Mentally I’ve already begun preparing myself for the 4000Km race in July/August next year but the thought of putting my body through day after day of long miles presents a completely different challenge, far greater then that of any mental aspect I can think of.
I wanted to test myself to see where I was at, if over 100 miles was possible and how I felt during and after. I guess it was also a good opportunity to see how I got on with my gear and how well I ate ( or didn’t ).
Starting of from the centre of Leeds I took a fairly familiar route out towards York. Typically, as I always seem to think, I thought flat mile will be easier to get the distance faster. I never ever factor in the wind though. Flat ground means no shelter and as painful as long climbs, small descent may be I feel climbing is easier then pushing against heavy resistance for 10Km.
As the Trans Continental Race 2015 will have some off road sections I thought it would be wise to see how my 32mm Panasonic Panaracer tyres felt on rocks and dirt. Following the transpennine route along the river humber which would give me a nice alternative between quite & busy roads to the simple rocky bridal paths.
The first issue that cropped up was my new Garmin 810 – I took a typical ‘male’ approach with this, thought it would be relatively the same as my older 510. Sadly, although the majority of the device is the same, it’s a little more fancy then my previous. Setting off through town, some the roads are cycle / bus only and won’t register on ridewithgps, so regardless I decided to take these roads then follow the plotted route on my Garmin and as previous on my old device, it would just pick up the route when I rejoined it.
Unfortunately all it wanted to do was turn me around to complete the part of the route I hadn’t done – annoying to say the least. After spending 10 minutes turning off every ‘auto’ navigation option possible I was on my way.
The route route & weather was pretty good over all, baring the wind as mentioned, it made for a nice change of undulating familiar hills around Leeds.
The bridal paths proved tricky but manageable, a fun reminder of the two CX races I took part in last year, but over all I’d say the tyres will be fine on varied surfaces.
My second down fall of yesterdays ride was food, I left the flat with a banana and orange, not ideal, after about 100 Km my body was feeling the strain of pushing through the head wind and I new I needed something a little more substantial to pick me up.
Over all, the ride wasn’t as difficult as expected. I didn’t have the most ideal conditions on the way home, coming through Tadcaster the weather took a turn for the worse with torrential rain.
The most difficult part of the ride was from Four o’clock on wards – Riding in the dark is no fun at all, there’s nothing to see, nothing to stray your mind from thinking about how far it is to get home etc and the concentration steps up in order to keep steady on the road.
Riding in the dark is so far my least favourite aspect of whats to come.
Yesterday was simply a test of ability, a ride to see where I’m at from a physical perspective. I’ve still a long way to go given I’ll be aiming for 4/500 Km a day… day after day after day etc so I supposed I have to see 220km in rough weather as a positive start.