Right, better start thinking about heading down to CP3 to earn my keep. How much am I getting paid again M? I’ll get my reward in hell I imagine…
Trying to decide whether or weather I can be arsed with the 4hr bike ride to Fort Augustus or not. I suppose i should given the environmental kudos I’ve been pushing the last week or so. But it is wet and miserable, and I don’t seem to have the same hard as fuck attitude as I do when I’m actually in bike mode. The car is looking more desirable with every passing minute. Plus my disco slippers are still full of sushi rice from my last adventure out in the Ming…
Anyone else have pong issues with this brand of footwear which you don’t get with others? Seems to linger. Though I don’t think any shoe is designed to be ridden for days on end through the worst and best of weather the British Isles have to offer.
Still, my top tip is a bucket of water, a bottle of Dettol and about 24hrs.
I have to also make a correction from one of yesterday’s blog. I got a row from Alice. At the time of writing she was actually ahead of Jaimi on the stage… Sorry Alice credit where credit is due. Great riding yesterday. However, she’s grubbing you now eh ;-) Karma!
[Edit, I’ve just been giving Alice abuse over IG. She’s so going to smack me…]
I’m having a love-hate relationship with one of our men behind the lens. Dan and I keep on giving each other grief for our tardy time management. I keep getting the bullshit excuse that he’s having to charge the car or he has to do long miles, blah blah blah to find riders. All the while he’s giving me grief for not actually keeping up with events and having the audacity of actually going to bed at a reasonable time. So with that, here are some pictures from my best buddy Tommy.
The hall is booked from 3pm onwards. Angus arrived before many of us were out of our jammies. However, it may have been Angus’s job in the first place to book the various checkpoints along the route originally. So only has himself to blame.
This years event has put years on Dan….
Angus dragging the shitty weather with him as he passes through Strathyre. Cheers boi.
See you at CP3 Dan. Love you lots.
Still picking the yellow sleep gunk out from my eye, but was woken by a text from photographer Tommy to say Angus is nearly at CP3 in Fort Augustus.
Naturally, the laptop battery had drained and I couldna mind where the power cable was….
He’s about to reach that bit on the Corrieyairack Pass that I like to call ‘4 Soreen Lunchbox Loaves are Not Enough’
He’s going to be in FA in time for brekkie!!
Now, I don’t want to tempt fate here, but Lachlan Morton’s Stage 2 time was 30h 15m. Its just gone 8am as I type… i.e. 24 hours since Angus left checkpoint 2. He’s going to be at CP3 before 10 or maybe even 9 depending on the tracker I reckon. You do the maths….
Will keep yous posted.
Another day, another day of playing catch up. Haven’t a scoob what’s been happening today as been doing proper work.
Looks like we’re in for a treat at CP3 in the coming days. Our wrinkly footed friend Lewis Clark has been slaving away, night and day, cooking up some traditional Scottish fare for the hardy riders left out on the route.
This is what I love about our community. Even though Lewis shat it and quit cos he’s not hard enough, he’s gone above and beyond the call of duty and looks to be laying on quite a spread.
A typical Scottish shopping basket with all of the important food groups. There weren’t any frozen Haggis left so he has asked me to go and catch some wild ones. Will fire them over to you tomorrow Lewis. There’s a few decent hills up here where the roam. For those of you who haven’t seen one before, they are quite tricky to catch. You need to entice them out of their burrows using a hunting bagpipe. Their natural habitat are mountains or hills. The reason for this is they have one leg shorter than the other so the like to run round the hills you see. You have to shepherd them out of their own terrain and onto the flat if you stand any chance of catching them. One on flat ground it’s like shooting fish in a barre as they the end up just running round in circles. Easy to scoop up them up then.
Looks like Tennent’s have started ripping off Erdinger in the energy drink stakes. I can visualise the marketing meeting to thrash out the new branding for it. Here min, its nearly home time. Shit, our deadlines the morn, quick pass the sharpie.
I didn’t know Lewis at all before this years event, still don’t. But having exchanged a few messages on IG I feel I can comfortably rip the piss out of him and he’ll be cool with it. He’s up for the craic! However, If I’ve horribly misjudged him, he’s gonna hammer me. Look forward to meeting you in Fort Augustus sir! If you are built like a outdoor brick toilet, I am so sorry I didn’t mean any offence. 😈
Going to be real awkward if it turns out I’ve met him before and I’ve just dingied him!
We’ve not seen as big a mass exodus as we have in the last couple of days, but we’ve lost a handful more riders since I last made fun of them.
Les Brown who bravely fought on despite an ever increasing amount of troubles, has finally called it a day. He managed to ‘bodge’ a repair to his bottom bracket before it gave way as he reached Scotland. I’m not sure what his bodge was, but in my experience a bottom bracket is either burst or its no.
Lucy has also scratched, however she is carrying on, but now out of the GC time. You wouldn’t want to miss the best part of the UK after all! Jilly Dawes has scratched today too. I don’t have any info on the reason, but she ok and has reported in that she loved the experience.
Last one on today’s list is Sharon. She was in a pair with her husband Chris who is carrying on without her. To hear their story, back track to my first blog of this years event! Cracker it is! Here’s hoping they’ve no had a barney ;-)
My minions have yet to upload their pics from today so I’ll leave you with the current situation on stage 3.
The majority of the riders are now in Bonnie Scotland. Where the air is cleaner, the water is purer, the people are friendlier and the weather is finer. Welcome!!
Angus has currently a commanding lead back to Media Car 1 who have once more stopped to charge. Ollie is trailing with Mark back in third. The first of our ladies is Jaimi, who has a 15km or so lead over Philippa who has been suffering with sickness on the quiet for the past day. They are 7th and 9th respectively. If the last week has taught us anything however, it is they get stronger as the stage progresses, so should make up ground tomorrow.
Right, I have to go and rebuild my bike as heading down to CP3 to get the craic with the team and riders coming in. I fully expect Angus to be there waiting impatiently to be let into the hall.
Well, that’s flown by! 7 days of battling through the best of what the UK summer has to offer. Sunny again up here in the Highlands… Don’t know what the fuss is about. Plus its better when its minging, the photos are more atmospheric and receive more likes on IG!
Just a quick morning update. We had 3 riders battle through the night and arrive in the small hours. Claire, Simon and Howard all made it with time to spare.
Hard task master Niall, our man drawing the pretty pictures, didn’t chastise them this time for not taking a timestamped photo but instead let them sleep. However guys… its almost time for offski… get us thos pics!
A text dropped in just before midnight from Izzy, to say she wasn't going to make it the cut off time unfortunately! However, its not all wasted effort as she’ll carry on out of GC and aim to get us all in John O’Groats. The worst is behind you now Lizzy as you’re about to enter Gods Country. And its sunny. And its Bonnie. Nothing wrong with her or the bike but she put her sensible casquette on and decided not to risk it up on the hills and moors as the weather had drawn in and visibility was piss poor.
Jilly Dawes has also scratched, she’s sent a text so all ok but will await more info.
Going by the tracker, Leslie Brown pulled an ‘Izzy’ and made it in before the 8am cut off. He had a bit of a tyre calamity yesterday, so glad he’s managed to get to CP2 in time.
Think thats all for now. Need a cwof! Pronto.
More CP than DP this morning….
Wish I could have a rest day…
The ‘easy stage’ aye? Who said that?
A bit of house keeping to take care of. I believe there are one or two out there questioning the ‘tactics’ of some of the riders for leaving kit for others to carry. Some folk obviously don’t get sarcasm. You’re reading the wrong race commentary if that’s the case. They say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, which means therefore, I likely don’t have a funny bone in my body. With the exception of my humerus that is.
Though I did cock up one sarcy post about a dropped tool bottle. It was Clare’s not Jaimi’s. So my bad.
The innocent, kindness of some of our riders actually picking up lost or dropped kit is technically outside help. Does it count if the dropee knows about it? I’ll leave that for you to decide. I’ll also leave you with #leavenotrace.
Deadpool’s own opinion. Rant over.
A quick note to those scratching. Can you all agree to do it about the same time as each other please. Makes my job a bit simpler. Ta.
Whilst we had some incredible shows of speed and strength up at the pointy end. We’re all currently rooting for Izzy Freshwater. To remain in GC, she has to reach CP2 before 8am tomorrow morning. To remind you, she was the rider who rode into CP1 WITH 20 mins to spare. So when the majority of riders had rested up and fed and shot off again at 8am for the start of Stage 2, she had to rest up, recompose herself, refuel then head off into stage 2. She should be safe with 11 hours to cover approx 100kms. C’mon Lizzy.
3rd rider in after an incredible ride on stage 1. Ollie had a bit of a harder time on stage 2. After battling with horrendous conditions, soaked to the bone he tried to warm up and dry off a bit huddled around his stove under a bridge to try and perk up. He made the call to rest up in Kirby which will cost him a swathe of time for stage 2, it means he’s still in the overall game.
For an overall picture of the movers and shakers, hit the button below.
For some of our riders, today has been a kinda rest day. A day spent tinkering, chewing the fat with fellow riders, socialz, and of course catching up on sleep and their calorie deficit.
Will update when we know what riders have made the cut off and who didn’t. I’ll be in my pit so will likely be the morn.
A hunter being hunted! One of the crazies behind the lens! Forced to self isolate as our photographers are smelling as bad as our riders!
DP on a B
A catch up on the scratches from earlier with a few joining them. Been mental today.
I should probably stop giving the crew grief for not sending me photos. I’m a hard task master and cracking the whip is stressing them out. The WiFi at CP2 must be on dial up as they sent me proof that they’re not just on a jolly.
We’ve now had a couple of other riders join Angus. Mark B and Philippa B have now appeared. Based on cumulative time, Angus has an astonishing 15+ buffer on Mark. So he basically just needs to stay upright and finish… or not sleep in…. or not get a mechanical… you get the picture.
Rumour has it, that a FKT could be on the cards. Angus just needs to stop fannying about and pull his finger out. He’s got a few hours to make up over stages 2 & 3.
Whilst we’re on the topic of FKT - ‘fastest known time’ for those like me aren’t down with the cool kids, seems to have started trending during lockdown? Am I right, I don’t ever recall hearing it mention before I got a cough two March’s ago. Isn’t it just a long KOM? Ooooooh, I claim ‘LONGKOM’ before anyone else does. Away from timed rides, events and races why do we need to apply a score board for everything these days? Who cares if You or I are the fastest at sprinting from lollypop persons hut to the chippy round the corner.
I’ve just got a bee in my bonnet about the whole KOM nonsense. We all know know they are ‘achieved’ with a roaster of a tail wind. That, and I’m now 39 and all the young rockets are pinching them from me. Must be the Zwift effect… Now… I’m no even going to start on that, as I’ll be here all night and most of next week. I have an ongoing argument with my Fifer mate who’s shit hot on it and skelps me out on the road because of it. Git. He’s shite at corners however. And riding in the wind. And in the rain. And in the cold. In fact, I’ve no seen him for a while. Dean? You there?
Still awaiting Philippa’s time but sounds like she too is on for a ‘LONGKOM’ 😎 but she came into CP2 wearing the same smile she had on at the start.
Will update what’s happening with our other hardly souls tomorrow, which looking at the clock is only 21 minutes away. The life of an ultra endurance blogger is full on!
Don’t let the bed bugs bite,
A lot of catching up to do… The day of the scratch so it seems, which sums up the beginnings of day 5… and a little from yesterday after I sodded of for the evening. Bikes and bodies are starting to bend and break.
In no particular. Or the order as per the WhatsApp group. Bwlch y Groes was the straw that broke the camels back for Beth Jackson, having to retire with achilles issues. I’ll no even bother writing an achilles heel pun!
Update on Issy’s scratch from yesterday. No food poisoning thankfully, just couldn’t keep food down and had bouts of sickness.
Tim & Sofie, after having a rest at CP1 have decided to take it easy and make a holiday out of it. They’ll join us later on up the route. Exhaustion and saddle sores have claimed them unfortunately.
Lee Craigie’s tech issues have come back to haunt her so she’s called it a day also. Another Scot bites the dust 😢
Lewis Clark, proving that ciggies aren’t a good fuel source for ultra endurance riders. Though, I’m glad I won’t need to see any more photos of his rank trench foot. Manky git.
Isaac Hudson ‘dental issues’ is all the information I’ve been given so ill assume he's either taken a header or that the last 4 days of a beating hes taken has shaken some fillings loose. Since had an update and a burst tooth has made eating too painful to continue.
Lee Brown, like many others from the previous days scratches has been struggling with keeping food down. A common occurrence so will be interesting to find out everyone’s strategy.
Looking at those riders remaining, the Scots contingency has drastically fallen, with the hopes of a nation resting on Mark Beaumont shoulders. Though he was getting gubbed by Carl Hopps earlier so I’ll maybe claim Carl as an honorary Scot given he’s a ginger.
Sorry, if I’ve missed any Scots out, as I was given very little notice to write all these and as such I’ve done very little research on you all. As I’m not a complete saddo whose life revolves around cycling… much…
One of our photographers have been going above and beyond the call of duty to get ‘that shot’ Tommy has been getting down and dirty out of sympathy with our riders. I reckon he just face planted.
Having just returned from work - back in the office for the first time in a couple of years…. so I don’t really have a scoob what been happening on the route today apart from what I starting drafting at 6am today.
So I totally missed the action at the pointy end. Which Angus has all to himself. To be ratified by the chief comm, but early evidence suggests a new FKT for Stage 2. Our man-machine completed reached CP2 at 14:39 and some change. So a stage time of 30h 39m, chopping off a whopping 43mins from some pro’s previous best. No bad for a young loon.
What do you think? Reckon he’s happy with himself? Self awarded chuftie badge. Well done you maniac!
We’ve been getting wee soundbites from the riders out on course enjoying themselves during stage 2. The riders, who shall remain anonymous (for now) as they used sweary words… “fuck me, this stage is fucking hard” I suspect all riders are thinking it however. I await Alice’s response to see if I can credit her on that one…
My favourite quote of the day from one of our leading ladies, “it’s not a race anymore, it’s a fucking never ending travelator.”
So the 4700m of ascent in Stage 2 appears to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Fires up tracking website.
Will report in laterz
For the first time in 4 days, I clicked onto one of the online bikey news website. Who knew there were other bike events on! There’s a hundred or so pussies doing a fully supported ride in Spain at the moment. #flyrideandsome
Anyway, to my surprise there is a article on our humble pedal through the UK! They have referred to it as a ‘gravel race.’
We lost another couple of riders today unfortunately. Adam Colvin has had to pull out due to work commitments. To the collective sigh of relief from the staff members of The Spar and M&S north of CP1. They’ll have enough stock to sell to their regular customers.
Issy hill ate something dodgy and thinks she may have food poisoning?? Though, did anyone see how many beers she had last night? Get well soon Issy and don’t feel at all guilty about leaving your buddy Lucy to ride the rest of the event solo.
After getting a telling off by the commissaries, rider are now starting to post up their time stamp selfies to prove they are more than a name on a map.
Nuff said really. Wish I was riding.
Some of the riders who missed the official Stage 2 start look to be pushing on which is great. It’s not all about times and placings. For some it’ll be. A holiday away from real life crap like work, for others it will be an experience of a lifetime not to be missed. Regardless if they are fast or slow, all of our riders will have put in some serious preparation for the event. Whether it be meticulous route planning, daft training miles or just silly hours on the saddle they are not about to throw it all away just because they won’t be given a official result.
Our rides are not races, they are reliability trials for solo riders riding a bicycle without any dedicated assistance. There are no entry fees and no prizes. There are no officiators, no marshals, no ride leaders, no rescue services. There is no support. Well, there’s a wee bit of support this time. They get a baked tatty and a chuftie badge at the checkpoints. Some get more baked tatties than others. Eh, Angus.
Jim Higgins seems to have his mojo back after the lows of day one which is great news. He’s currently having a Mason appreciation society ride with Philippa. Seems to be a lot of them on this ride? Coincidence? Though, as we all know orange and green bikes are the fastestest. 😎 What is the collective noun for a group of Mason bikes anyway? ‘A Sponser of Masons?’
Looks like Angus is about to say goodbye to Wales and enter England - BOOOOO - Ollie has leapfrogged Mark as 2nd rider on the road now. Though for those wanting to have a good finishers result it’s all about the cumulative times rather than placing on the route. Mark still has a good 5 hour buffer back to Ollie from the stage 1 results so he doesn’t need to panic yet.
Holy crap! I was about to do a bit on the leading ladies and hit refresh on the tracking page. Lee Craigie’s tracker must’ve been playing up before but it now appears that she’s hot on Angus’s wheels. What I thought was his 25km lead over Ollie has turned into only a 8km lead over Lee! This may put the cat amongst the pigeons, as the times were tight between the lassies at the end of Stage 1. Expect some changes in overall GC if things keep on going as they are.
Jeezo, Ollies tracker just pinged and he’s back ahead of Lee. But not by much. Their tracker updates are similar times so shout be an interesting battle between the two.
Izzy Freshwater is back up and running again after resting up at CP1 after her super ride to get in just before the 8am cut off time. She along with the rest of the field should be able to maintain the minimum average speed to get to CP2 before the next deadline.
Upon looking at the map, I’ve just realised the riders are being sent up Bwlch y Groes. Hhahahhahhahhahhahahhhahhhahh. Having recently raced up that bastard of a hill I can only sympathise with the riders! So their average speed may take a hit after all.
One of the few photos I took during ThePanCelticRace. The photo doesn’t really do it justice. I only took the photo as I could scarcely believe we were being sent up it. It’s a wall. A horrible wall. Fully loaded too. It’s murder. I like a climb as much as the next sadistic idiot but safe to say I’m not going to loose any sleep if I never ride this one again.
I was about to say bye for noo as I’ve run out of chat, but Dan has just done a photo dump, so better see what goodies he’s sent….
FFS Dan. These are from the morning. I’ve just blethered shite about that already. I’m no going back to sort it. Cheeky sod!
Rider unknown. I hope…
Anyone know the Welsh word for dreich? Autocorrect tried changing that to drench which is not far from the truth!
Our riders awoke to a typical Welsh summers day. Wet. Perfect bivvy weather!
Those that had a tarp or tent will have had the better sleep I imagine. Being holed up in a sweaty bivvy knowing it’ll still be ringing wet this evening will be enough to make you ride on through the night.
Some last minute Amazon Prime shopping for ponchos before brekkie and the off. Some neat setups from the riders to keep the elements at bay.
First port of call for most was getting some food down them as sod knows where the next meal will come from. They’re in the wilds today thats for sure. Though going by the tracker, most of them parked up 5 mins down the road.
Canna beat a jeelie piece! 700 hungry wains will testify to that.
Final tinkering, packing and re-packing before the Stage 2 start.
…and with that, and little fanfare they were off. The Duracell bunny was obviously off like the clappers.
However, dropped by Ginger early doors….
Before his tracker pinged and normal service resumed.
Spare a thought however, for those that didn’t have the luxury of a good nights rest (relatively speaking). Izzy, who reached CP1 with around 20mins to spare will have had little time to gather herself, rest and refuel before she’d need to get back on the (g)road again. A reminder that the riders have 3 days to reach CP2 in order to remain in the ‘GC’ Stage 2 thankfully, is shorter with less climbing (we’re not complete bastards) so I’m confident the majority of riders will make it with time to spare.
Till this evening, Cheerie bye!