A quick heads-up for club members who might be interested in doing some longer endurance rides this summer: two dates for your diaries.
1st April - I have scheduled a lovely club ride called 'Three Choirs' which takes in the Cathedrals of Worcester, Hereford and Gloucester. It's 100 miles of rolling countryside and a great day out for those of you who might fancy stepping up from the club winter training rides or Gran Fondos. Please let me know here or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to come and I'll add you to my list.
13th May - club member Stephen Poulton is organising a 200km Audax event from Andoversford called the Cheltenham New Flyer. This is a fantastic route down the Coln Valley, across the Ridgeway to the Vale of Pewsey and back via Lacock - definitely one of my favourites. It's an Audax event so you'll need to sign up with Stephen in advance - https://www.audax.uk/event.../10257-cheltenham_new_flyer - but it would be great to have a good club turn-out. Again, please drop me a line if you'd like to come along and I'll add you to my list.
I'm hoping there's be plenty of other opportunities for long days out this year so please let me know if you'd be interested in being kept in the loop.
An update for me on the 1st April ride.
I have had responses from at least 10 club members, which is great. We will probably start in two separate groups and then see how things evolve. Ultimately the challenge with endurance is to find the pace that you can sustain over very long distances, so you will want to find people who you can settle in with for the duration. If this is your first ride over this distance for some time, then bear in mind that your body may have lost the stamina it used to have.
We'll be leaving from the Pump Rooms at 07:30 which may come as a shock to some. Despite clocks moving forward, it should be light enough, but daytime riding lights are always advisable. There's a Garmin version of the route now loaded into the club calendar, so make sure you have that with you. There will be no group leaders to guide you around the course, so everyone will be responsible for their own navigation.
In terms of cafe stops, these are scheduled at each of the Cathedrals. There will be plenty of choice available nearby - I'll leave it up to each of you to make up your own decisions on that. As with all endurance rides it's worth bringing some on-bike snacks to keep blood sugar levels topped up - cake and gels probably won't be what your body is crying out for once you've passed 50 miles or so.
Hope to finish mid-afternoon, depending on your speed and the length of your stops. There won't be an official 'end' per se although I suspect I'll be popping into Deya for a swift one on my way home.
Finally, it's worth saying that as this is a very long bike ride you'll need to make sure your bike has been given some TLC during the week. It's funny how mechanicals and punctures tend to happen when you're furthest from home.
See you next Saturday.