Well that went better than expected.. I managed an extra 16km on top my last ride.. 61km today, more than I expected and intended.. and the average speed was up by 0.3kph.. marginal gains..
Once again I was slightly reluctant to go out and even as I left I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to go. I was thinking of making it up as I went along, probably another few km. on my previous ride, just to keep the progress going up. It was a nice day and there were plenty of cyclists about. I haven’t been out on a Sunday morning for a long time so I was quite surprised at the amount of cyclists about. I saw two tandems, quite a few men solo and in groups and more than few ladies out on solo rides as well.
I headed off into Bedfordshire then Northamptonshire and then back into Buckinghamshire to finish. I kept mainly to the quieter roads. I was adjusting my route as I went, taking into account the wind direction and making sure I got it right for the final leg. I hadn’t checked the wind direction before I left but during my ride I deduced that it was probably from the north east. So as it got towards decision time I had two choices for my entry back into Olney. The short way back that would mean a couple of long drags into the wind or the longer route that would be into the wind but downhill into Olney and only involve a short sharp climb out of Filgrave. I opted for this finish so I adjusted my route accordingly and took the longer route.
To keep it a shorter ride I could have come straight down from Hackleton/Horton to Stoke Goldington but opted to extend the route out around the outside of Salcey Forest and crossing the M1 motorway a couple of times. It looked quite busy northbound and I will be on it myself and heading north next Sunday. We will be heading for Brora in Sutherland in the very north of Scotland for a few days. However we should to be leaving home around 05:00 a.m. so I hope most people will still be in bed at that time. My SatNav tells me its 9.5 hours driving all told so I am allowing for about a 12 hour trip with stops.
I had enough energy left towards the end of my ride to push on a little bit and make sure it was just a bit faster than my previous ride, and just a bit it was.. three little bits of one kilometre an hour. So now my next ride has to be longer than 61km..
On other matters, a few thousand cyclists will be setting on off on the Paris-Brest-Paris Audax ride tonight at 8pm, that involves 1200km of cycling!! (that makes my 61km look really pathetic),and are due back in Paris on Thursday. Along the way they will grab a few hours sleep when they can in bus shelters, shop doorways and the like and maybe if they are lucky some village hall floors. Among them will be Ritchie Dixon from my cycling club, Team Milton Keynes who has spent the last year or so accumulating the necessary qualifying rides,. He is well used to Audax rides of 200, 300, 400 and 600km distances and and often rides a hundred or so the start as well. Also riding is Steve Abraham, also from the North Bucks Road Club based in Milton Keynes who is doing this as part of his effort to beat the record of 76,000miles in a year long time trial. He has been averaging over 250 miles or so a day since New Years Day 2015. He is still on schedule but had a set back when he had few days off when he was in an accident and did some damage, a broken bone in his foot I think, but was fairly soon back on the road using a hand cycle for a while.
I feel like a real wimp so I am closing now..