I had my first bike ride for just over two weeks today.. the previous one was on 1st February and here we are at the 16th ! I successfully managed to resist the temptation of the thrill of riding in heavy rain and gale force winds over the last couple of weeks. However, for a couple of days now the forecast was good for today. Sunshine and slightly less wind. It actually turned out to be accurate too. We have had sunshine and blue sky all day.
It was just the longer version of my Ouse Valley ride but it happens to be exactly the same length as my ride next weekend which will see the occasion of my inaugural ride in an Audax event. The sun certainly drew out a lot of cyclists this morning. I lost count of the number I saw but then it was a Sunday. I certainly wasn’t the only one making the most of the weather. There were quite a few horse riders about as well. I always think its strange how motorists are quite happy to crawl along behind a horse for ages waiting for an opportunity to pass but don’t offer cyclists the same generosity. It maybe to do with the fact that a horse out of control can do a lot of damage to a car but a car can do a lot of damage to a cyclist. Anyway It was a great day to be out, astride a horse or a bike and I took my time to enjoy it.
I have entered the Braziers Run Audax next Sunday starting at the oddly named village of Ugley in Essex near Saffron Walden, organised by the Victoria Cycling Club. (This has set my mind working and I am wondering if there might be an ‘Ugley Womens Institute’?) I am only doing the 50km version as an introduction to find out the procedures involved, especially the check ins at controls along the route and at the finish. All rides are placed on your record and there are all sorts of personal awards to be earned at the end of the year for the number of rides and kilometres completed. You are only in competition with yourself, its not a race and you have a very generous time window to complete the ride. The averages for these events only has to be between around 10km and 25km per hour. Its more about distance than speed. The longer events, up 600 or 1000km+ go on through the day and night with no allowance for any stops you make and you get your sleep in the form of naps when and where you can. Bus shelters are quite popular I understand !!
After this ride I hope to be entering a succession of longer events. The following week I have entered a 100km event starting at Grazeley near Reading. I hope to fit in two and possibly three more 100km Audax rides before the break for our spring holiday. After that its going to be summer here (Hopefully !!) and then I plan to move up to some 200km events and my ambition after that is to try to ride at least one 300km event before the end of the year.