/ Anyone planning on doing the Fred Whitton challenge 2014
I rode it this year in the awful weather but dropped out at Calder Bridge with hypothermia. I've got a guaranteed entry for 2014 due to fundraising so I'll definitely be doing it. Aiming just to get round it, hopefully without pushing on Hardknott!
I'm considering it - have bad luck(/skills) with steep descents though, which is putting me off a little.
I've ridden it for about the past 4 years but I'm not going to enter this year due to the cost. £50 is just not worth it imho. I'll be in the lakes at some point in the summer and will probably ride the route with a cafe stop on a (hopefully) sunny day. It's a brilliant route and definately one of the most well organised sportives I've ridden but £50 to ride on open public roads is getting silly.
The route's changed for 2014 as it starts in Grasmere, so they're missing out Hawkshead Hill.
I was thinking of doing it, but not on the day - there seems to be a cunning scheme that allows logging of attempts on other days, if that is your sort of thing:
I can totally understand why they've changed it (parking at the Coniston HQ was struggling to cope) but it's still a bit of a shame.
The quiet spin over Hawkshead Hill and through the lanes to Ambleside first thing, and the flat-out blast back to the finish from Colwith brow, were two of my favourite bits of the route. Trundling up and down the A591 really wont be the same.
Oh well... can't make it this year anyway.
Finding myself worryingly tempted to apply. Oh dear.
I was seriously considering it despite the 4000m ascent but just spotted the date - I'll be in Belfast for the Giro - dodged a bullet ;-)
I was one of the marshalls as you came out of whinlatter forest decended down the road a bit and there was a sharp left turn.
Decided i'm going to do it. I'll get on the bike as much as poss from January and worry about if i'm ready or not on the day.
It's a good day out, loads of atmosphere with people cheering and clapping on the passes. Cold Fell lives up to its name and had a relentless headwind when I rode it. One of the few sportives I actually thought was worth the money. Real food at stops and finish for a start. Enjoy.
Going for this instead... slightly more pleasant length but still ticks some great climbs. Fred W next year maybe. http://www.epicevents.co.uk/cycle-sportives/the-lakeland-loop-cycle-sportive-april-27th-2014.html
You'll be fine. If your aim is just to get round and enjoy the ride you don't need to be superhuman - I crammed my training for last year into about 5 or 6 weeks which wasn't a lot of fun but it was enough.
It's a great day out - enjoy it.
Any good reason to do the sportive rather than independently a few weeks later?
Particularly if you've got a small bunch looking to do it ?
Feedstops rather than cafe stops? The chance of getting on a bunch to help out on the flat bits?
We did it over 2 days this summer - it was ace. Dropped stuff off in Keswick and drove to Cpniston, rode Kirkstone, Honister and Newlands on day 1. Drank beer. Then Whinlatter, Cold Fell, Hardknott and Wrynose on day 2. All done by about 3:30 both days.
It's the whole atmosphere of the thing: 1200+ other riders out on the road, wheels to follow when you're having a bad patch, random people to work with and chat to, spectators cheering you up Hardknott, etc etc. You look up at the big climbs and there's a stream of riders ahead heaving their way up. Yes its just a bike ride on open roads but there's a special atmosphere to it even by the standard of most big sportives.
That said, it's a grand day out either way, by all means do it with a bunch of mates if you fancy it and at least that way you get to choose the weather!
The 2 posts above have pretty much summed it up. I've got a friend who is entering it, but isn't guaranteed a place. So the other riders will be a help as i'll possibly be on my tod. The atmosphere has played a big part in me deciding to do it also. I'm lucky enough to have the use of a static caravan in keswick pretty much anytime i want, so will probably ride it over the summer also.
I talked to a lot of people on this years Fred who had done that sportive(i think) leading up to the big one.
Aye, looks a nice ride
I came pretty close to dropping out here too  but managed to get going again with the help of a couple of survival blankets and some really hot sweet tea.
Going to enter again this year. Main aim will be just to complete it and enjoy the ride. And the post-ride pastie. Worth the entry fee just for the smile from the lady who served me my pastie and tea this year.
Great write up!
I was absolutely gutted to drop out but I'd come so close to losing it on Cold Fell, especially the descent, that carrying on seemed like a really bad idea. They'd also run out of space blankets by the time I got to Calder Bridge!! I was riding on my own as well so didn't have someone to gee me up or look out for me, and having an mechanical or fall in those conditions would have become serious very quickly.
Lessons for the next one - get a much better waterproof and find a riding buddy!
I was going to ride again next year but the change to the start and finish is a real negative for me now, that main road is a crap run out and in, add to that the fact its £50 (i know its for charity which is great but its still £50 out of my pocket) and the 2000 riders and its a no go for me.
I rode the lakeland loop last year in worse weather conditions that the Whitton and in its original route it would be good but last year was moved due to Whinlatter challenge clash and a snow bound wall end and wasn't particularly inspiring, especially Dunmail........
Yes. I just entered. I had a glass too many of red, thought I was Laura trot and its cost me 50 quid god damn it!!
Will aim to finish without stopping to bonk in a barn like I did on my last sportive (cycling terminology note).
A few of us haven't entered but are going up to do the route in May... training should be starting soon but maybe should have started a while ago after reading nr's account! Nice account.
What does your training schedule, if any, look like? I'm a bumbling mountain biker currently, this road lark seems like hard work!
If it is any help I went from no riding i.e. I didn't own a road bike but occasionally did short loops on mtn bike < 1 per month to doing the Fred Whitton as my first Sportive 11 months later in 7:59 and no walking! I think the best thing I did in those 7 months was to commute 26 miles every day. I built up the weekend rides from 50miles to my longest ride before the event of 100miles but with 11,000ft ascent thrown in on gratuitously steep hills. I also purposely made sure there was a really steep hill right at the end to simulate hitting Hardknott at 100 miles.
Truth be told nothing can simulate that but at least it gave an idea of how to HTFU.
It is a beautiful ride and the marshals were superb, really friendly and made the event in my opinion.
p.s. looking back I wasted 30 minutes at the feed stops - rookie error!
You make it seem so possible now - cheers! I have been lazy on the commuting but that is a good idea to up the mileage gently.
NNice one on the no walking! That would be a nice accolade.
Pretty sure we're in - we've not had a reject email and they've still got our money, so we're assuming we're in. Then the Etape du Dales the week after...
I was very pleased I didn't walk bit it was a close thing!
p.s. make sure you bang a gel in after hardknott or risk bonking on the run in to the finish like I did!
Cheers GuY! The training has begun... or rather I've been energy gel shopping.
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