I had a problem in that at the end of May- I had 3 rides I wanted to do. That is now resolved as I am doing the South Downs Way Randonnee. Decision was made on the Tandem ride last night.
The South Downs is a chalk Ridge that runs along the South Coast of England. It is chalk with a covering of Clay. The randonnee will take part on the South Downs Way which runs the last 100 miles of the Eastern end of the Downs From Winchester to Eastbourne. 100 miles along a chalk ridge with good paths and signing for most of the way. Maximum height of the Downs is around 250 metres so this ride sounds easy. Only problem is-- The numerous rivers at sea level that cut into the ridge. Then you have the climb back up to 250metres. Then there is the time limit. A 6 am start will give you a maximum of 15 hours to do the ride in.
So there it is 100miles offroad in one day. Then there are the drawbacks. It is offroad and the track will be broken Chalk with plenty of ruts from the winter rain. Those hills be be sometimes long- 200 metre climb in 1 mile, sometimes short 15% average with the odd 20/25% bit thrown in. Flints that cut the tyres to ribbons or slow you down as they can be numerous and big. Oh, Then there is the total climb for the ride 10,000 ft
I have done the ride 8 times now- I have also failed twice. This will be my 9th time of doing it, and 3rd time on the Tandem. Forgot to tell you that, but not many Tandems have done this organised ride. Many have started but until 2003 none had finished. When Stuart and me entered, were told we were foolhardy to attempt it, and we proved them right by being the first Tandem to finish. Then in 2004, 2 tandems finished. Don't know about last year as we did not do it.
I may be foolhardy for attempting this ride, but it is my target ride for each year.
Don't expect many to do as severe a ride as this, but remember that I have been riding for 15 years now, always off road, and at least 48 weeks a year riding. On top of that I do extra training to just get fit for this one ride.
Now what rides have you got planned for this year? (With a description of it of course)