Let’s remember though, C.E. Montague was pretty ‘nails’. When he rode from Manchester to London in 1924 he did the whole thing on gravel roads with only one gear. The more I’ve read about C. E. Montague though the more I can imagine that this was just a scenic jaunt for him compared to scaling the Alps in a knitted suit and ropes.
For the riders on their Manchester to London Challenge however it’s something far greater, the distance for some will be scaling new ground, new ways of preparing, eating, drinking and riding. The North and South training rides are a great way to share knowledge and learn skills. It’s also a chance to meet fellow riders, share stories, share fears…
I must add that I have no qualifications in training and nutrition, I do however have a history of endurance, sometimes for events, mostly for fun. I find pure pleasure in riding a long way. I thought I’d write this to share with you some of the things that I do, some may be right for you, others not. There’s no rulebook.
Comfort is of course paramount on long rides, so points of contact with the bike especially so; favourite gloves, socks and shorts are essential. Jerseys with good pockets will make everything as simple as possible, and knowing what’s in which pocket really helps. Strange things happen when you get tired, it’s easier when things are familiar. Chamois cream, plenty of it and one that you’re used to, it’s a long time to sit in the saddle.
Keeping flexible and not feeling like you’re a creaky monster will help your comfort levels too. Getting off the bike and not ending up bike shaped is the challenge, when you stop, stretch. Mills Physiotherapy has prepared an animated stretching program for those who are unsure of what to be stretching and how. It can be found here.