I have had some time to think about my Cornwall ride. It changed me. Regular readers will know I wanted to test myself, and I did. It became more of a mental battle than the physical one I thought it would have been.
The first two days especially were a grind, there is no better word to describe them. I have ridden similar distances; it wasn't the same this time. Maybe it was traveling so far alone, and then ending the day in a b&b. Staying with my sister after two days was a very welcome respite.
I had thought of myself as a potential ultra distance cyclist, covering big distances in a short period of time. I'm not so sure now.
The ride back was different; over three days the distances were reduced. My mood at the overnight stops improved. The satnav grief had affected me, and not to have it on the ride home was welcome.
I will still push my limits, with other goals in mind.
Maybe to see how many days I can ride. Each one being a more reasonable 70 to 80 miles. I will hopefully have company at these distances.
Pre Cornwall I avidly watched videos of long distance riders, not to compare myself. But to wonder if I could do anything similar. As I started to write this post I had one on pause, it was about the prep needed to complete big distances in little time. I didn't want to see any more. The training I do is easily enough to allow me to achieve reasonable targets, that allow me to relax and take in my surroundings. I don't think they have the same luxury. I no longer want to ride head down to push out the miles.
The coffee mornings with Matt on a Sunday often include musings about for example Lands End to John O'Groats. How many days should it take? I was in favour of the shorter timescale; meaning at least 100 miles per day. And I wasn't interested in an organised, group event. Now however I have looked at companies that provide a package. It includes the route, accommodation, technical backup, luggage transfers and companions. It all seems so much more civilised. It's still hard work, and very much a challenge, but without the potential to become that dreaded grind to just get it done.