There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from riding further than you’ve ever ridden before. Planning a big ride can seem intimidating, but if you take it steady it doesn’t need to be.
A long ride isn’t about going out with all guns blazing, so approach this with the frame of mind that speed doesn’t matter at all. I find in this case it is best not to look at the average speed at all.
Make sure you take plenty of food, fluids, and layers if conditions could be changeable. Kit that packs away small like gels for food, arm and leg warmers will mean you don’t feel weighed down.
If you find you get bored riding alone, arrange a “long ride expedition” with some friends, and if you expect to be riding all day, it might be an idea to set a location and plan to stay in a hotel and enjoy a day out the following morning, giving you a goal town of city to arrive at.
One of the great things about a long ride is that you get to cover so much ground and explore a new area, so route planning is key. If that isn’t your strong point, an organised sportive or route, such as one of the Wiggle/UK Cycling events, or Evans Cycles RideIt! Events will mean your route will be planned by an expert, and you can take the thinking out of the ride.
If you’re feeling super ambitious, why not go for one of the famous rides, like the stupendously hilly Fred Whitten Challenge. But remember – this is all about topping your personal longest distance, not about conquering the toughest ride you can at breakneck speed.