My First 100km Ride

Ok it wasn’t on a mountain bike but it was on a cyclocross/gravel bike and was hard work in yesterday’s heat.

I didn’t have much of a plan. I’d loosely mapped out a 100km route and I had 3 main check points.

Solsbury Hill (From the Peter Gabriel song)
The Bath Two Tunnels
and getting home via the Caen Hill Locks by 9pm

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Somewhere between Bath and Devizes – my bike carried 1 bottle of water, my tools and puncture kit and also my DJI Spark drone.

I set off after 1pm with a sort of plan that it would begin to cool as my ride went on rather than get hotter, and because I’d had a few beers the night before and didn’t feel like riding in the AM.

My journey took me along probably 50km of cycle paths (40km of which were rough – the Kennet and Avon tow path sounds lovely but its bumpy and rough for a 30km stretch).   And 50km or roads and paved tracks.

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View of Bath from “little” Solsbury Hill – take with DJI Spark

The Bike

My bike is a Genesis CDF – a few years old, and is a steal cyclocross machine weighing around 12kg I think – haven’t weighed it. And I currently have fitted some Specialized Borough tyres – these are great for the smoother surfaces but don’t hide the bumps of the Kennet and Avon Canal tow path!

Nutrition

I didn’t really plan this very well and though I thought I did OK, it shows that with some better planning I would have had plenty of energy

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I had a 500ml bottle on the bike and another in a bum bag, waist pack along with my snacks.  When I stopped at a corner shop these three fitted perfectly between the rack and seat post. I love a Strawberry Yazoo!

I carried 2 x 500ml bottles that I refilled in a pub, a camp site and with a bottle purchased from a shop.  So I drank around 4 litres as well as a milk shake and a bottle of coke.

Before I left I’d had some eggs for breakfast and bacon sandwich for lunch.

Food en route consisted of 3 basic cereal bars, and half a pack of Haribos.

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Caen Hill Lock Flight – about 14km from home.  I’d have been home an hour earlier if I hadn’t flown the DJI Spark for these photos here and on to of Solsbury Hill.

Journey details

Distance 101.7km
Elapsed time 7 hrs 55 min
Moving time 5 hrs 57 min
Elevation 1070m
Max speed 64kmph

https://www.strava.com/activities/1721130902

Whats next?

The bike needs some new brake pads, bottom bracket, cassette and chain. I’m also thinking of changing up the front chain rings to give some more climbing and less top speed if possible.

And another ride as soon as i can make the time.

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Just go out will you!

Under the bridge
Under the bridge

Its great riding with your mates.

Banter, racing, taking photos, stopping at the cafe, motivating each other up the hill, egging each other over the drops, laughing and joking. But its also great to go out and do stuff on your own.

Your pace might be faster or slower than the group you ride with; your ideal choice of ride might be different also; or you might just like the solitude from time to time. If you are like me, with a busy family life and commitments, there are also times when your diary just doesn’t line up.

I use this time to explore and often find stuff even on my door step that’s fun, either for riding or for photos.  I love that I can do this at my pace without everyone waiting for me. It means I can change plans or direction when I want, cut the ride short or extend it without the gang having to vote on it.  I can also do silly things like talk to the camera and take endless selfies !

So the next time you miss the group ride or can go out Saturday and not Sunday, don’t sit at home being sad that they will be having fun without you – go out and have fun on your own…

Here’s two videos 6 months apart of me doing a little solo spin on my local trails.  Note the bridge in the first video….  This the same spot where I got some water and made a brew 6 months earlier in the second video.

Please Subscribe to my Youtube channel and comment on the videos – even if you don’t like them – comments and feedback are really useful!

Lee Quarry – A Sort of Review

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Lee Quarry

Why a sort of review? Cos I only “sort of” rode there.

Being a little pushed for time but also being in the neighbourhood of one of the first “trail centres” I heard of when I started mountain biking a few years ago, meant that I had to give it some sort of a visit. And the sun was shining so it would have been rude not to, even if I was only able to stay for an hour or so. So here goes: Continue reading “Lee Quarry – A Sort of Review”

Return to the Iron Mountain

Guiding duties for MB Swindon at the weekend around the ever amazing (for many reasons) Blaenavon…  So here’s the write up I did for the club website:

Return To The Iron Mountain

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For some bizarre reason people started to turn up just after 9am for a 10am ride. Its possible it had something to do with them camping in the Brecon Beacons the night before and being up early but I’d like to think they were equally as eager to get on the ride. Continue reading “Return to the Iron Mountain”

We’ve come a long long way together… (Vitus Escarpe VRX Long Term Review)

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Cadair Idris

Its been two years since I decided it was time to change my full sus bike (Giant Trance X2) and after much research I decided on the Vitus Escarpe VRX.

Longer and beefier forks. Wider bars. Bigger wheels (650b). I was excited! Continue reading “We’ve come a long long way together… (Vitus Escarpe VRX Long Term Review)”