domingo, 21 de mayo de 2023

Bryan Chapman Memorial (600km Audax)

I said it before but I’ll say it again. In my view this is the best Audax ride in the UK. Wales is stunningly beautiful, especially with the weather we had. I love the climbs, the good tarmac and more than anything how well the event is run. No wonder this was my 7th time riding it (2013 -, 2014 -, 2016 -, 2017 -, 2018 - and 2019 -

For me this ride was a dress rehearsal for Paris-Brest-Paris. I carried all the kit I plan to carry at PBP and followed a similar strategy. So I tested riding steady all day, short stops at the controls, what to eat on the bike (the little sandwich of spicy chorizo has been a success), riding through the night while tired, the kit I’m going to wear riding through the night, charging devices strategy, using the Shokz bone conduction headphones in the early hours to help deal with the sleepiness, new frame bag, etc.

You'll be excused for thinking I’m a master of planning and preparation but you couldn’t be more wrong. I’ll just say that 175km from the finish my di2 ran out of battery. Yes, I had forgotten to charge it… again.

Stuck in the small chainring for 175km and scared to death the battery ran out of juice completely, I minimized the changes at the back. Which meant I attacked small ramps overgeared, which emptied my legs pretty quickly. Free wheeling for long times meant my heart rate plummeted and my body temperature followed suit. What was meant to be 8 hours of riding ended up being almost 10.

Again, you'll be excused for thinking I had a terrible time but you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, I shouted a few swear words (in Spanish, swearing in Spanish is more powerful) but that lasted 30 seconds. After an impressive display of Spanish swearing capabilities I focused on enjoying the ride and had a fantastic time. I love riding at night on quiet roads. I almost had time to find the secret for world peace.

That was it. I finished tired but very, very happy. In fact I’m already convinced I’ll ride it again next year.

The ride in Strava: 

Take care

Javier Arias González

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