Saturday 24 July 2021

My biggest challenge.

bar bag

Last month I rode over 100 miles for charity. What to do next? I had been thinking about riding to Cornwall for some time. But kept it to myself, maybe not sure I could do it. A visit to see my sister started the planning again.

The route is two hundred and fifty miles. To come home I can get a train to Clapham Junction and cycle the last bit.

I'll have around seventeen hours of daylight to do it.

At the moment, my thinking is:

Ride from around four o'clock on the 21st June, stopping every four hours for proper food and drink. In between use energy gels and bars.

Arrive at my sisters around nine thirty.

Rest for a couple of days and leave from Bodmin on the Friday.

Sounds simple. ;-)

I'll have to be able to carry more food with me, and warm/waterproof clothing. I now have a handlebar bag and will need to investigate a bigger saddle bag. And be able to charge the sat nav, and phone. Both of which will be needed, but unlikely to last the distance. I have a power block, it will have to fit in one of the new bags.

I don't think it's too ambitious, I have done a few rides of over hundred miles, the longest being hundred and sixty two.

The first part of the puzzle shown above; the handlebar bag. Considering changing the bar tape to red; what do you think? I can pack a lightweight rain coat, and food, with the net pockets on the front adding to the capacity and ease of access on the move. I think it looks great, just the right size. And doesn't interfere with or alter the steering very much. Saddle bag to follow later in the year.

The next part will be what to wear; I got very uncomfortable after about a hundred and twenty miles, see the hundred and sixty two link above. Maybe expensive is better, I'll hopefully find out before June. I bought an expensive pair of padded shorts. They will be tested in the coming months.

Being vegan, food maybe a problem, most cakes, sandwiches and snacks sold in cafes and shops contain eggs and dairy. I have continued to try different options since this post. I do think they are expensive, so will be looking for alternatives.  I'll pack some figs and dates, for a sugary pick-me-up.

Lastly I need to maintain or improve my fitness. I'm not sure how to improve it though. I ride everyday; big miles on Saturday with Oxted CC, then on Sunday a ride of around twenty miles to meet Matt in Westerham. Maybe I can change the intensity. At least one day a week on the trainer; I definitely work harder in that hour than during the after work rides.

My bike should be fine, it'll be serviced in preparation. Although there is always the temptation to upgrade bits of it. Lighter is faster; and I could look at the comfort, make some adjustments. To be honest it's a much better bike than when I bought it. It's been gradually upgraded. With new wheels being the last improvement.