I’m a little over two weeks away now from setting off on my longest ever solo bicycle ride. All the way from south east London to north east Wales in Wrexham. All 217 miles of the route as plotted out above. All 18 hours in the saddle. All worth it to witness the marriage of two great friends. I’m slightly anxious about having never ridden so far on my own before, but I’m buzzing about giving it a good crack.
It has been a real joy to regain some long lost cycling fitness over the past 3 months since coming back to the UK. The souplesse of my pedal stroke has returned, and my passion for two wheeled travel has come flooding back following a year of low mileage in 2014. Heading out into the lanes of Kent with club mates old and new, tearing down routes that are well worn in my mind and stumbling upon fresh tarmac trails has seen to that.
And now I find my self presented with this early season leg tester. Or perhaps that should be leg breaker? Partly inspired by a wish to push myself to new limits each year, and the remaining inspiration coming from the mammoth exploits of one Steve Abraham. On the 1st January 2015 Steve set out to break the long standing Annual Mileage Record set by Tommy Godwin in 1939. Godwin rode 75,065 miles in that calendar year, at an average of 205 miles per day. I can’t even begin to explain what a staggering achievement that was. No string of superlatives could adequately explain it. And now Steve Abraham, already a legend on the UK long distance cycling scene, has taken up the challenge to break the long standing record. Now 70 days into the challenge his Strava page shows that he is well on his way to beating the record, despite riding so many hours in harsh winter months.
So to pay homage to the efforts of Steve I plan to do the 217 miles in a single sitting on the 8th of April, and will pass through the now infamous village of Marsh Gibbon, which has become a Nexus for many of his routes. I’m hoping for a sunny day out, but only time will tell.