My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

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flyingpig
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by flyingpig » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:07 pm

In Reverse wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:23 pm
Just got back to the car at the Fforest. Pretty ruined :lol:

28:01. My sixth BB200 and it might have been the toughest of the lot.
Very well done!

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stevewaters
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by stevewaters » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:38 pm

I met up with AlexinthePeaks for dinner at the Fforest Inn on Friday evening. - Great food and very friendly
staff and locals.
Kipped in the car in their car park and then left about 05:30 Saturday morning.

It was very wet and soggy with huge deep lakes across the farm tracks.

Alex left the car park at 6, but soon caught me up. He was flying (as usual !).

I loved the sections in the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons - spectacular.

I met Eugene at one point and rode for a few miles with Lars down into Crickhowell.

I was hoping to do the 200 route in under 24 hours and was comfortably on track and going steady. However, things slowed down after crossing the A40 - a combination of the wet soggy conditions and the dark.

I did the off-road loop from Upper Chapel without realising it and then made a wrong turn and lost a lot of height. At that point I threw my guts up and couldn't keep and food or water down. Thinking I still had to do the Upper Chapel loop, I decided that I wouldn't have the energy to complete the loop north of Builth and so instead opted for the direct road from there back to the Fforest Inn. By this stage I was falling asleep and ended up walking some of the sections as I thought it was safer than riding. Thankfully, not a car passed in either direction on that section in the time it took me which was well over an hour.

I got back in 22:09 elapsed time, but I had missed out the offroad section just south of Builth plus I had cut off the section north of Builth. Even if things had gone in my favour, I am pretty sure that in those conditions I would not have completed the route in the 24 hours I was hoping for.

On 2 occasions I got challenged by farmers in the dark. One even claimed she was not aware of the bridleway through her land which stretches plausibility!

Hats off to anyone who completes this route in any time ! - It was brutal. - Great to see some new areas of Wales though.

Thanks Stuart ! :-bd

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In Reverse
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by In Reverse » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:18 pm

Richard G wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:33 pm
In Reverse wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:23 pm
Just got back to the car at the Fforest. Pretty ruined :lol:

28:01. My sixth BB200 and it might have been the toughest of the lot.
Congrats.

Out of interest, how does that compare (time wise) vs your previous runs?
Been c 22 hours for the last couple of years, bivvied the three before that.
Was aiming for black this year but kept getting progressively slower as the ride went on. I was pushing most of the climbs towards the end.

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Richard G
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Richard G » Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:22 pm

stevewaters wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:38 pm
Hats off to anyone who completes this route in any time ! - It was brutal. - Great to see some new areas of Wales though.
Good effort buddy.
In Reverse wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 6:18 pm
Been c 22 hours for the last couple of years, bivvied the three before that.
Was aiming for black this year but kept getting progressively slower as the ride went on. I was pushing most of the climbs towards the end.
Yeah, I've been there. That's part of the problem with not stopping... towards the end you end up pushing stuff that you'd barely break a sweat on normally.

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stevewaters
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by stevewaters » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:18 pm

In Reverse wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:23 pm
Just got back to the car at the Fforest. Pretty ruined :lol:

28:01. My sixth BB200 and it might have been the toughest of the lot.
Well done! - It was my first BB200, so nothing to compare with. - Relieved to hear it was a toughie!

There were a few stretches of tarmac that need to be added to Shaf's thread on tough road climbs.

shutuplegs
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by shutuplegs » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:24 pm

Alexinthepeaks wrote:
Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:50 pm

Was making great progress for 120km at 15km/h average.
That’s a flying pace Alex! Shame you had to pull out as it sounds like a great ride.
“We live and learn, and big mountains are stern teachers” - HW Tilman.

Alexinthepeaks
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Alexinthepeaks » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:56 pm

Honestly, i was loving it!

The gravel bike i have got is set up with 28mm ID carbon wheels with cushcores, running 30PSI on WTB Resolutes.

The set up was banging...it just ripped though everything, even the thick mud.

Those skinny 42mm tyres are amazing! I did get off on a couple of the really rocky descents, but prob would have on my Mtb anyway to avoid a silly mistake.

I will defo come back next year on it, but will upgrade to 4pot hope calipers. My discs were burning red on the steep technical descents.

Even though i bailed due to my shifter / mech, im very pleased, as i know what these bikes are capable off now and what happened was more down to luck then the bikes ability tio handle the strain.

Next time......

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Euge
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Euge » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:27 pm

Well I didn't have a great experience, which is a shame as I was ready for this. (or so I thought!!!)

Started from the car park at Hay Bluff, knowing I would have the climb out of Hay right at the end. Also knowing I was going to push the bike first off. After only about 300m sealant was spewing out of the side wall of the front tyre. (WTB Nano 42) I thought that was it, but after a few minutes it sealed. This felt a bit uneasy as now I knew I might have a problem later. I carried on pushing upwards and realised the bike was maybe a little heavy fully laden. On the top in the boggy trussocks I couldn't ride it and definitely not on the way down. I slipped several times on wet rocks as the MTB shoes had no grip at all. Took about 2 hours to get over, and I could see this was not going to be an easy day. I was glad to see some road, but that was short lived. The bridleways and tracks were slow and very muddy, at one point I was thrown off a bump, the front wheel dived into the puddle I was avoiding and it covered the axle! Missed the route that heads down the dip next to the field, and had to double back. There were gates tied up blocking the route that popped out at the back of a farm (Near Walterstone) the route says between the buildings, but that was blocked by a gate and full of lambs! I stood dithering about this and Alex appeared. I said "surely the route doesn't go through the lambs?", he said "thats where I am going, come one" and hopped over the gate. I followed and by the time I was over the first gate he was gone! Bloody hell I thought, he's quick.

Later I stopped for water and Steve must have passed me when I had a nav error as he was filling up at a stream, I thought I would do the same. We chatted for a minute and he set off, then along rolled Lars, cool as. We exchanged hello's and introductions and he disappeared.

After the climb up the road, and the bridle way to the left, deescending to the stream at the forest, came the left turn up the boulder strewn ravine. The bike was heavy and I was getting slower. I literally dragged the bike bit by bit. It popped out onto a gravel road, thank goodness, but there was another ascent just the same. My heart sank a little. After topping the hill and trying to ride the boggy top it descended to where the route seemed to go through a fence, I paced up and down looking for the track and settled on a gated bridleway. On the road I met two lads doing the 300, who looked strong. After the relief of some road I got to Crickhowell and saw the two lads eating outside Jehu's. I had a cup of tea at a cafe across the road and set off up the road climb. At the top I stopped for a drink and had a big think. It was now 6pm, I had travelled only 30 miles in 10 hours, and it felt like I pushed the bike most of it. This was so far behind a reasonable schedule, and if the rest of the route was going to be the same in the dark it would be a long night and following day. Riding speed was showing just over 6mph, but delays, pushing and nav lost too much time. I decided to tap-out and ride back.

Maybe I had the wrong bike, being on a gravel set up, maybe my bicycle was just a bit too heavy. I had drunk well from the hydration vest, but my feeding was poor due to the sheer effort of keeping on going. I learned a lot, and it wasn't for me on the day.

For sure it's a tough ride, I will return.

Thanks for the encouragement out there, and chapeau to any finishers.
DNF BB2020

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larsmars
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by larsmars » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi all,

I finished the BB300 yesterday at 15:50 having set off at 7:15 on Saturday from Kington. So it took me 32:34 hours including a 4 hour bivy just before Monaughty and a breakfast stop in Knighton. My moving time was 24:40. For comparison, last year I finished the BB300 in 25:07 (22:54 moving time), so even subtracting the bivvy and comfort stops, my pace was significantly slower. The climbs were punchier and unrelenting, the soft ground sapped energy and feck me there were so many shitting gates. However, there were some thoroughly enjoyable sections like the descent from Hay Bluff, Beacons Way down to Crickhowell, the Ridge above Talybont Reservoir, Taff Trail, Gap, etc.

I had estimated my schedule based on last years pace which should have put me in Builth around 21:15, but I soon realised I would struggle to get there before the Coop petrol station closed at 23:00. I rolled in at 22:56 and made a mess on the floor they had just mopped before closing, grabbing coffee and sandwiches and leaving a trail of sheep sub standard behind me. They were surprisingly understanding!

Nice to meet Rich, James, Eugene and Steve en route! Still catching up on the rest of the ride reports. It looks like we all had a tough time out there. I hope to do a write up and photos maybe this evening.

For anybody considering a start from Kington, I can highly recommend staying at the Walking Hub. It's £38 night including healthy breakfast (homemade granola, fruit, yoghurt). It's run by a lovely lady called Ali who is an avid hill walker.

All the best to those still planning an attempt!

Cheers,
Lars

redefined_cycles
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:47 pm

Well done Euge. It is indeed a tough route and made worse by the boggy grounds at the time you did it. You got farther than me (10 miles farther) so super well done :-bd

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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:50 pm

Well done Lars :-bd

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:56 pm

As rides and events go, it's probably one of the toughest out there Eugene and this year is certainly up there as one of the most demanding, so a hell of an introduction you gave yourself - well done for setting off into the unknown.

Very well done Lars :wink:
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by slarge » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:33 pm

Well done you lot - Lars that is a cracking ride!

I think this is the toughest one to date - so hats off to all finishers (of the 200 or the 300)

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Richard G
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 12, 2020 3:44 pm

Well done Lars, you're a beast. Bad luck Euge.

That bit near Walterstone has been a problem for quite a few people. From no obvious path to the bridleway, to locked gates, to now apparently lambs. :lol:

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In Reverse
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by In Reverse » Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:56 pm

stevewaters wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:18 pm
In Reverse wrote:
Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:23 pm
Just got back to the car at the Fforest. Pretty ruined :lol:

28:01. My sixth BB200 and it might have been the toughest of the lot.
Well done! - It was my first BB200, so nothing to compare with. - Relieved to hear it was a toughie!

There were a few stretches of tarmac that need to be added to Shaf's thread on tough road climbs.
Cheers Steve, and a decent effort from you too. Suspect you wouldn't have found it too pleasant if you'd tried to force yourself round that top bit if you were ill.

I think it might have been those "punchy" bits of tarmac before Crickhowell that ultimately did for my legs.

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Richard G
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:52 pm

Thanks to the reports here I just ordered a slightly grippier rear tyre. I've gone off the idea of my slightly worn Ikon, given how mushy it seems to be out there!

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RIP
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by RIP » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:59 pm

I'll post you one of my Swampthings if that'll help. Sounds about right from some of the reports :smile: .
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rich.mike
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by rich.mike » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:11 pm

Euge wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:27 pm
On the road I met two lads doing the 300, who looked strong. After the relief of some road I got to Crickhowell and saw the two lads eating outside Jehu's.
Hi Euge,

That was me and James! Nice to meet you and Lars en route. The look of strength dwindled after Crickhowell, as did our average speed, and at 125km in we bailed as we weren't confident we could finish the 300 in 38hrs. Both had quite nasty punctures early in (one at 40 and one at 80kms requiring anchovies), Garmin issues for me and brakes going to the bars in James' case knocked confidence. 55km ride back to our cottage was tough so we made the right decision. Got back at 2am.

Spent Sunday morning at Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Centre and then went for a walk to made the most of the weekend.

Fantastic route though Stu, will give it another go next summer, maybe over 3 days though!

Good luck everyone, it's a toughie.

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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Roughtoad » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:58 pm

Yeah was great to meet Lars and Euge on route. Have to say Lars looked scarily relaxed and strong as usual, riding far quicker than us! Unfortunately Euge didn't quite seam to be having as good a time! But I hope the cup of tea was at least good... Yeah Rich and I just I think made the sensible decision to can it early rather than pressing on to not complete at a later km. As Rich says we had a great Saturday at the farm park on Sunday 😁 just need to sort my brakes out for next years attempt. I wouldn't call the below normal wear and tear. Both! were new 175km earlier....

James.
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Raggedstone
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Raggedstone » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:21 pm

Well that was an experience I was doing ok until I missed the bridleway off Offa's Dyke the Garmin said I was on track even though I had my doubts I got to the ridge when the arrow suddenly split from the correct route so I had climbed much higher than I needed, amazing sunset over Pen-y-fan as a compensation went back to the track started following it again through the rough stuff it took me into a very slippery rocky ravine at which point every way I tried to go was wrong then the same happened again and the track was above me now . I had a couple of nasty moments in amongst the rocks skidding down on my arse watching the bike banging about I didn't want to go back the way I came to try to find the right route as I thought wrongly I would work my way back up . I used up so much energy and time trying to get back to the bridleway and after another couple of scary moments and realising that there was not a lot below me I worked my way down eventually to an excellent track which I followed for ages to a picnic site food and a lie down was required .
I went around the lanes and rejoined the route where the bridleway came out on the road with the hope of carrying on but by the time I got to the point to go back up into the mountains I realised I didn't have a lot left so went to Crickhowell for food then towpath to Brecon and rejoined the route into Builth .
It was every bit as tough as i expected and am seriously impressed with everyone who has or is about to give it a go .
I am going to go back Saturday to find my elusive bridleway at least I know the answer to the bridge question now

Even with bailing I still did 190km and 4300 mtrs of climbing. At this point I think I will go back and have another go in the spring .

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Richard G
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Richard G » Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:23 pm

Roughtoad wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:58 pm
just need to sort my brakes out for next years attempt. I wouldn't call the below normal wear and tear. Both! were new 175km earlier....
Yeah, I don't think I've ever taken resin on a BB200/300. Metal all the way!

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Euge
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by Euge » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:35 pm

rich.mike wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:11 pm

Hi Euge,

That was me and James! Nice to meet you and Lars en route. The look of strength dwindled after Crickhowell, as did our average speed, and at 125km in we bailed
Rich/James

Sorry I couldn’t remember your names. Gutted to hear you guys bailed, you looked confident devouring those sausage rolls!

Eugene
DNF BB2020

redefined_cycles
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by redefined_cycles » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:44 pm

Raggedstone wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:21 pm
Well that was an experience I was doing ok until I missed the bridleway off Offa's Dyke the Garmin said I was on track even though I had my doubts I got to the ridge when the arrow suddenly split from the correct route so I had climbed much higher than I needed, amazing sunset over Pen-y-fan as a compensation went back to the track started following it again through the rough stuff it took me into a very slippery rocky ravine at which point every way I tried to go was wrong then the same happened again and the track was above me now . I had a couple of nasty moments in amongst the rocks skidding down on my arse watching the bike banging about I didn't want to go back the way I came to try to find the right route as I thought wrongly I would work my way back up . I used up so much energy and time trying to get back to the bridleway and after another couple of scary moments and realising that there was not a lot below me I worked my way down eventually to an excellent track which I followed for ages to a picnic site food and a lie down was required .
I went around the lanes and rejoined the route where the bridleway came out on the road with the hope of carrying on but by the time I got to the point to go back up into the mountains I realised I didn't have a lot left so went to Crickhowell for food then towpath to Brecon and rejoined the route into Builth .
It was every bit as tough as i expected and am seriously impressed with everyone who has or is about to give it a go .
I am going to go back Saturday to find my elusive bridleway at least I know the answer to the bridge question now

Even with bailing I still did 190km and 4300 mtrs of climbing. At this point I think I will go back and have another go in the spring .
Is that the bridge after hay on wye (where the stream could turn into a river)... whats the answer you found please sir :smile:

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psling
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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by psling » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:25 am

redefined_cycles wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:44 pm
Raggedstone wrote:
Mon Oct 12, 2020 9:21 pm
... at least I know the answer to the bridge question now
Is that the bridge after hay on wye (where the stream could turn into a river)... whats the answer you found please sir :smile:
Like all good pantomime villains Shaf, he's behind you :lol:

It's hidden in the undergrowth about 2m downstream, a hefty footbridge with metal tube railings. Easily seen from the 'other side' but totally hidden from the direction you would have approached it! Raggedstone will hopefully post a picture...
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.

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Re: My BB200 2020 (may contain spoilers).

Post by redefined_cycles » Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:47 am

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