Last year, I missed my target of riding 500km in the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Having never completed this, and with the threat of injury, I ask myself whether I can complete it this year?

As I see it, there are a number of different approaches:

  1. Doing 500km in one go
  2. Completing 3 or 4 long rides
  3. Getting lots of regular little rides done

Considering my current poor fitness (another post another time), doing it all in one go isn't on my radar. Doing lots of little rides also has the pressure of initially not feeling like I'm getting that far.

2 it is.

Potential routes

I have a small number of routes that I'd like to add to next year, but considering we're coming to the end of this year, it may be a nice way of closing them off and making way for something new, so these are my more familiar routes:

The Lainston LOOP (100km)

The most familiar of my routes. I usually drive to Winchester to start, but have added the commute to make it a round 100km. A morning ride in familiar territory = good start.

 

EPIC FOREST ROUTE (109KM)

With one ride in the bank, this would be the next one to get. Riding in the New Forest over Winter should be a joy and there should be plenty of places to stop, warm up and fill up.

 

The Hungerford RIDE (163km)

A bit further afield this one. I missed this year's Hungerford Hooray audax, having completed it the past two years running. It would be quite fun to get it in the legs before the end of the year.

It's a whole day ride and I'll need to get a good lunch rest in, as last time I bonked with around 40km to go!

The WILD WEST ROUTE (133km)

Finally, I've had this idea to push into the unknown. This is the wildcard route.

The Rapha Archive store isn't too far away, so I could attempt to ride there for coffee, maybe pick up a souvenir and catch a train home from Bath. 

This ride has the most risk, with unchartered territory, catching a train and if the Archive store is closed, could be a non-starter.

So together we have:

  • Lainston 100km - in a morning
  • Epic Forest 109km - in a morning
  • Hungerford 163km - whole day
  • Bath 133km - whole day

That totals 2 mornings, 2 days and 505km. Oh my.

In terms of kit, I'll be taking my usual winter garb, taking the mywildlove (probably leaving the knobbly gravel king tyres on for extra grip), some good tunes and plenty of snacks & cash.

Hopefully, I can achieve these ambitions of mine.