This 300 was originally put on by Ian from Willesden as a training run for PBP. The terrain closely matched much of northern France (gently rolling hills with lots and lot of fields). It was run this year as a warm up for LEL (covering some of the same areas as LEL will, though very few of the actual roads).
The year has been going pretty well for me so far. Anyone who's been following the blog (well done for enduring my drivel!) will have seen I have ridden a 300 in February and a 400 in March. My first 600 I had on the books was due to be the BCM in mid-May. But for various reasons, I had an idea to ride a 600 in April - my girlfriend being happy for me to be out of the house so she can get on with writing papers for her Masters, the Strava spring classics challenge (ride 13 hundred and something km in April). After a bit of thinking, I decided to ride the Green and Yellow Fields 300km event from Manningtree near Colchester and ECE it to 600km.
So, the next couple of weekends, I won't be able to ride much (next weekend, a 40th birthday party for yours truly and the weekend after, I am away for my actual birthday) - so I was keen to get some miles in. I have had a desire to do a ride up to somewhere on the LEL route and then ride home. I decided on Kirton to give a roundtrip of around 400 km (my actual controls were 424 shortest distance).
This year looks to be an interesting year - I'm pretty fired up for it already. It started a bit limply, but I feel I am getting into my stride, and my 300km DIY last weekend has given me a renewed confidence for the season ahead. One big issue for long-distance cycling is balancing time between cycling and home. It is clearly a pursuit that takes a lot of time. It's not like, let's say running, where an hour or two is a very good long run. You need entire days for a good long bike ride. This can, and has, caused friction in my life for sure.
My riding hasn't gone as well as I planned this year so far, primarily down to illness and snow, meaning that I had only ridden 2 audax rides this year so far. However, I have been regularly heading to Richmond Park (about 15 minutes from my door) and attempting to ride faster, hard laps. 3 laps is almost exactly 20 miles - so if you can ride 3 laps in a hour (and it's not flat), then you're doing pretty well (some of the very fast guys on super-aero TT bikes will get times down to around 48 mins). I'm not the fastest rider in the world, and have managed 20 minute laps a few times in the past - but never strung 3 laps of 20 minutes together.
So, 2013 is a big year in many ways. I reach a milestone in life (40 years and I am still here!). When I first rode an audax back in October 2010, I had a small plan for the future. I had a goal of riding LEL (London Edinburgh London 1400km audax - http://londonedinburghlondon.com/ ) as I was going to be 40 and needed to prove that there's still some life left in me. The distance was, at that point, inconceivable. 200km was a long long way (still is). I was considering maybe trying to ride a 300km in the summer of 2011 - that was a sensible target to aim for in my first year of long-distance cycling. Well - that all went slightly wrong and I rode my frst 300 in early spring 2011 and then went on to ride PBP in the summer.