Brian Chapman Memorial Ride – 600km Audax

  • 600 Kilometers
  • Over 6800m climbing
  • 40 hour time limit
  • Wales End to End

I set off from Chepstow along with 150 other riders at 6am on Saturday 18th May, with 600km of road in front of me. There were three mandatory control points to visit on the way up to Menai, the most northerly point on the ride and these involved cycling through some of the best scenery that Wales has to offer including a climb over the Pen-Y-Pas which is part way up Snowden, Wales’ highest mountain. I completed the 290km to Menai in 15 hours (including stops) arriving at approx, 9pm. After some food and an hours rest it was back on the bike and heading back to Dolgellau for a couple of hours sleep and then back on to Chepstow where I arrived some 35 1/2 hours after leaving. That is my second time doing this ride and it could be a while before I do it again.

My full ride details are at

The Sights and Sounds of BCM 2019
The Route
Final Stats. for the ride

Back on the Bike

20180505_180548Well, it’s been a while since I broke my collar bone in June last year, It’s all gone wrong! and it has been a long journey getting back on the bike again with any sort of consistency. Initially it was just over 3 months before my first post accident ride, then after a few weeks I suffered a bad chest infection, we had several spells of bad weather  plus a couple of minor injuries which all meant I was never able to build up any level of consistency with my riding. I manged (barely) a 200km Audax in January in very cold weather and then another one at the end of March, again these were punctuated by periods of time off of the bike. I was off the bike again for another 3 weeks following the March 200km ride with a really sore knee, only to find that I had set my cleats up wrong when I replaced them.

I had had a 400km (250mile) Audax  scheduled for early May and was seriously worried about my ability to start the event, let alone finish it, however, once I had reset my cleats and done 2 or 3 short training rides I felt much better and decided to go for it.

The ride started at 6am on Saturday 5th May with approximately 119 cyclists starting off. The ride started off relatively flat but then we hit the hills of the Cotswolds, nothing major but a constant ride of up then down then up then down and so on, this was a repeated pattern throughout the ride and I soon realised that what I lacked more than anything was climbing strength and stamina. This was  soonScreenshot_20180504-142941_Ride with GPS evidenced by my lack of speed going up hill and having to get off and walk on two steep sections which I would have normally expected to be able to ride up.

I finished the ride 23 hours later at 05:00 on Sunday morning tired bit overall I was satisfied with my effort over the distance (400km/250miles), however I was well aware that I needed to get more hill training done in readiness for future rides.


It’s all gone wrong!

11th June, 8am out on the bike for a quick hour or two before the day gets going and I run into the back of a van, don’t ask me how cos I do not know. The sudden impact sends me over the handlebars onto the tarmac, breaking my collar bone and damaging ligments and hamstring in my right leg. It’s now early September and I am only just getting back onto the bike as the leg has taken so long to heal. I missed the London-Edinburgh-London (1400km) ride at the end of July and I have missed most of the good summer weather and long light nights. I was gutted (to say the least), but am getting over it and looking to set myself some new goals for the next 12 months. The first goal though is to get back to the long distances as soon as possible with the aim of riding my next 200km Audax in October. I have started to recover my fitness on a turbo in the back yard and expect to be back out on the road within the next week or so.

Of course the bike needs a rebuild as well with a new wheelset and shifters required, thank goodness for insurance covering accidental damage.


The Prodigal Son – A fresh view

I was awake at 4am a few mornings back, I had been tossing and turning and could not get back to sleep. I picked up my Kindle to continue reading Brian Zahnd’s latest book, “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God” of which I am still in the early stages of.. Brian in one of the early chapters refers to the parable of the Prodigal Son in order to illustrate a point about the nature of a loving God. As I read the chpater I came to see the story of the Prodiogal Son in a completely new light.

I saw that the son was never actually lost, he had always been the son of his father, he was still the son of his father while he was away from home and he continued to be so when he came back home. His relationship (or sonship) with his father never changed while he was up to his neck in Pigs**t, just his view or perception of it. His father never stopped loving him, it was the son’s view of his fathers love that changed while he was away. He didn’t need to come crawling back to his father pleading forgiveness, his father welcomed him back with open and loving arms and he put the ring and cloak on his son to re-affirm his sonship.

So what I understood is that when the Prodigal Son went his own way, or when we go our own way in this life and do out own thing, no matter what pigs**t we end up in, it is not God’s love for us which changes nor his view of us, nor out relationship with him, it is our view of God that changes, we think how can he love us and we seperate ourselves from God in our own minds. It is not God’s mind about us which needs to be changed but our mind about God!


Cheltenham Flyer 200km Audax

The Cheltenham Flyer, a 200km Audax starting in Andoverford and Screenshot_2017-03-17-18-22-54proceeding clockwise along the route of the River Colne through Faringdon to Burbage, then crossing the Pewsey Downs to the picturesque village of Lacock before returning to Andoversford via the Market town of Tetbury. This was my choice for March as I am trying to do some Audaxes that I have not done before.
The route is shown to the right and can also be found on here on RidewithGPS .  The ride was due to start at 08:00, I was up at 05:00 and out of the house by
05:30 for a 90minute drive to Andoversford near Cheltenham. Arriving at just after 07:00 I had plenty of time to get myself ready, have a cup of tea, sign in and pick up my Brevet Card. At 08:00, on the dot, we were off about 65 of us in total, though we would soon be well spread out.

The ride elevation was showning a mixture of rolling and lumpy with 2 or 3 climbs involved. The elevation measured at just below 2000m on the RWG Map


Start to Fernham (Control 1) – 48kms, 1hr 53mins, Avg Spd 25.4kph, Ascent 501m. A lumpy start which settled down to an uneventful but good paced first leg of the ride. Cakes and tea awaited us at Fenham Village Hall.

Fernham to Burbage (Control 2) – 40kms, 1hr 56mins, Avg Spd 21kph, Ascent 571m. A tough second section with 3 good climbs in excess of 10% en route. As the route slowly turned towards the west we started to feel the effects of the forecasted wind which would hit us hard in stage 3.

Burbage to Lacock (Control 3) – 43.5kms, 2 hrs 07mins, Avg Spd 20.6kph, Ascent 407. Right from the off the third leg proved difficult going with a headwind averaging around 16mph and across Pewsey Downs, which being generally flat and wide open afforded absolutely no protection from the wind. My only consolation was that I eventually saw one of the “White Horses” which had been carved into the chalk hillsides. The final run-in to Lacock was a a fast descent from Brampton into the old picturesque village for more cake and tea.

Lacock to Finish – 69kms, 3hrs 8mins, Avg Spd 22.1 kph, Ascent 777m. The longest leg on the ride proved to be quite uneventful apart from one long but not too steep climb towards the end followed by a sharp steep descent (12% at least) with a 90-degree left hand turn at the bottom and then a 4 km rolling ride to the finish where tea, cake and sandwiches awaited us.

I finished at 18:25 and just before it got really dark. I was 9hrs 8mins on the bike and 10hrs 25mins end to end. Fairly pleased with that given the wind conditions.