

Jacques Andrewquetil 
Pedro Davegado

Academy Members

Alansandro Prattachi [Designer]
Stuart o'Graemedy [Kittymeister]
Mario Cipponeili
Miguel Dandurain
Joaquim Robriguez

Why the 'Golden Rule' Adventure Club?
Ripon Sportive 2016
Forthcoming Adventures
Ireland 2015
Prudential London-Surrey 100, August 2015

Ripon Club Sportive

A very entertaining weekend, generously hosted by Mr & Mrs Sastrae at their magnificent Victorian townhouse in Ripon.
With a record turnout for this season, the necessary carbo loading commenced in the Royal Oak, where several pints of excellent Timothy Taylor ales were judiciously sampled. Mrs Sastrae then served a superb supper, with prodigious quantities of red wine and port to accompany it. Led by Carlos and DJ Mario, the decks were then primed for some late evening stretching exercises, our president particularly in need of some finger stretching moves in readiness for the Ibiza season.
Predictably, the ride day saw most clubmen emerge somewhat delicately, having overdone the pre-ride training regime (again). Thankfully, there was no rain in the forecast for the day ahead!

An early technical challenge for Heyddie...duh!
Pre-ride briefing....nobody really listened ;-)

With the WAGs, Mrs' Sastrae, Ulrichard and Johntador
But then we were off! Unfortunately, Carlos's gyroscope and compass had not been correctly calibrated, so we headed east rather than north, earning us a few more warm up miles. But we were soon back on track, empty rolling lanes taking us through attractive villages like Kirklington to the market town of Bedale, where a turn south westwards brought us along the undulating country roads to the brewing town of Masham, now the home of the Black Sheep Brewery.

Ready for the ride, setting off from the Sastrae Mansion

The climbing started from here, eventually taking us to Leighton reservoir, where certain team members executed a drastic weight loss programme, one member even leaving his sunglasses behind in a desperate attempt to reduce drag on the upcoming first test of the day, the famed Cat 3 climb up Trapping Hill.

It's a two stage climb totalling 283m, with one particularly steep section (the Garmin suggested 23%), before a sharp technical descent to Lofthouse, scary enough for all riders but especially so for one of the team who is going to need new disc pads for his steed. This was our first competitive stage, Pedro summiting first in fine style, with Mario close on his heels, followed by Carlos, Heyddie and the bedraggled President.

Start of the steep descent to Lofthouse. Eek!
Misty views - Nidderdale
Still full of adrenaline, the team set a fast pace along the west bank of Gouthwaite Reservoir, close to the source of the River Nidd, bringing us to the cyclist's mecca of Pateley Bridge. We greatly appreciated the wonderful service delivered by the team at Wildings Tea Room & Riverside Terrace, and especially the massive beef baguettes.
Suitably refuelled, we tackled the climb south east from the town, before turning northwards on to quieter roads to challenge ourselves on the next competitive stage, four hills in quick succession. Once again, Pedro triumphed, with a revitalised President stealing second place from Mario and Heyddie.
A fine road brought us to Hebden Bank, just before Fountains Abbey, and our last competitive stage, a short but steep little number, hotly contested again, but with Pedro securing his KOM award for the day, ahead of Carlos, The Prez and Heyddie.
The final section took us through the grounds of Fountains Abbey and rapidly back into Ripon, now very busy with a major tractor rally.

Alansandro, leading the peloton through the grounds of Fountain's Abbey

In all, a ride of about 98km, with a total ascent of some 1250m and a moving time of just under 4.5 hours. Well done all, and especially Alberto, the most senior of our little club. Chapeau!

It goes without saying that pork pies and rehydration then took priority, the team starting off in the One Eyed Rat, a back street ale house, before moving on for some to ogle at vintage tractors and vans, before settling down for a few more Timothy Taylor's at the Royal Oak. A fine dinner, once again prepared by Mrs Sastrae and her willing team of sous and commis chefs, Mrs Ulrichard Prattachi, Mrs Johntador and Mrs Prattachi. Great stuff!

Rehydration - stage 1

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Academy Captain on the Struggle

It is rare for this blog to feature individual efforts, Heyddie and the climb of a small volcano in Hawaii being a notable exception. But, another feat of superhuman endurance needs to be recognised. And so it is that Carlos, our esteemed and enthusiastic Academy Captain, has been granted his own special edition entry.
This is for his continued patronage of the Club HQ, the famed Golden Rule pub in Ambleside, and for the first ascent by a Club member of 'The Struggle,' a gnarly and precipitous climb out of Ambleside straight up to the Kirkstone Pass.
Although we await the stats from Strava in order to critique his times and energy output, here we publish exciting pictures of this meritorious act. 
We will, of course, seek verification that he did actually stay on the bike during the climb, and that no mechanical doping was involved.
Until then, Chapeau Carlos!

About half way up 'The Struggle'....clearly at least one stop for our man ;-)
View back to Ambleside from the top of 'The Struggle'

Carlos carrying his bike to the summit?
The red face says it all...

Carlos following Club rules to the letter. Rehydration with beer only, no nambie pambie mineral water or Skinny Cappuccino. Setting a good example to our Junior Team indeed. And a good, healthy pork pie with lashings of Colman's. Happy days :-)

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Arrow Sportive, Lincolnshire - May 2016

From our Nottinghamshire base camp, five team members enjoyed a long ride around north and east Lincolnshire on the so-called 'Arrow' Sportive, named due to the long straight stretches across the fenlands east of Lincoln City.
Following a 35km warm-up the day before, and a very enjoyable carbo loading session (or two), an early start saw us setting off at 0830 from Market Rasen Racecourse along very quiet lanes taking us towards Lincoln itself. We only saw two vehicles in the first hour of riding!
With the prominent cathedral spires looming ever closer, the roads got much busier as we approached the city, and this continued for the section south east towards Metheringham, with the usual idiotically close overtaking manoeuvres of some drivers making life a little interesting at times.
Straight roads across the fens took us to the little town of Woodhall Spa, home of England Golf, and after a second food stop in Bucknall we headed up into the southern end of the Lincolnshire Wolds, nice riding with extensive views back to Lincoln and a few hills to test tired legs.
A strong peloton finished the ride in bright sunshine, crossing the finishing line in just under 6 hours (riding time 5h 17m), having completed 130.5km and 900m of ascent.
This was a sportive arranged by Cycling Weekly, and was one of the best organised sportives we have experienced. 
Note: this ride would have been a nightmare in windy, wet conditions, due to the exposed nature of the roads crossing the fens. The cycling gods were on our side for once!

The usual pre-ride carbo loading session
We opted for the 'standard route,' a mere 130km (81 miles) and 900m of ascent
The wide arable landscapes of north Lincolnshire
Happy chappies at the finish. Thank goodness for fine weather and no wind!
The evidence! Courtesy of Strava.