HONC Hell of the North Cotswolds


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  • Tim
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13 years 1 month ago #1233 by Tim
I last rode the Hell of the North Cotswolds in 1992 & 1993 I think. I know it was around then for sure. I remember one year was dry and dusty and I did it on my training bike, the bottom bracket fell apart, and the shell actually cracked right through. Then the next time I did it on Pat Alexander’s MTB, which was the first time I rode a bike with front shocks.

This year was much harder than I remember and much longer in the saddle. 102 km of riding, of which I’d say ¾ was quite hard muddy stuff. Some of it literally ploughed fields, and only a few road sections, and those mostly going uphill!

Me and 3 intrepid Brogborough Dynamos set off about 10 minutes after the off. With 1100 or so riders it takes a while to get through a gate. Sparky was doing the short run and we 3 others the long.

We sped off with Dave, Col and Mike were pretty much right at the back after an excessive breakfast with the lady at Tony Blair Cottage. I waited nearly 15 mins at the top of Hails Abbey climb and through they came. The next hour or so was quite fast tracks, riding comfortably. The ride to Stumps Cross was quite tricky in places and a bottle neck that we throught was a control point, but not. Then it started to get a bit muddier still. Some sections quite greasy on the front tyre. I fell off and got dropped big time after I put my foot into the front wheel. I’ve got a bruise on my arm too (how?) It started to hail as we went along the side of a wood Hornsleasow I think. Condicote was a relief with a nice long road - track section. The sun came out too. My 8 blocks worked great on the road, in the mud – a bit skiddy sometimes.

Around the Slaughters to Naunton we were soon riding with the same few people. SCCC and lakes. It was tough there down by the river and some pluggy sections to get through. By the time we got to the rest halt at Guiting Power it was 1pm. Mike and Col came in about 10 mins later. Some nice lardy and oatcake and a few coffees / teas & off again at 1:30. Col and Mike were going OK and some climbs were getting tougher - Mike had his 2nd wind and was looking powerful again. The wind was getting up a bit, but it was sunny. At Salperton Park still with a good 20 miles to go, Mike said he would have to stop and rest. He didn’t - good on ya Mike. Dropping down to Severnhampton was really good. Then the climb up to the left into a sheep field cruel knowing Winchcombe is about 4 miles downhill and here we are going up a sheep field! At the top I waited and set off again with Col and Mike with 12.2 miles to go. At this point it looked like it might rain again and was getting colder. I was shivering too. Left up towards Cleeve the thought of the end close by….

A really nasty descent over a load of stones and pulg back up again. I was not going to stop now, as it would be 15 minutes wait and not too far. Cleeve Hill was spectacular – I’d forgotten how fab the view was. You could just see the Severn Estuary with the sun glinting on it in the distance. Cleeve is much more track-ridden, than I remember a decade ago when I lived down in Cheltenham. Then along to the golf course with a way marked route agreed I presume with grassy but squidgy conditions and quite a tough headwind at 300m + for the next 2 miles or so.

Finally down the back by the quarry and onto the main road for a final push to the finish back at the school.

The hardest ever, possibly. The hardest I found it for sure – 8hrs in the saddle! 7 hrs riding time. Yes I could have done it an hour faster, but that’s not the point. This was mostly a team effort. Also the GPS worked really well and helped us round all the way, very impressive with the route function. Col and Mike came in nearly an hour later. But I waited to see them in.

Broggies discover some real XC! And respect to everyone who finished today.

:D

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13 years 1 month ago #1234 by Tim
Replied by Tim on topic Photos
Col, Mike, Sparky.... the photos are online, take a look....

www.antbliss.com/

Type your entry number into the search box.

antbliss.thirdlight.com/viewpicture.tlx?pictureid=6244404

antbliss.thirdlight.com/viewpicture.tlx?pictureid=6223998


Tim

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12 years 5 months ago #1304 by Tim
Replied by Tim on topic HONC 2009
HONC 2009
=======

The 2009 event is a little earlier than last year on Sunday April 5th.

www.honc.org.uk/default.html

Col, Mike, Sparky and any others are you up for it? I imagine it will be a little easier on the legs, nothing could really top last years epic. Don't bother to bring bananas, they are in plentiful supply!

Entries open Jan 1st, and like last year will no doubt fill up by a week after that, limited to 1100.

:twisted:

Tim

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12 years 4 months ago #1306 by Tim
:( If you've not entered, sorry you are not in. It sold out a couple of days after the entry system opened up. 1100 places at £13 each gone - just like that! Work out 1100 x 13 yourself. I only wish windsurfing was this popular, Thursday night racing would be an amazing festival and tony would need a full catering service on hand to cope with the demand. Prizes would be all sorts of wonderful goodies, errr no on 2nd thoughts the top prize would be a set of harness lines..... :huh:

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12 years 4 months ago - 12 years 4 months ago #1307 by admin
Blimey, that was a bit rapid.

Still, looks like a great event if a bit muddy.

Last edit: 12 years 4 months ago by admin.

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12 years 3 months ago #1308 by Tim
Replied by Tim on topic Route
I've got the route. Secret. :woohoo:

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