Well, 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 soon 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.