Last weekend saw me attend a training weekend in Oxfordshire. The purpose of this weekend was to do the equivalent mileage on one day of the challenge plus also a shorter ride the next day to give some insights on how people doing these challenges will feel.
On the Saturday, we covered 56 miles over the day. Given that my previous post mentioned my 37 mile ride as being my biggest ever, this obviously became my largest ride. It was definitely the worst weather I have ever cycled in - rain, sleet, hail for most of the day. However, those 56 miles were done over the period of 7 hours, including a long stop for lunch. This made it much more doable.
After camping on the Saturday night, there was the Sunday ride. This was planned to be 40 miles, but didn't quite go as expected.. The first part of the ride was a 350 foot (125m) hill, which was something I dreaded. It was bad, but I did get up with a 30 second stop in the middle to catch my breath. The next part of the ride was gentle and then downhill, and then it started snowing. Really big flakes that get into your eyes and sting. At this point, we were 3 miles from a nearby town and cycled there to take stock. We had done about 11 miles.
I was cold and wet from Saturday, things hadn't dried out and the water was just swishing around my shoes as I pedalled. It was time to stop - cycling in 2 degrees isn't pleasant, and nothing like Death Valley will be. Over the weekend I had cycled 67 miles, which was good training, so although I didn't do any more (those who carried on only did 10 more miles), I was pleased with the achievement. It makes me confident that I can do the Ride for Ryder 60 miles in May, which is the first of my mini-challenges up to the main event.