With the huge success that was the Giro in Ireland recently behind them, the organisers of the Lap the Lough took the unprecedented step of ensuring a day without rain for the 2014 Lap.
Riders unused to dry roads all day didn’t quite know what to do with themselves and didn’t crash or have to shelter from the traditional downpours. Speeds were high and the small but intrepid LVIS team of Neil and Dylan took to the roads with a couple of locals riders and their club, Team Madigan.
The group clearly didn’t want to hang around and after a first hour averaging almost 22mph, splits were appearing in the group with Dylan deciding that discretion would definitely be the better part of valour in this instance while Neil was determined to stick with the group.
Some yoyoing between groups along with quick stops meant that Dylan, Neil and the rest of Team Madigan set off from the final refueling stop at around 3/4 distance together but the series of hills (“bastard hills” being the technical term) shortly after meant the group quickly split again with Dylan and Neil eventually leaving Team Madigan to their high speed antics and finishing off at a steady but decent pace.
A few pics of Helen and Nathan spreading the LVIS word to France this summer.
Dan was in Italy to take part in the Novecolli Gran Fondo:
Hi all, back last night from my bike race in Italy, Novecolli 2014 (Nine Hills). The most popular Gran Fondo in Italy, it was fantastic!!
The race started on Sunday morning 18/5 at 6am in Cesenatico, a small seaside town on the east coast of Italy. I was in the blue starting grid, there were two more grids in front of me each containing about 1200 people, and a further 9000 people behind in separate grids, in total about 12000 people.
I arrived at 5.10am to get to the front of my grid and an open(ish) road to get going on.
Each grid was separated by a 3mins gap. We set off for the first hill 27k away at a heart racing 25mph, Everyone had had their caffeine that morning!!
Several LVIS riders raced at the Bristol Bikefest at Ashton Court in Bristol. The organiser’s annual pact with the devil hadn’t quite been carried out properly this year as the weather wasn’t quite the usual glaring sun and dusty trails though after some initial rain, the day did largely stay dry.
LVIS had three racing – two ‘proper’ ones (consisting of Nouveau, Leon, Tom and Tim and then Nathan, Mark and Chris getting VFM by only racing with three members) and a third team taking part in the “Steve Worland ride singletrack hard & drink a swig of cider per lap” category. The latter category, while not maybe being the easiest to say, was pretty self-explanatory and the LVIS team of Celia, Paddy, Ant and Dylan going with the spirit of the event and riding entirely unsuitable bikes – CX bikes, fat bikes and a cargo bike.
Nathan continued his fine tradition of Bikefest disasters by breaking his little finger on his second lap but rode through the pain to the end.
Almost everyone seemed to enjoy the day but no one can quite recall the results (other than the ciders drunk – Chilli ginger being the winner by consensus) or in fact much of the day itself. Must have been the cider…
Sensible CX bike
“How do you fancy a crack at the Paris-Roubaix sportive?”
“Seems like it could be a laugh. Let’s do it”.
8 Months later and the team of LVIS cobbled classic specialist rouleurs, made up of Rus Crofts, Johnatan Williams and Karl Hurkett were at the starting line in Busigny. The challenge was to take on all 28 Secteurs of the Queen of the Classics and still have a chuckle in typical LVIS Style.
The Paris-Roubaix Challenge route is one that on paper looks like 170km of flat Northern-France rolling with a few bits of rough cobbles. Seems alright. The helpful advice from 2 other LVIS riders who have ridden this was along the lines of “Flat. That’s funny. You have no idea what you’re letting yourselves in for!” and “Fools. Stupid fools.” We took this advice on board and just figured they were wrong.
2013 – barely 1 degree all day, bottom bracket icicles, riders unable to feel their extremities(!)
2014 – riders getting sunburned and dehydrated
What a difference a year makes!
One that thing that stayed the same though is Marcus, Kirsty and the whole LVIS Audax team’s ability to produce an event that many are calling the hightlight of their cycling season. In addition to that, there’s a large sum of money going to charity.
Thanks to everyone who helped out (including Barry for sorting the weather) – There’s a huge number of things that come together to make the event a success and it takes all the help and hard work you’ve provided to make it turn out so brilliantly each year.
The full list of thanks, photos and so on are on the LVIS Audax site
It’s also worth posting a link to this write up on road.cc as the audax took place the day after respected cycling journalist Steve Worland’s death shocked the cycling community.
Marcus, Zoe and Matt B and Matt E raced in some stunning weather at the Grizzly 2014 which covers 20 miles of tough, muddy, boggy and sandy terrain. Marcus finished 8th in a field of 1,500 runners, showcasing the new LVIS athletics vest. No doubt he could have finished even higher up the leader board if it wasn’t for the plaster cast/Fist of Power that Marcus is still wearing for his broken scaphoid.
Having finally caught up on the LVIS Christmas Dinner schedule, 2014’s event took part on 1st February at Roll for the Soul, Bristol’s fantastic cycling cafe.
Earlier in the day, the Champion of Champions event took place – a hill sprint up the steepest, unflooded road we could find locally. Despite weather forecasts of biblical proportions the 9 intrepid competitors stayed relatively dry and the event was a great success with Ev taking the honours for the men and Celia for the women.
The dinner itself was a fairly noisy affair with the highlight being the awards. The exact results are somewhat hazy but the best outfit prize was won by Tim C for his stunning effort which included these shoes
Other events were selected by the baying crowd and where necessary, the time honoured tradition of arm wrestling. We did discover that the tables weren’t up to the might of LVIS though…
If you needed any further persuasion to take part in the world-leading cakeandbikeathon, part two of the LVIS Audax video is now online
We’re taking the early odds on Marcus and his crew to sweep the Oscars.
The website as ever is here:
Entries open on 1st January, Barry’s birthday.
2013 will be remembered for many things but most of all for the epic conditions of the fourth LVIS Audax (in contrast to sunshine the previous four times) .
For the 2014 LVIS Audax, a brand spanking new website is now live here:
…the Cradle of the English Civil War and a crushing display of Power from
the LVIS Interlopers.
Having not exactly covered ourselves in glory at the Bristol Bike fest (blood yes, glory not so much), Mark was keen to represent the Northern Chapter of the Purple and Gold Vegas clan and put things right on September 7th.
Neil T and Dylan completed the Lap the Lough sportive around Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, in preparation for the Giro in Ireland next year.
No rain, a steady breeze and warm temperatures contributed to fast times and happy riders.
It’s a little known fact that Barry once rode from London to Paris overnight for a secret rendez-vous with his French mistress…
A little belated but the AUK magazine had some photos of the world-famous 2013 LVIS Audax – click for the full size version
A bit of purple and gold in the Evening Post from the Clevedon Aquathlon last week. Neil and Jon are the two swimmers getting cosy in the lake photo though sadly we weren’t allowed to sport our LVIS swim caps
Despite John’s injuries (see BCBR Day 6) he decided to keep riding and finished off the race:
I rode the last day of the race in the end. Started dead last with my seat post at full TT height to minimise the bending required of my right leg and gingerly set off after the hordes.
It’s true that you meet a more sociable bunch at the back and i had a pleasant time chatting to people i usually only saw in the dinner queue etc! Fortunately the stage was a big, gradual climb (i must have passed 25% of the field as i wanted ti keep riding steadily so my leg didn’t stiffen up).
BCBR day 6 and we’re in Squamish, home of extreme sports in Canada and some ace trails.
The usual start to the day and the race. climbing out of Squamish on tarmac, soon followed by singletrack climbing interspersed by gravel roads, the latter being in full sunlight and baking hot. Interspersed with the climbs were a sandy gravelly singletrack descent with sweeping corners which proved a challenge of judgement with little grip and no berms and some easy treecovered singletrack.
Another splendid day of MTBing on the BCBR today. Cooler temperatures and an early start made the initial climbing from sea level to aid station one at just over 300m bearable although the predominantly gravel surface was utterly forgettable. Onto some fresh singletrack for yet more climbing and the legs were really starting to feel it was the peaty/mossy ground was so spongy it was granny ring all the time as wheels sank into the fresh surface. I hope it was better for the later riders. At least it afforded a comfy ride for those without full sus!
Day 4 started with the usual gorgefest of a breakfast and a bus ride to the ferry terminal at Saltery Bay taking about 30 mins and providing views of the spectacular mountains, forest and shoreline. Dom and I were one of the lucky few to get out of breakfast early and onto the second bus which meant that we were to take river taxis for the crossing to Earls Cove.
Some time ago (December 2011) Warren and his wife started a bike tour. I’ve just had an update and he’s still at it:
John W and Dom are racing the BCBR over the next few days:
BCBR day 3 has turned out to be a good one! Fabulous breakfast at Campbell Ri followed by a ferry ride to get to Powell Ri for the start of stage 3. School busses dropped us at the ferry terminal and we walked on via the vehicle loading ramp as seems to be the norm here. A pleasant cruise across to the mainland gave time for an overly generous breakfast to go down and time to make some mental notes about the ride ahead.
The Hill and Rockhampton WI are holding their monthly tea and cake extravaganza this Sunday so I thought I’d organise an LVIS peloton to ride up there and enjoy some pavlova in the sunshine. It’ll also give us the opportunity to present Joan, who co-ordinates the ladies for our Audax, with her very own LVIS apron and a cheque to be put towards their chosen charities and to contribute to the upkeep of the hall. Last year they bought some new blinds with some of the money though sadly not in purple and gold. We’ll be leaving the Blaise Castle car park at 1pm and riding at the speed of chat via the LVIS audax route. Please let me know if you want to come along for the ride.
John W and Dom are racing the BCBR over the next few days:
BCBR day 2 has turned out to be a much less extreme experience – thank goodness.
In order to prevent bottle loss (the drinking variety) I attached rubber bands to both bottle cages which loop over the bottle nipples which seems to have done the trick. It has also helped that the vast majority of the riding has been under the cover of trees as the weather is very similar to yesterday.
John W and Dom are racing the BCBR over the next few days:
It’s the aftermath the first day of racing and it’s been quite a challenge. The weather has changed from wet and cool to roasting hot and humid and those of us from cooler climes are finding it tough going!