It was a Tuesday morning in London when I sent a whatsapp to Lorna about organising a long ride sometime soon. It escalated quickly. Within 20 minutes, we’d organised a 100 mile ride for this Saturday. Bad-ass behaviour, inspired by Rapha Brevet.
Being involved with the launch of the new Brevet collection this week gave me an uncontrollable urge to organise a long distance ride. In between jobs, life admin and holidays, it’s often difficult to plan such a trip but this one locked into place with the ease and simplicity of placing a bidon in a bottle cage.
The organising began. I realised that planning an adventure can be straight forward if you just approach it as you would organise a big night out:
1. You start with the location.
There were no discussions needed on this, we all knew it would be the Henley-on-Thames route we completed together two years ago. The first time many of us had ever ridden a century.
Created by Gem A:
2. Then, you select your invite list.
Similar to a night out, it's not just about where you go but who you go there with. I’ve often mentioned that the group of girls I ride with are one of the main reasons I love cycling so much. I extended the invite via whatsapp. As Sophie Radcliffe’s jumper would say, ‘Here’s to the crazy ones’.
3. You begin planning outfit choice.
Instead of the Louboutin red soles, it's the pink ones:
4. Your mind wanders to what you should eat and drink.
Remember, eating is not cheating when it comes to cycling. And 'shots' mean a very different thing.
5. You tell your mum and then organise her worries and concerns.
My mum will always worry when I’m on a bike ride. And, like she did when I was 18, will await the message to say ‘I’m home safe’.
6. Together, you agree to pace yourself.
We don’t want one of us throwing up a few hours into the ride.
7. We plan our curfew.
Our meeting time of 0730 should get us home by 1700. We’ll meet at Dynamo cafe for our ‘pre drinks’. Setting off in good time will, instead of avoiding the queues to order a drink, avoid the Saturday morning traffic.
8. Finally, you plan how to manage the morning after.
A cycling hangover contains no regrets. But I will crave certain foods and spend the day going through photographs and messaging the girls about funny moments that happened.
Our bodies will be sore, but our minds content. No beer blues, just bike highs. And instead of the club stamp on your hand, all that remains will be the oil marks on your leg and 100 more miles of memories (that you can actually remember).