Rode A Mere 200 yesterday. Despite not riding the bike since early-November and the first audax in 6 months or so, it ended up going pretty well!
Woke up in a bit of a daze and set off from the flat just before 7, arrived at an already-busy hall with plenty of time to spare. As the ride set off, I ended up further up the group than I'd usually be, keeping pace and having a chat a few riders from Lincoln and made it to Delamere within a couple of hours, as it turns out I was pushing too hard and paid for it it over the next 60km into the wind (fuck the A495).
After an couple of info controls, we had the opportunity to call in at the Boathouse Cafe in Ellesmere. Sadly there was a huge queue, no seats and everyone seemed to be eating overly-posh looking cakes. I opted to push on another 20km for huge plate of eggs, beans and chips, Pepsi and Ribena at the Raven Cafe (excellent biker/trucker cafe/greasy spoon) in Prees Heath. By this point both knees were pretty sore and some issues with handlebar height/placement was resulting in numb fingers. The positive effects of sitting down, sugary drinks and my first caffeine hit of the day were immediately noticeable. After another 15-20km the food had started to work it's magic too and everywhere but my hands were feeling better.
The combination of a full stomach, tailwind and local road knowledge resulted in the the final 50km flying by. Finished in just under 11 hours (quickest 200 to date!) and tucked into the soup and cheese rolls on offer at the finish before riding home. All in all a very well organised event, pleasant route and the added bonus of the the rain holding off until I was safely back in the flat! Not a bad start to 2015 at all.
- Little in the way of interesting wildlife but it seemed like every other field on the way out was full of horses/donkeys
- Wool layering worked well. Defeet knee warmers and ski socks might not be the most stylish combo but work as well, if not better than the roubaix bib longs you can't find in the wardrobe at 6am
- Dynamo lighting worked brilliantly. Despite a bunch of off-road usage, I don't think I'd tried this setup on any unlit roads so far and while the Exposure Revo might not have the ideal beam pattern on paper, it's easy enough to angle it for a good spread on the road, throw enough light forward and not blind drivers
Only took a single photo, somewhere on the way out towards Ellesmere