I have entered some longer distance races this so was keen to do a long ride. I have been wanting to do a 100 mile ride all year, but for various reasons, have never made it beyond 88 miles. Today was a good day, so I set off for a five hour ride, the longest of the year.

I still had a 56 single chainring on my TT bike. I didn’t have time or the right tools to switch it over. A big chainring limited my options. Normally, you don’t worry about terrain; in fact I often try to find steep hills. But, a 56 *23 severely limits where you can ride. I set off to Cirencester, which is one of flatest areas. Even hills of 8% had me pedalling a very low cadence. The first 60 miles were mostly fine, but then I got a bit lost in the Cotswolds and I was struggling up a few steep inclines. This is what it must have been like in the days of fixed – always worrying about coming across steep hills. I could have ridden road bike, but I feel it’s important to train on the time trial bike because it is quite a different position.


Anyway it was mostly a good day out. I took this photo in the Cotswolds and a few yards later my aerobars broke going over a pothole, you can’t quite see. It was 40 miles home with loose aerobars. Still it could have been worse like happening yesterday in the race or on Friday at Newport velodrome. I could do with replacement bolts pretty quick, but last time it took Trek a long time.

Lechlade or Faringdon. Stuck at traffic lights across the River Thames so I took a quick photo
Lechlade or Faringdon. Stuck at traffic lights across the River Thames so I took a quick photo


A fantastic tree near Burford. An excuse to stop.

It was hard going on these old lanes. At Minister Lovell, I took the Witney bypass, it was such a relief to get on flat road. The average speed soon went up. Normally I’d never cycle on A40, (except in race). I can’t recommend a single chainring set up for touring.

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