A little training ride… feeling better about hitting the road!

A couple of weeks ago I set off on a 40 mile loop to the welsh village of Llangollen and back, but ended up having to get Becki to rescue me from Llangollen as I was too tired and it had taken far longer than I expected. Fairly disastrous. I was too tired, and I got caught on extremely¬† icy roads whilst cycling across moorland and had to walk on and off for the best part of 5 miles. It was one of those situations where I’d gone too far to turn back so had to just battle through it, not much fun at all!

The route, 41 miles through rural Wales

Roll on several weeks, and today it was attempt number 2. In terms of difficulty, it’s by far the most demanding ride I’ve ever been on. A total gain of 3000ft, that’s the height I did my first skydive from!

I completed the 40 miles in around 4 hours, including a 30 minute break for a bite to eat next to the canal in Llangollen. I made a few short stops to rest my legs, snack, and take in the incredible views. There were also a couple of steam trains running on the tracks in and out of Llangollen which I just had to stop and check out! I love the smell of steam trains.

Check out the views:
Horseshoe Pass

The second half of the ride was pretty hard going, and I had to get off and walk on a steep uphill section:
Steep hill!

So, 40 miles in 4 hours with a couple of breaks and I’m fairly happy with that. We only hope to cover around 40 miles a day on average whilst on our trip, so we’ll have the whole day to play with. We’ll be carrying tons of gear of course, but we’ll be going slowly and taking our time. This was the ride I needed!





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2 Responses to “A little training ride… feeling better about hitting the road!”

  1. sean
    May 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    hi mate just read your story,i’m thinking of doing the british heart foundation charity bike ride in october (dont panic i’m not after money!) what i was wondering was what sort of training would you recommend as you seem to do some distance or if you knew of a website or whatever. thanks.sean.

    • Matt
      May 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Sean,

      We really didn’t train too much at all. I cycle to work every day, and had stretched that to just 11 miles each morning. The longest ride I’d ever done prior to this trip was about 40 miles, and that was without any luggage. Becki does a lot of running, and recently did a half marathon in a respectable time. In terms of cycling, the longest stint we did was 3 days around north wales, and we covered only about 70 miles or something. It’s on the blog somewhere. Really we’ve been training whilst on the road. Even the snapped chain we had the other day was just a case of crossing the bridge when it came to it. Thankfully I was able to fix it in about 2 mins and it was perfect straight away, I’d cut it to size just the day before, so it was a straight swap.

      I think by the time we hit the pacific coast we’ll be flying. I can’t believe we managed the 76.76 miles yesterday, I’d never have managed that just a few weeks ago. You get used to long days in the saddle quite quickly.

      Oh, and get yourself some Schwalbe marathon plus tyres, mine have done about 1000 miles now without a puncture and they still have plenty of tread left and very little rolling resistance. Mine are pumped up to around 95 psi. They’re awesome.

      Have a great trip. Even without a full training plan you’ll surprise yourself at what you can achieve.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Getting miles under your belt whilst at home is a good idea, but if you want to follow a clear training plan we’re not the best people to give advice ;)


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