Exmoor Explorer

Ok - Windsurfing it isn't. This is the mountain bikers splinter group for when the wind don't blow!

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Paul McCormack
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Exmoor Explorer

Post by Paul McCormack » Mon Apr 06, 2009 17:05

The entries for the Exmoor Explorer are open for the 2nd August. As last year there is camping and a buffet dinner the night before.

Paul
Onwards and upwards

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MartinF
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Post by MartinF » Sat Jun 06, 2009 13:48

I've signed up. Nigel's signed up too. Let's hope it's not as wet and cold as last year. Nor as hilly ;)
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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spinout
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Post by spinout » Sat Jun 06, 2009 20:32

I'm registered.

I was hoping some of my team from IPL would be coming but they've mostly shot through.

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Adrian
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Post by Adrian » Mon Jun 22, 2009 17:32

Not sure I like the online registering as it is an http site note https

Anyone been scammed yet?

Adrian

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MartinF
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Post by MartinF » Wed Jun 24, 2009 21:45

It's perfectly safe.

The website designers have done themselves no favours by using frames - a container for (potentially) several web pages, if you like. When displaying frames, the browser only displays the url of the "container", and not the url of the page(s) inside the container. The payment page is inside the container.

On this site, they use encryption as soon as you start entering any personal details (after entering your email).

To be really sure, once you get to any frame from Personal details onwards, right click WITHIN THE FRAME, then
  • in Internet Explorer, click "Properties"
  • in Firefox, click "This Frame" -> "View Frame Info"
Both of those will display the real address of the frame, in which you'll see it's using https protocol.

What threw me, was the billing on my card was identified as "The Active Network Inc San Diego" - an odd merchant for a UK org to use. Perhaps they're cheap(ish)?

HTH.
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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spinout
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Post by spinout » Fri Jul 31, 2009 17:26

Who's still doing this? Can't see me camping on the saturday night but I might get down on sunday if the weather doesn't look too bad.

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Paul McCormack
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Post by Paul McCormack » Fri Jul 31, 2009 20:18

Hi Carl

It should be Martin Nigel Adrian Geoff Conrad and Me . I think we are going to be there for the formal dinner and drinks on saturday night with accomodation at the 5 star Wheddon Cross Hilton with pool.

I'm told the forecast is good ( but they always say that don't they ?)

Paul
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dro
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reaction

Post by dro » Fri Jul 31, 2009 22:25

Accomodation sounds great
shame you have to spoil it by going cycling
Suggest you pray for snow
LT
What do you mean not ENOUGH wind ?

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Post by NigelP » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:20

Post 'race' report:

Weather (after it rained all week): no problem

Bike (after a succession of issues with squealing brakes, creaking suspension and dodgy gear shifts): no problem

Shoulder (after operation): no problem

Rider competence: big problem

I came off twice: once where I discovered a rut which 'was not there a moment ago' and the other time was on a slight rocky descent around a bend. The second fall left me with a dead leg similar to, but not as bad as a fall I had at Cwm Carn. I retired hurt at the half way stage when it stiffened up (although I have to admit I was cream crackered as well).

I was not alone, as I saw three riders exit over the bars; two, just in front of me. Paul and Geoff returned carrying bloody injuries and Adrian had a tumble too. I think Martin, Conrad and Carl returned in one piece. So, statistically about a 50:50 chance of some damage. :shock:

I was enjoying the course until I came off :D . So, next year my challenge will not be ‘should I do the long course?’, it will be ‘can I finish the short course?’ :oops:
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Post by spinout » Mon Aug 03, 2009 19:24

Just to add to Nigel's comments.

Nice day and good route only spoiled by the almost infinite variety of mud on the course.

My Bontrager Mud-X tyres seemed to cope pretty well. Unfortunately my gears did not. Specifically, I seemed to be getting the equivalent of chainsuck in the granny ring on steep climbs (which there were plenty of) which is bizarre in that the Orange doesn't have chainstays. I put it down to the volume of clag on the chainset and chain.

Met up with Shaun (my boss) at the Tea Stop who's parents live in Dunster. Also caught up with Nigel who's had a slight off and Martin who was struggling more than me with his gears.

Discretion being the better part of valour I decided to do the short route so Shaun and I set off with Martin on the return leg. Unfortunately Martin's bike continued to let him on the climb out of Porlock down so we went on without him.

Route back was a seemingly never ending climb which got very steep in places. Eventually rewarded with a fantastic downhill section over rocky paths back to the road to Wheddon X.

Pretty happy but very knackered when I got back. Would probably have attempted the long route if it had been dry but the treacly quality of the mud took it's toll. Maybe next year!

Carl

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Post by MartinF » Mon Aug 03, 2009 21:20

Agree entirely with Carl's synopsis: Although the return leg looked on the route profile like a long, steady gentle climb most of the way, it was in fact punctuated by long, impossibly steep, and often 9 inch thick mud carpeted bits.

Carl alluded to problems with my gears - having deluged them with water and oil (in that order) at the tea stop, and shortly after Carl and Shaun had parted company from me, I suffered the world's worst chainsuck having just frantically pedalled past another couple. Glancing down showed no problems with the chain. Only after coasting to a stop was I able to determine that my rear mech and cassette had eaten my neoprene chainstay protector. It was pretty intimately and inextricably bound to both. Several sense of humour failures later, and it was freed off again.

Some way further on, I stopped to provide mechanical assistance to a girl with a broken chain, 1 missing chain link, 2 powerlinks, and a useless chain tool. Have you ever seen a Shimano chain with 2 SRAM links and a Powerlink? Claire has. It was one of those chains that seems to have been entirely unsullied by any form of lube during its unhappy lifetime.

I seem to remember a lot of people passing me on the climbs (nothing new there) and then getting badly in my way on the descents. I took to screaming down some of the wider descents, weaving wildly between the more tentative (sorry to all I might have frightened in this way - I'm sure the sight and sound of a lardy lump rattling past must have been a bit unsettling to some).

I'm certainly glad I put my mud tyres on though: They worked well in the gloopy stuff.

I've whacked the results into a spreadsheet (attached) so you can see your finishing positions (this wasn't a race!).
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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Post by Adrian » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:09

Paul encouraged me to set off at a rediculous pace up the first road climb so started the first descent just behind the leading pack of about 30 - went past a dozen or so on the descent and then entered a being past on the climb until it got really difficult - then pass them - then being passed again then take them on the descent before I realised the damage it was doing to me and backed off the pace. The reason they were at the front was probably because they were younger/fitter and maybe some doing the short route. Got to the tea stop at an average of 8.8 mph so very happy with the pace. Waited 15 minutes for Paul as did not know he had entered carnal relations with a bad tempered rock :!: Then as per normal for me on this event started to get cramp shortly into the long route. unwisely carried on instead of turning back - took an accidental short cut before taking a second accidental long cut - some of the route marking had been removed on the long section - net result an extra 2 miles distance at the return to the tea stop. Really struggled on the return climbs but the energy magically returned on the final off road andd then road descent.

All I can say to those who 'only' did the short route is - 'Smart Move' with the mud and amount of climbing plus the work rate on the descents it was brutal. sadly it really is a good idea to be clear of the main bunch on the first descent but getting to the front comes at a very high price. One small off when I voluntarily collapsed onto the trail entering a very steep bit and caught my 'bits' on the back of the saddle causing a short term lack of interest in cycling :wink:

Of 4 events I have completed long each time but in distress 3 out of the 4 - this rates as the second worse :P

Adrian

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