Like so many of us, I began 2016 with a cliché “New Year, New Me” positive outlook for the year ahead. While things haven’t gone exactly to plan, I have managed to keep pedalling on.
Setting myself little tasks and mini goals keeps me focused and driven. Many of these ideas come from no where and I impulsively act upon them. One such oh so genius idea of mine was to buy, and restore a vintage 1960’s Raleigh Wayferer without any idea how…
In addition to this up-cycle project, I also decided that I would creep out of the comfortable tree line, and Lycra up for some road riding. This decision was partly owing to the fact that I love riding bikes, and partly because skinny wheels scare me.
Who better to give me my first dabble on the tarmac than Olympian, Chris Boardman. Chris’ advise was really helpful, and certainly alleviated some of the fears I had. You can read more about my first road experience with Chris here.
Since then, I cycled my road bike to clock up the miles and the confidence meter. Regardless of the “traitor” comments from my fellow mounties, I persevered with road cycling and began to feel the benefits show in on the trails.
I had only ridden my road bike for short stints of 10 – 25 miles at a time, and on a mountain bike it’s usually the same region of distance. So where did the 100 mile idea come from?
All it took was a good weather forecast, a new bike for testing and sheer naivety for the 100 mile cycle idea to be born. Marin Bikes have totally overhauled their range for 2017 with some very exciting models adoring our bike stores. I’ve been fortunate enough to test out their new touring bike, the Marin Gestalt 3.
The Sustrans website is brilliant for finding cycle routes all over the UK, and with that in mind, I searched my local area for an ideal route. My search landed on the epic Route 5 which begins in Holyhead and stretches on through Chester and down to its final stop in Reading, but I was only looking to cover the first 100 mile stint: Holyhead to Chester.