Cycling A Long Way

I’m due to cycle 75 miles on June 22nd as part of the Capital to Coast ride for Norwood. Although, as the event starts at the London Eye, I also need to cycle there, so I’ll have covered close to 85 miles by the time I reach Brighton in the evening. That’s a good 20 miles farther than any ride I’ve done in the past.

To follow it up, I have the 100 miles of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on August 10th. Although that starts only a couple of miles away, I’ll have to make it back home in the evening so it’s likely I’ll end up with 110 miles by the end of the day. This is officially quite a long way.

I’m obviously raising money, since it seems the done thing, so this is the pimp my JustGiving page section. The whole thing is actually going to be quite a stretch for me, I think, and if the few longer rides I’ve been on are anything to go by there are a couple of long days in the saddle that will not be fun by the end.

I’ve never previously taken cycling seriously. I’ve commuted and generally zoomed around London, but with the prospect of some proper rides on the horizon I thought I really should find out how to make it through them. My revelations so far are:

  • The poncy clipped shoes and pedals really work. Now I can’t imagine going back to my all-purpose shoes
  • Likewise, shorts and jerseys and wicking t-shirts are really good. I save the shorts for when I’m in cyclist-only company, but the jersey is worth wearing for anything more than a few miles
  • It’s really important to eat and drink whilst cycling. Maltloaf has been my food of choice and I can fit a few slices in each jersey pocket.
  • Don’t try to eat or drink whilst cycling up a hill.
  • For fitness, rides should either be intense efforts or long and slow. The inbetween state of getting generally tired at a middling speed doesn’t really do much beyond a certain point.
  • From riding with Lea Valley Cycle Club, and being passed by many other road cyclists, it’s obvious that there are some really fit people out there. I will not be keeping up with them on either ride.
  • However, I am better prepared now than I was last time I did a 60-mile London to Brighton ride
  • Cycling a long way is really tiring. This is probably not news.

My standard route has been growing and started with a slow ride up the Lea Valley towpath and then a loop back along the road. I’ve been lengthening it by adding loops so that the last two rides took in Waltham Abbey, Epping, North Weald Basset, and then out to Matching Green. It’s about 50 miles in all, which was plenty, especially the first time I attempted it.

Longer rides are going to be needed, especially before August, and I’ve now got about four weeks where I reckon I need to fit in at least a couple of 70 mile rides. So if you fancy encouraging me, here’s the JustGiving page again.

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