Sunday, 31 March 2013

Chirk 200 Audax

Today I rode the Chirk 200 audax. I learnt some Things:

  1. At -7c (which it was when we left this morning), air at 20mph makes your face sting. Not a particularly surprising revelation, but a good excuse to mention how effing cold it was for the first hour
  2. 131 miles is a long way to ride on your own. Had we done the ride as scheduled last weekend there'd have been 79 starters; today there were 20ish, due I suppose to Easter commitments. And I didn't manage to hook up with any of them
  3. Audaxes are always longer than the route sheet would have you believe. I rode 131 miles today instead of the advertised 129. Again, not the biggest disparity in the world, but a sly way of mentioning  how far the ride was. A Long Way. Particularly when:
  4. The wind's in your face, literally and metaphorically, for half the ride - i.e. 60-odd miles. It saps your will to live, but at least it gave me an excuse to consume a hot horsemeat pasty at the halfway point. Mmm
  5. You shouldn't try to open and consume an energy gel at 18mph while wearing full-fingered gloves, as I did today. It didn't go well. I looked like I'd taken a shower in ectoplasm
  6. The dodgy tummy I had after my last long ride was definitely the result of the vast quantities of sat fat ingested via 3 Chunky KitKats. Today - no KitKats, and digestive tranquillity
  7. It's not necessarily to a good idea to do a ride of today's length when you've only done 1 other road ride in the last 6 weeks. I'm not sure whether it was the wind or my lack of bum-on-saddle time, but I was 24 minutes slower than the audax I did in Jan of the same distance
I can't think that there's much else to say. For a ride of over 8 hours it was surprisingly dull, in a good way. The sun shone, the wind blew, the Welsh snow looked dirty, and the Cheshire, Shropshire and Welsh countryside looked pretty, but not as pretty as it might have done if the temperature had been about 10 degrees higher. I've said it before and I'll say it again; when I start going on about the weather it's time to stop.

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