I’m not sure when I became the type of person who spends eight hours riding alone just for fun. It didn’t happen overnight.
There’s a national cycle route that winds out from Bristol towards the coast and then up through Gloucester to Cheltenham. All in all, from my house and the four or so extra miles back from the train station, it’s a little over 70 miles.
That’s the furthest I’ve ever cycled and I wasn’t quite sure I could do it (aren’t those the very best kind of goals?).
But it was mostly flat, mostly off-road or on quiet, well-signed streets, and this time I wasn’t lugging a tent along. I picked a sunny day and had a really wonderful time.
The big surprise was that I wasn’t completely worn out at the end, or the next day. Which means I can set my sights on the next challenge. It’s amazing how much of the country opens up when you can cycle 70+ miles comfortably. I look at the map and draw an imaginary radius for one day’s ride, then another.
Next up, a century?