Willesden’s Last Gasp. Qualified for PBP 2019.

Top job. Qualified for PBP 2019. The Willesden’s Last Gasp 600km audax done this weekend just gone. Felt good. Started at 7.00 am on the Saturday in King Cross and finished at 7.20 pm on the Sunday in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Split the route by days. Ended on the Saturday at 11.30 pm. Started again on Sunday at around 4.40 am. 212 miles the first day and 175 on the second. Feeling pleased with the average speed. 15 mph on the first day and 14 mph on the second. Sunday felt lumpier but there was more climbing on the Saturday. Here’s a few images to save on words. 

I like the last one best. Shows my stops were all for around the same time other than the 5 hours or so in the middle. I kept the faffing in check and got on with it. 

Met up with some decent folk along the way. Nods to Simon from Ramsgate. An ex cat 3 racer.  I tailed him pretty much all the way. We did not ride together but crossed paths and chatted at each control. Spoke with and rode a short distance along side Hippy. Look out for his name this year on the TCR, RAAM and Trans Pyrenees. Put in some miles with David for the stretch between Kinver and Shrewsbury and then onto Rugeley. A triathlete and ultra endurance veteran with the Marathon Des Sables in among his achievements. Met with Mel at the end. he came in about 30 minutes after me. 70 years old. This will be the 6th PBP for him. Meeting all these guys was as inspiring as it was humbling. Certainly helps stop me from getting too carried away with myself. 

On the physical side I felt better during and after this ride than I did on both the 300 and 400 km I’ve done this year. Eating and drinking all without problems. Hands and feet bore the brunt of the miles. Both got sore but nothing too bad and with no lasting damage done.

I tried out some products from Veloforte. Not going to go on about them but I think they made a difference. Worth checking out is as far as I will endorse them here. Be sure to find some discount codes though. They were not cheap. That and a stopover in a Travel Lodge about half way were the two notables that differentiated this ride from long ones I have done before. Both a bit of an indulgence but neither of which I regret. 

Planning on riding to and from Glastonbury Festival over the next week to keep the miles up and condition myself a bit more to riding through the night with no sleep. Just under 300 km each way. Getting round PBP in 90 hours is looking more and more possible. Can’t wait.                 

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