Three weeks to go until the LEJoG and Saturday was my longest ride of the year so far; I managed to cover 127.5 miles so it was bang in the range of what I'll need to be doing come May. I didn't feel too bad considering this was 25% more than I'd done in any other ride this year, although the fact it was out on the Cheshire plains rather than in the hills helped. Having said that, the North Easterly wind didn't do us any favours on the way back - I hope the wind change back to the usual prevailing South Westerly by 6th May.
On Sunday I decided I would benefit most from a relaxed recovery ride and did a 28 mile loop in the hills. Sometimes it's difficult to stop yourself from going as fast as you can but Sunday I managed to take it easy, although when you're hitting 15%+ gradients it is never that easy. I was particularly pleased that I managed to rein myself in on the Radcliffe New Road climb on which I had recently lost my Strava King of the Mountains title on! It will be mine again one day!
I also booked my remaining nights of accommodation over the weekend so I
now have a rough outline for the route and need to get down to
the detailed planning. I have plotted routes for the first couple of
days whilst the 3rd and 4th days will be into and out of Manchester so
should be easy enough to sort out; it's when you start looking at
Scotland that things start to get interesting. Whereas around here there
are plenty of route options once you get North of the
border the choice is far more restricted and I'll have to be more meticulous in choosing roads, because if the route needs to be changed mid ride it could end up costing me an extra 20 miles or so.
Another thing that I really should have sorted weeks ago is my luggage. Initially
I was planning on getting a bar bag and using this combined with a
large saddle bag, thus ensuring I didn't end up taking too much stuff. I have recently been having second thoughts on this though and may end up going down the more traditional route of rack and panniers. Tune in next time to find out how this cliff hanger ends!