Thursday, March 2, 2017

Summer Cycling Adventures

I'm a bit love/hate with summer. I get all - yay sunshine, long days, cold drinks & do all the things, then inevitably spend a lot of time mainlining antihistamines, sweating buckets and feeling unable to push myself properly with running and up to my eyeballs in it at work because it's the busiest part of the year for business. Typically it's the tipping point in the year where I put running on the sidelines and do a lot more cycling. I find it much easier in the heat and whilst I will run in the dark, riding my bike in the dark is not something I do for 'fun'.

So those longer days are calling to me because the possibilities seem so endless. We have a sunshine & swimming pool trip to Spain booked for early June after my last race of the spring/early summer but here's a few other cycling adventures I'm dying to try in the summer months...

The 'Credit Card Tour'

I recently read a brief article about so called 'credit card touring' and now cannot find the link for the life of me. This is a short and sweet version of cycle touring holidays and involves WAY less kit. The idea is that you pick a distance or to ride or a destination to ride to and take the minimum amount of kit you can- we're talking clean shorts & a toothbrush levels of minimalism here... as well as a flexible friend along with a budget for a B&B or hotel night.

I'm not mad keen on the idea of riding with a tent on my back and since neither mine nor Tom's bikes have pannier racks (nor are the designed to take them...) I can see how this would give us some much needed bank holiday cycling joy, without having to spend a fortune on kit or transport our bikes to a start point somewhere else in the country. I have designs on London to Brighton with an overnight stay rather than hurrying back on the train or riding back in the same day...

 photo 14511377539_e488efbbd7_o_zpse4uggnns.jpg

Rides that end in ice cream and fish & chips? Yes please!

Audax - the LONG ride

As I didn't get a Ride London/Ride 100 place this year (you can see my Ride 100 photodiary for 2016 here) I've also been looking out for other longer distance rides to do that aren't sportives and stumbled across this Total Women's Cycling article about AUDAX rides - click to read which got the cogs whirring. These are long rides- 50km to 1000km and although they are 'mass participation' events, it's not a marked course with water stations and mechanics. I love the idea of posting off my rider card and getting something to show for it (typically Audax rides are marked by fabric roundel badges) and seeing other riders intermittently on a route without the scrum of events like Ride London. I think it might just make me learn some much needed navigation skills as well! Any suggestions for fabulous rides in July/August would be most welcome or feedback if you're a seasoned Audax rider.

Summer 2016 Running Review photo Summer 2016 Running Review_zpsk3l5rlgl.jpg
2016 Ride London 100

And that just leaves...

 the Rapha Women's 100....

This will be my fourth year recording a 100km ride to celebrate women's cycling with thousands of other cyclists all over the world. It's not one organised event, but thousands of people celebrating women in a sport we love. Last year and in 2014 I rode London-Southend on the BHF charity route which is lovely and easy to get back from and takes in some awesome countryside across Essex and is a legitimate excuse to eat fish & chips and ice cream and then have a glass of wine on the train home. So the question this year, is do we strike out and find a new route, a different adventure and something to exercise our brains as well as our legs for what is normally a gloriously sunny July Sunday, or do we make it our tradition to hit up Southend for some beach time, ice cream and 2 wheeled fun and games? Ideas and suggestions all welcome at this point- I'm a North London girl but I like an adventure as you can probably tell.

So what have I missed? Any must ride locations, events or new things to try? Are you as into summer riding as I am or do you shelve your bike for the hotter months in favour of something else?


No comments