Archive for October, 2014

Audax 2014 – 300k – Doesn’t seem so long this time (Norwich)

This year I was aiming for a Super Randonneur, but then at the critical time, I developed a long running cold, then incapacitated my back in a coughing fit. Despite not being fully fit, I figured it was getting late in the year for a big ride. So, seeing favourable winds, I took the snap decision to go for it and take on a flattish 300. My wife was not convinced by this plan and thought I would probably ruin myself.

This was exactly the same route I took last year. As you can see, I managed to shave 8 minutes off my effort one year ago!

It all started well, but my back started hurting a little more each mile, especially when putting power in. This meant I couldn’t keep up the pace I wanted up the hills. Around Milton Keynes, about half distance, I was contemplating abandoning. However, I knew that if I made it to my brother and sister in law’s in Ely, I could sit and wait for a pick up rather than have to deal with trains. That was only a 100k further, which wouldn’t be impossible. By the time I got to Ely, the pains had disappeared (maybe from the motivation of racing & beating a roadie) and I was flying again, so I pushed on. I’m glad I didn’t take an early chance of an easy way out.

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I was abit disappointed by not having quite as high a moving average as the last time and to still have spent 2 hours not moving. This is in spite of only having two real 30 minute stops for lunch and early supper. I always seemed to be stopping to take clothes on and off, adjust equipment and of course the call of nature. Both shop stops I made, I seemed to end up behind multiple people doing things very slowly!

The great things about the ride, were that I didn’t end up a cripple and I didn’t get any saddle sores! The Brooks Swift / Thudbuster combination actually came through on a big ride. I think the fact that my sit bones aren’t as well supported as on other saddles means that it doesn’t feel as good over a short distance, but equally prevents sores under the sit bones that have plagued me. The Thudbuster makes the whole thing not un-bearable on the other areas of my underside.

I’m also continually amazed by my ability to recover on long rides. I’ll find myself flagging, sit down and eat a sandwich, then be back on form, even after 250k.

Anyway, more random ride pictures:

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