400k test … done

One milestone down: a 400k ride, to test kit and legs and strategies. It’s further than I plan to ride on LEL on any given day (although that is still being worked out as well). 

The ride was the London-Wales-London audax (used to called Severn Across) from Chalfont St Peter to Chepstow and back again (in a loop, not an out and back), with around 14k ft of climbing in the 407k of riding. 

Points noted on the ride: 

  • I don’t get sleepy if I keep on going (same thing happened with Dunwich Dynamo). I kept control stops short for just this reason. 
  • I need some more hill training
  • Go to the bathroom whenever possible (hunting for a suitable hedge isn’t much fun)
  • The Exposure Strada light doesn’t recharge whilst operating – may need to consider a dynamo for peace of mind
  • The Wahoo Bolt behaved perfectly (and recharged happily on the fly)
  • Saddle position needs to be adjusted (have started to work on this) as there has been some discomfort post ride (writing this three days later) …
  • Saddle pack functioned well (didn’t need anything out of it, though). It doesn’t get in the way, although I think was creaking a little in the last 100k – I need to check the straps etc
  • Handlebar pack also appeared to work out but I noticed afterwards that the add-on pack is wearing a small hole where – I think – it hits the tyre when the bike bounces in rough road. It doesn’t foul on the tyre in normal running, so I think it must be that. This isn’t helpful (it’s not worn through yet, just worn thin, but it will eventually wear through). I plan to get some gel padding to put under the bar tape, so will remove the blips at that time and see about using the Ortleib bag instead (it currently fouls on the blips). I don’t need the capacity of the full pack, just the accessory sized part. 
  • May need to build up palm calluses again: left hand ended up with a substantial blister, possibly from a glove tag. 

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