One of the best kept secrets in cycling is that long distance riding is more about experience and will power than any special types of fitness.
You might want to google for a training plan for cycling, but most experienced audaxers will suggest you just get a few rides under your belt.
If you have not ridden a 400km ride before you should at least consider taking part in a 200km event. This distance will test your overall fitness and ensure that your bike is set up comfortably. In particular, you will want to know that your contact points (feet, seat and hands) are ready for a few hours on the road.
Riding a 300km event will give you an insight into the mental challenge of riding as well as a taste of navigation in the dark on country roads.
Audax UK, the governing body for long distance riding, gives advice on its website and dedicated forums are full of encouraging advice. Riders looking for events in the Chilterns should check out this page from the Westerley CC.
We have also set up an open Strava group for LWL – feel free to sign up if you want to be inspired by how much (and probably how little) riding other entrants are doing!
You should certainly take a look at:
- The Anfractuous – 200km from the same starting place as LWL18 – organised by the mighty Willesden
- The Upper Thames – 200km that normally includes a free firework display in the closing stages
- The South Bucks Winter Warmer – 200km just before Christmas on one of the best routes in December
Watch out for events organised by:
- Audax Club Hackney – they host a classic 300K ride from Oxford in early April -reviews can be seen here
- The Kingston Wheelers who are organising their own series of audax in 2018
- Audax UK – provide listings of all audax rides in the UK
Take a look at the Audax page on this site for links to some useful blogs.
There is also a Strava group called LWL if you want to compare your efforts before (and after) the big day.
Main picture credit Gavin Peacock