Dress Rehearsal

Back in February on the last Cult ride, my mate Paul Astin touted a ride that he was planning to Weston-Super-Mare and back in May. A quick look at my diary and it was a ‘free’ weekend and about a month before Chase the Sun. Perfect! Then I forgot about it

A free weekend for me is no Dan and Sally is working nights so its a good excuse to get a decent ride in so she can sleep

This week, Astin pops up on my facebook feed announcing his plan to ride to Weston next weekend and tags a few of us in that had expressed an interest. I’ve just come off the highs of riding Velo Birmingham last weekend which was my first real distance test of the year. It was 2am, I was awake, tired but unable to sleep. Another quick check to see if the weekend was still free and I committed myself .


Astin & co are ‘BIG’ ride veterans. They’ve done plenty of long ones. Me well my longest ever distance is 200km and the longest time on a bike is 8.5hrs riding La Marmotte through the Alps 10 years ago. So for me, the prospect of 200 miles and 12-14hrs in the saddle is a bit of a jump but its a perfectly timed dress rehearsal for Chase the Sun North at the end of June. I get to test my kit, my legs, my feeding, everything and I’m actually looking forward to it just not the getting up for work on Monday.

Paul wants to average 16.5mph. I’m ok with that and I’m ok with the distance. My biggest concern is my back, neck and shoulders because boy I was stiff after the Velo but I think a lot of that was the tension riding it like a race for 80 miles. I’m considering upturning my stem but I may get to Weston first then decide to flip it for the ride back so its a bit more relaxed.

They’re starting from Kings Heath at 4am, so I’ll meet them in Redditch a little later and then we’re off. It’ll be great in a little group rather than solo. We can share the work a bit, shelter and have a laugh when it hurts which is the most important bit.

No idea what Astin’s route is. Its a magical mystery tour and I can’t wait.

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