This Saturday I did a 12 miler (11 miler plus half a mile each way to get to and from home!) going to Woodgate Valley Country Park, in South West Birmingham. This was my first outside ride (other than the 4 mile commute I make to work each day) since I have decided to do the bikeathon, so I was keen to see what sort of pace I could keep.
I noticed fairly early on that I found proceedings very slow - one of the riders had a Garmin on her bike, and according to her, we were going at around 7-8 mph, which I was finding slow to the point of frustration, which in a way bodes well, I suppose. I have a 25 miler this Sunday, where the speed will be up to 10mph, which I hope will be a better pace for me; I've just completed 27 miles on my stationary bike tonight, and that's taken me just under 2 hours, so I'm fairly confident everything will go well on Sunday.
The only thing about Saturday's ride that bothered me was riding downhill gravel paths; I only ever cycle on tarmac, and had a few psychological difficulties bearing down on big stones, even though my hybrid bike was up to the task - I did not have any problems going up there, but coming down took me quite a while, and for this portion I lagged behind (see photo) - I'm really hoping the bikeathon will be on lovely smooth roads!