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I've signed up to do the Wiggle Cheshire Cat sportive on 24th March, which involves climbing Mow Cop, bits of which I understand are 25%! My lowest gear is a 34 front x 28 rear and I'm in reasonably good nick - 6'3", but only 71 kg. How hard is it, actually? How long is the 25% bit? Any help appreciated!

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andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
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Bark much worse than bite...You should be absolutely fine. I rode it in the Cheshire Cat a few years ago...at 95Kg in 36-25. The steep bit is only short, and it isn't *stupidly* steep.

You just have to watch out for idiots zig-zagging and taking you out when you're trying to ride straight up it...

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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The 25% comes at the end of quite a long climb though, so be careful not to blow yourself out on the way up. I did it in 34/27 last year and my fitness wasn't incredible at the time if I'm honest.
As the chap above me says, be careful of people stopping in front of you - if you stop, you won't be able to start again. Find a line up the ramp, and gun it.
It's hard, but it's pretty fleeting... though that said my heart went up to 202 (i didn't know it went up that high!) and the world was beginning to close in at the top.
Remember to look awesome for the cameras too.

Big advice though - there's another 3 good climbs that come after, and Gun Hill especially is quite tough. Don't leave it all on Mow Cop. Oh, and watch out for the descent off Mow Cop too - it's narrow, technical and unless they've resurfaced it since last year it'll be quite bumpy too.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 3 years ago
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I echo the above. Conserve energy from the railway crossing at the bottom and through the trees etc. Don't be dis-hearted when you see what looks like a wall of road in front of you. Get to the bottom of the climb proper in good nick and you'll be fine. The hardest bit is seeing those in the pub beer garden having a pint!

If you get caught in a group waiting at the railway crossing, hang back for a couple of minutes or you'll be fighting for road on the steep parts. If it's wet, stay in the saddle (see yesterday's Tirreno for why this is important....) Down an Energy Gel at Scholar Green if you need it.

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andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
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The pub is a bonus. It's an aid to climbing. Face it...are you really going to get off and walk in front of all those people?  3

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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As good a place as any for this. Apologies for the short shorts. No apologies for my hairy legs  31

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ploughclose [18 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks very much, one and all - very useful indeed. It does seem from the picture above that a run at it is the best approach. I don't shave my legs either!  4

Any other contributions gratefully received.

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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Why are you covering the brakes? I would have thought stopping would be the least of your worries at that point.

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bikemadjo [72 posts] 3 years ago
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i think the others have mentioned everything useful for the climb, hold back on the first bit so you have enough energy for the final bit, my advise would be try not to look at the 25% until you are on it as most of it will be psychological and make sure you leave a gap to ride into on the 25% because like they said if you stop on the hill, you will have to walk up it.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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I've asked myself that. To be honest I don't know - force of habit, perhaps, hands naturally adopting the most comfortable/natural position. To be honest, that far into oxygen debt, it's all you can do to keep the pedals turning.
It's very intense. But not *that* hard, if that makes any sense?

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andyp [1448 posts] 3 years ago
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'No apologies for my hairy legs'

why not? You should be begging for forgiveness.

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700c [904 posts] 3 years ago
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@bashthebox what a great photo! Everyone else is giving up and walking. Respect.

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Bedfordshire Clanger [344 posts] 3 years ago
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At 6'3" but only 71 kg and in 34x28 Mow Cop should hold no fear for you whatsoever. In fact, I'd be tempted to stick a pannier full of bricks on your bike just to ensure that you don't get blown into Congleton by a strong gust of wind when you get to the top.

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bashthebox [751 posts] 3 years ago
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Oh, the extremely sharp ones among you will notice the road.cc socks - the monday sock competition representing!

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viveLaPants [94 posts] 3 years ago
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Haha I did this last year wearing road cc socks - I used an 34-28 as the lowest. The best thing as mentioned above is to go steady, theres a 15% er of a bend on the way up - then just before the pub, you'll see the road rise, attack it, it really is shorter than you imagine - I must have done 3 efforts standing and 3 sitting - Theres a photographer by the pub, and once you pass him, if your still n the bike you'll get a medal, so have noworries about stooping for a rest.

Also, last year the food stops were sensibly placed at about every 30miles, so you could just take one bottle of fluid - helps keep the weight down  39 Also there there is a kilotogo geezer who videos you going up, so have your best race face on.

Your legs will hurt like crazy - but what a tale to tell your grandkids  26 44 ...oh and best of luck.

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drfabulous0 [409 posts] 3 years ago
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andyp wrote:

'No apologies for my hairy legs'

why not? You should be begging for forgiveness.

Poppycock! In that photo he is clearly adhering to rule 33

Rule #33
// Shave your guns.

Legs are to be carefully shaved at all times. If, for some reason, your legs are to be left hairy, make sure you can dish out plenty of hurt to shaved riders, or be considered a hippie douche on your way to a Critical Mass. Whether you use a straight razor or a Bowie knife, use Baxter to keep them smooth.

The yellow bar tape and tyres however, shame.