Long Distance Cycling

First, I am sorry for the lack of posts in the past few weeks. This is because I have had medicine interviews at Oxford, fingers crossed they’ve gone well!

Too much kit

Too much kit

After returning from my trip around Europe I was left thinking. Why did I take so much unnecessary equipment with me? At the time of packing it seemed I was already packing quite light, away for a month but only taking two panniers. However once on the cycle I started to realise that a lot of what I had brought was superfluous. I vowed that on my next cycle tour I would slim down and do a very lightweight ‘audax’ tour, not wanting to take more than a backpack. What really do you need when you’re cycling? Not much, I think you can cope quite well with just a 20l rucksack on your back. Yes you will probably have to spend slightly more money in the long run. However there are definite benefits because you can cover many more miles, easier, on probably a faster bike.

For those of you who don’t know ‘audax cycling’ is a type of long distance cycling where you try and cover large distances in a pre-determined time limit. Often it is more about completion within this limit rather than fastest time therefore making it less competitive and more of a mental/body struggle. This is what I find appealing I guess just you, your bike and one target. Rather than in cycle races when you see bursts developing and breaks occurring, Audax events as I understand seem to be more controlled and calm yet equally if not more as demanding.

A few weeks ago I was trawling through the Internet and other blogs, I decided I would enter a long distance cycling event. I recently read the book ‘Long Distance Cycling’ by Edmund Burke and Ed Pavelka. A good technical read, for anyone considering entering an event or race and needing some help with preparation I highly recommend this book. With help on training, food, and kit it has almost everything you need to guide you through your first long distance challenge.


The Race across America (RAAM) is an event I would certainly like to do someday. However I have decided to start out on something slightly more local. The London-Edinburgh-London cycle race, 1400km in 5 days! My idea of a good challenge. I found it almost haphazardly on the Internet and instantly was hooked. With food, beds, showers all provided every 80km or so it’ll be a gruelling challenge but one I think will be really fun! With 11,000m of climbing and having an average speed of 12km/h for 5 days including sleeping. Call me crazy but yes this is my idea of a ‘fun’ summer.

Route of the 2013 LDN-EDN-LDN

Route of the 2013 LDN-EDN-LDN

Registration for it opens on the 5th January and hopefully I’ll be one of the lucky ones that will get to take part. Tom may join me on it as well, as that seems to be the norm for any cycling challenge now, I do hope he can because I think it will definitely be a good experience to remember. Although a challenge which will definitely require a LOT of training.  750 cyclists, 5 days, 1400km and a whole lot of fun…I hope.

9 responses to “Long Distance Cycling

  1. Pingback: Where to go? Looking for Inspiration | Alex's Cycle·

    • I know, unfortunately the places filled up within a couple of hours so I missed out 😦 I’ll try again next year though. Instead of competing in that this year I’ve set myself the challenge of 1000km in 4 days along with another cycle tour, should be a good challenge also!

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