Tagged: Carten 100
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May 5, 2011 at 7:53 am #24121butcherboyMember
Don`t forget to bring your helmet, some food, drinks and wet suit on saturday.
We will try and ride this one together (Roger and i promise not to race off Kim)
As valleyman has said the buses will be waiting for us in Tenby to bring us back to Narberth
Anyone wanting a lift back to Tenby in the evening i suggest we meet up at the Ivy Bush at 7.30 and the bus will leave at 8.
As for what time we leave Tenby is up to us, our driver (my wicked step mum) will be on call and is flexible. After a long day in the saddle we might want to be home by 10 with a mug of coco (were not as young as we used to be are we Ian!!)
See you at 5am on saturday.May 5, 2011 at 11:13 am #24122ValleyManMember
Oh no need to worry about me. Just sit me in a corner with a pint and a blanket over my knee and I will be happy with a couple of good old time Sex Pistols tunes whilst you youngsters skip about to your ‘Hip Hop’ or ‘House’ or what ever you are into these days.May 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm #24123Matt JohnsMember
Weather forcast is improving all the time with the wind direction currently having the all important E in it!!May 6, 2011 at 9:33 am #24126MorganiteMember
Weather looking good 😆May 7, 2011 at 5:17 pm #24128bianchi.kiddMember
Thanks everyone for an excellent carten100 – A true team / club event. Thoroughly enjoyed it.May 9, 2011 at 12:28 am #24132ValleyManMember
Well clearly this is going to be a long one on a par with Huw’s advert for his Garmin. No halves, quarters or abstract fractions this time, just the story of a great day out.
This was the big one, the Carten 100, and was the event that got me back on my bike. Training started in earnest last winter with the Aces’ Turbo sessions in Tenby. They actually turned out to be a decent, if rather overbearingly politically correct, bunch but that is another story (Mike!). I then progressed to a number of Sunday rides with the Dynamos where I was consistently the slowest up every hill (although Dylan gave me a run for my money on several occasions) and on to evening rides with the Aces and Dynamos to arrive at the very peak of physical fitness on or about Friday 6 May 2011. Perfect timing.
The assault on the Carten had been organised with military precision as witnessed by the development of our mission plan via the pages of the forum. Critical to the success of the event was the transport kindly laid on by Matt using a fleet of buses (two) normally used by Pembrokeshire’s Special Schools (I would make a joke at this point, however, we are now subject to third party scrutiny by the Ace’s thought police so you will just have to make your own up) and our highly trained crack team of drivers Kerrie and Janice.
At 19.00 precisely (give or take an hour) on Friday evening we assembled at Matt’s house to load the bikes into the bus. Everybody brought their own packaging material to avoid damage to the bikes, with the preferred choice being cardboard. However, our illustrious Chairman has his bike wrapped in cotton wool, bubble wrap and the hermetically sealed for good measure.
Phase 1 over, onto Phase 2. We assembled at 0500 in Bloomfield car park to set out for Cardiff. Andrew, Roger, Huw, Mark, Dylan (who?), Kim, Matt, Dave, Nigel, Terry, David and me, with Ceri joining at Crosshands. Matt was driving the participants with Janice and Kerrie driving the precious cargo of bikes. We were happily on our way without a care in the world when Andrew received an ominous text message from a hitherto unknown terrorist group:
We r the RBD (reluctant bus drivers) a radical splinter group of the CWF (cycle widows forum). We have taken your cycles hostage and will not release them until our demands are met. They are safely wrapped in cardboard at the moment but if u do not agree to our request we will have no choice but to remove the cardboard and remove their spokes one by one!
This was a direct threat to our chosen way of life. Is it not after all the inalienable human right of every man (and woman, sorry Mike and Kim) of a certain age to dress up in lycra and forsake all responsibility to spend at least one day at the weekend and the odd evening in the company of his (or her, sorry again Mike and Kim) bicycle? If we were to give in to this threat imagine the devastation to the local economy (Tenby Cycles, Mikes Bikes etc.), the environmental disaster of beautifully manicured lawns and the pressure put on relationships by spending too much time together. For this reason it Dynamo’s policy never to negotiate with hostage takers, but something had to be done.
We did consider an carefully orchestrated rescue mission using two helicopter loads of Navy Seals (a technique recently shown to be effective in these situations), however, whilst Andrew was prepared to accept the potential collateral damage, he was worried stray bullet could shatter his carbon frame. It now appears that a secret deal was done and, whilst the full terms of the settlement will now never be known, Matt and Andrew now have matching pinnies and rubber gloves.
Crisis over, we and the bikes arrived at Sophia Gardens at 0700. We were the first to register and jostled our way to the front of the pack to make an early getaway. Most of us carried a couple of bottles of sports drinks and a few energy bars. Terry took a slightly different approach with his Fray Bentos boozy steak and ale pie.
There had been much comment and speculation on the weather for the trip. Utmost in peoples minds was the wind direction which proved to be a very favourable easterly direction as forecast; unfortunately it was laced with rain and drizzle for much of the morning.
We planned to stay together and for once this (mostly) worked. The downside of starting at the front was that for the first half hour or so we were passed by packs of cyclists on a mission. Roger was like a greyhound on a leash having seen a rabbit and took to growling ‘don’t they know it is not a race’ every time someone passed us. In the end he was very well ‘behaved’ and we made it to the first rest halt after 30 miles at Margam for a bacon butty and cup of tea. The MIM faction (check your Smiths Albums) managed to organise a hash brown butty as a ‘tasty’ alternative. This was where the first split in the pack occurred as half the team decided they could not be bothered to queue and headed off for Burry Port.
The second leg was a 30 mile run to the Ship Aground at Burry Port. This required a trip down Port Talbot high street and dicing with slips roads onto and off the M4. This certainly provided an interesting change of scene from club rides with the Aces and Dynamos, but I suppose endless view of rolling lush countryside and sea views can get a bit tedious after a while. In debating the potential playoff final between Cardiff and Swansea latter in the pub, Roger suggested that it should be held in Port Talbot as if the fans went on the rampage no one would notice the damage.
We followed the A48 almost to the Mumbles before heading up an old railway track to Gowerton giving a bit of relief from dicing with death on the dual carriageway into and through Swansea.
Talking of rampages, I missed the most exciting part of the ride when the main pack missed the turning along the Millennium Path from Llanelli to Burry Port and headed along the main road instead. Queue jumping at a set of roadworks induced a severe case of road rage resulting in the aggrieved motorist stopping further down the road spoiling for a fight. Andrew did admit he felt somewhat responsible for the incident, however, when another on the ride apparently took him up on this kind offer of a fight, the Dynamos en-mass heroically buggered off and left him too it.
Meanwhile, Kim and I caught up with Nigel and his crew at a burger van by the harbour at Burry Port. A few phonecalls were exchanged with Andrew who agreed the rest would wait for us on the promise that we had nearly finished ‘lunch’. However, the lure of the burger was too much and Nigel went for seconds. Somewhat delayed, temptation was once again thrust in front of us in the form of a public toilet (for a pee for goodness sake). A slight misunderstanding over the rendezvous then saw us nattering with a few of the Aces in the Ship Aground car park whilst the others stood forlornly on a street corner freezing their nuts off for 20 minutes (Matt’s words not mine) before tracking back to the pub. Slight tension in the now reunited group was clear to see. Anyway, we all now headed off to Carmarthen as one big happy family. Matt was clearly beginning to suffer from the self inflicted abuse of 2 weeks in Jamaica, but tied to blame it on the prolonged stop.
The first 60 miles were covered at an average of over 16 mph and we weren’t even trying that hard. That is what happens when you have a tail wind, no hills and no scenery to distract you.
It was slightly lumpy on the way to Carmarthen and then a tedious drag along the A40 to St Clears followed. The road was very busy with cars not paying much heed to our presence. Not one of the highlights of the ride. It was then onto the drag up to the Sporting Chance and out came the suppressed testosterone with challenges flying around like confetti. Off went Andrew with Roger in tow and by the time I reached the pub it was clear from the ‘friendly banter’ who had won.
To the victor the spoils and Andrew stuffed his grinning face with a platter of chips washed down with a Guinness whilst Roger bemoaned the world shortage of carbon fibre. Janice and Kerrie met us at the Sporting Chance to dispel the myth that they had been shopping all day and to enjoy the ambience of several hundred sweaty cyclists.
We were now on the home stretch, 12 miles to go and the sun was out. Everyone left the pub in dribs and drabs so there was no triumphal group arrival in Tenby. Kim and I missed the square and headed straight for the Crown where we were presented with a very fetching purple polo shirt. Reunited at last we celebrated our undoubted achievement with more beer before heading off to load up the bikes.
Terry managed to resist temptation and the Fray Bentos arrive in Tenby unopened.
A special mention must go to Dylan at this point. He claims that due a severe case of man flu he had been unable to do much training and was planning to get picked up in Llanelli. With Llanelli passed, Plan B was to get picked up at Carmarthen, however, he made it all the way. Mind you, with the number of gel sachets he got through, I would have thought he would now have the constitution of a jelly baby.
There were of course a few incidents along the way:
- Kerrie: Mercedes (no further comment)
- Kim: Lost water bottle
- Mark: Left sun glasses at Margam
- Kim: Puncture
- Matt: Puncture
- Kim: Spectacular crash into a bollard
- Kim: Dropped pump on high speed down hill
Not a good day for Kim, but worse if you left a silver Mercedes parked at Sophia Gardens….
We got back to Narberth at about 5.30, leaving just enough time to go home, shower, change, eat and get back to the Ivy Bush before heading back to Tenby for the evening’s festivities. However, the previously willing party people started dropping like flies. In the end eight of us (including 3 members of the CWF) met at the Ivy Bush for a drink in the salubrious surroundings of the back bar with a nice bit of AC/DC at full volume to cover any potentially embarrassing silences. Kerrie brought along her camera to show us all a picture of Matt eating pasta in the bath. I was rather glad I had left my glasses at home.
Andrew’s (far from wicked) step Mum and former HGV driver (you can ask her yourself about tattoos Roger) very kindly drove us down to Tenby for the evening reception in the Rugby Club. Unfortunately, a garden gnome on the door masquerading as a bouncer advised us that it was full and it was a strict ‘one out one in’ policy. We therefore headed up the road for a drink in one of the many trendy pubs in Tenby where they again played loud music so you didn’t feel the need to make small talk.
We thought it might be worth having another crack at the Rugby Club and this time sailed straight in (probably because the garden gnome was shit at maths). There were quite a few Aces in there to start with, however, one collective yawn later, they were all off to bed with a coco. Entertainment was provided by a one man rendition of the Blue Brothers and a Blues band who were very good but too loud (recurring theme?). The day’s exertions were catching up with us so our chariot was summoned and we were taken on a magical mystery tour of the lanes of Pembrokeshire (and that was just Roger’s drive) to be personally dropped at the door.
That then was the Carten 100 2011; a brilliant day out with the Club.
Again thanks must go to Matt for organising the vans, Janice and Kerrie for driving (and being the butt of shopping jokes) and of course to Sue.May 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm #24134clundurbanMember
Valleyman, I couldnot have summed that up better. Once again thankyou to Andrew – organising; Matt – the buses; Kerrie / Janice – driving the buses; the rest of you fellow cyclists for the company and finally that can of FRAY BENTOS Terry lugged all the way to Tenby.May 9, 2011 at 9:13 pm #24135RogerMember
Thank you Ian for describing the day so well.
Lets hope for many more eventful days out…but no more head on collisions,road rage,car damage….. and Andrew beating me up the hills ( the only major blight of the day! )May 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm #24136butcherboyMember
Thank you valleyman, Janice has just read your report and has`nt laughed that much since our wedding night!!
Can i also personally thank Mathew, Kerrie and Janice for they`re help. Also to each and everyone of you riders who came up with us. Great company and a great day out. Roll on next year.May 10, 2011 at 7:17 pm #24140Sweaty EdsMember
Thank you Valley Man, you have captured the day perfectly. Thanks to everyone, esp Janice, Kerrie and Matt for the transport, Andrew for organising and everyone else for being such great company.May 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm #24141Mike SmithMember
It goes without saying; but I must say it anyway. A view from the other side (Tenby “Cowboy” Aces) I would agree with most of what “Valley Man” has to say on the matter of the 2011 CARTEN 100. His description of the day and indeed the organisation of the Dynamo adventure is something to stand in awe of; I don’t do standing though so sorry Valley Man, a pat on the back will have to do.
I did have the pleasure (a word frequently used loosely) of meeting a number of Dynamos at Cardiff and again on route to Tenby. I must admit I was disappointed to see how well disciplined they were; as too were the support team (known as the Happy Shoppers) whose absence was mentioned on one or two occasions (the van is in Cardiff!!!!!!!!!). The discipline of the team had a slight kink in it, in the guise of Terry Chunks Pugh; regardless of how much he denies it he did let you down you know! It was good to see him and have my photo taken with him and his pie! I was set up for the day.
As Roger has been mentioned several times in Valley Mans journal it is only right that an independent observer makes some observations in his defense; sadly I can not defend him for it is indeed true that on the occasions that I saw him he did look like a tethered greyhound on speed (or whiz) straining at the leash; or even a rabbit caught in the headlights of a fast approaching vehicle; or Andrews rear bike light climbing up to Red Roses; ouch sorry!!!!!!!
My final observation if I may is that of Ian and Kim whom I have got to know through their gate crashing of turbo training accompanied by other members of Dynamos (Andrew and Roger). I had the feeling that Ian and Kim did not appreciate the unguided tour of the World Heritage site that is Port Talbot; once central to the industrial heartland that sparked the industrial revolution and put the “Great” in Britain. Now merely resembling a bomb torn wasteland; it is a cultural adventure Kim! Perhaps it was the shock of seeing such devastation that caused to have so many mechanicals; perhaps she would like to join the Tenby Aces Stunt team; we too have a number of “crash test dummies” in our ranks! A spy in the camp says that the bike needs serious surgery.
All in all it was good to see so many cyclists from Pembrokeshire on the ride. And as a diverse friendly individual I look forward to passing a number Dynamos; both male and female at next years event!!!!!!!!!!!!
Take care One and All
Mike Smith (Tenby Ace Cowboy)May 11, 2011 at 7:58 am #24143ValleyGirlMember
Your spy was misinformed Mike! Major surgery to the bike was averted by a minor tweak to the gear lever using sterilised pliers (thanks Jon). The real pain is likely to come when I have to pay for a new set of wheels due to irrepairable dent in the rear rim which happened not as a result of the head on collision but a hole in the road – also the cause of pre-mentioned puncture! Ironically, the hole in the road was not encountered in the badlands of Port Talbot but in the beautiful backdrop of Swansea Bay. Probably best to stick to the Pembrokeshire roads with holes that I know!
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