A year ago, I ended the year by looking back to a cycling achievement: a two wheeled journey from Wales to Buckinghamshire. This New Year’s Eve, I’m looking ahead: to my first cycling century (100 mile bike ride) of the decade.
This has become a tradition in years ending in a 5. Back in July 1995, I cycling my first century from my then home in Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire. It was a lovely ride, mostly along the Wiltshire cycleway. This is a great way to enjoy the sights of this lovely county. I had an enjoyable pub lunch around the 60 mile mark at Wootton Rivers, on the Kennet and Avon Canal. Later in the ride, I relished the swoop down towards Swindon past Wanborough. I have to confess the trek past Swindon was a slog – I was getting tired as the 100 mile mark approached. That landmark was on the railway bridge near Minety. It was just as well that I completed the ride – I was babysitting for a neighbour that evening!
Ten years later, I was ready for another century. The Wiltshire 100 miler was prompted by the knowledge that I was ready after a 300 mile cycling holiday. In 2005, I’d just completed a cycle ride from Vienna to Prague. I mentioned my century ambition to Karen – who promptly said she wanted to come along too. So we did my second century together: a Buckinghamshire circuit from Chalfont St Giles to Buckingham and back. I did it solo a week later and knocked a few hours off the time, despite a painful leg and a heatwave.
I’m not sure where my 2015 century will take me. It will probably be from home – it makes the ride so much simpler – but I may head south rather than north. Whatever the route, I’m looking forward to maintaining a 20 year tradition!
PS: it will be good to enter a decent ride in Strava. I felt a bit of a cheat when I got my Strava 2014 report – barely a long ride at all in my first few months using the app.
Kudos for attempting a century at this time of year! The last time I did a century was last summer in my native North Wales. I was a little out of shape so used every trick in the book to get through it and still be smiling at the end. I wrote up my ten top tips here http://www.scarletfire.co.uk/training-for-a-century-ride/
I’d be interested in whether you think I missed anything out?
Alan – so sorry for being slow to reply. Your tips are great. I’d certainly echo your comments about food and drink. My centuries have all been personally organised so a little different from group events.
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