This was my 4th calendar event and I was getting used to the pre-ride drill the night before of generally faffing about with the bike, double checking the gps and making up rations. I try and aim only to take essentials like tools, tubes and food but do find room for a few luxuries like my camera and mp3 player. The latter might surprise a few people but I do find listening to music or the radio through a single open earpiece to be completely safe and does help to get through those times when the weather or terrain conspire against you . It is also really useful in preventing a random and annoying song getting stuck in your head for hours on end... Lena Del Rey has a lot to answer for.
I headed off with the first riders at 6am on the 300km “long way home” with thoughts of reaching my destination just 30km from the start at Chalfont St Peter at some time before the early hours of Sunday morning. I had set the gps to display distance traveled rather than distance to destination, this way it is easy to check distance to the next control stage. Audax control points tend to be planned at 50 km intervals and this was true for the first control at Little Henry’s Café at Pangbourne.
|Bozedown Alpaca Farm - Whitchurch|
|Control Point at Little Henry's - Pangbourne|
|Kimbridge - photo by Mike Hecken|
|New Forest Ponies|
|Arlesford's infamous toilet|