exo : rides


Sat, 30 Dec 2023

a year of tonnes

I try to ride at least one 100km ride every month. It’s a nice round number to aim at but it’s not so long that it can’t be comfortably done in daylight in the depths of winter. It is far enough to feel like a good ride and to have been somewhere, but not so far that you need to do much planning, or are overly tired at the end. You also get a badge on Strava.

On a good day it’s about four hours, closer to five on a bad one. The bad ones are mostly in winter when the wheels are slower, the winds less favourable and the fitness worse.

I’m not totally sure why I settled on this other than it was a good way to motivate me to do at least some decent length rides when conditions were less favourable. It’s more achievable than weekly or monthly distance targets, and less susceptible to the vagaries of the weather. There is pretty much always one available day a month where the weather is good enough to not make it a chore. It also feels less like work than having to rack up miles merely for the sake of arbitrary targets. I can pick a day when I fancy a decent ride and box ticked. I like decent rides.

I try to tick the box on the first plausible day to avoid getting to the end of the month and slogging about in miserable conditions. It also frees me up to decide that 3 hours is a decent ride for the rest of the month which is sometimes pleasant.

It is possible to make it hard. It’s possible to make any ride hard, but 100km is, at least for me, at the limit of what I can do at a good pace year round. Longer rides are often hard by virtue of distance almost regardless of pace, but I can do an easy 100km in a way that I cannot with anything too much longer. It’s also a distance I can sensibly carry enough food that I only need stop for water, and with big bottles I can just about get away without stopping for water if it’s not too warm. Much more than that and I will need to stop for supplies. Mostly I do stop for supplies just because it makes for less preparation, plus a stop is nice.

The other advantage of 100km is you can do it as a gravel ride and it’s not too onerous which makes for a bit of variety. Not in winter because too damp but a tonne of gravel on a warm and sunny day is a good day out.

I am mostly terrible at this sort of motivational things because at some point my brain rebels against the imposition but this one is largely formalising something I would probably do most months anyway so seem to work.

posted at: 16:58 #

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