Despite having a lovely, but shorter ride in Wales, and knowing I had made the right decision to quite, the old feelings of doubt became to surface. What if I really am just not good enough? What if just getting there is always going to be this hard? Maybe I really should just give up this dream and go touring instead? But I had put so much effort in already, and a fair bit of money. I didn’t want to give up just yet....
I turned up in Chepstow, and looked around the rather smaller than normal group of entrants. Everyone looked very fit and capable, and then I also noticed the lack of women on the ride. In normal years the ride attracts a mixed bag of riders. There’s no doubt this is a challenging event...after all, it covers the width of Wales, and ventures into the Brecon Beacons in both directions. But, it is such a beautiful and iconic ride that many Audaxers like to give it a try.
Before each Audax I have my routines. The things that I normally do, that make sure that I have every chance of success.
This early season event is the Willy Warmer 200k, run by Paul Stewart from Audax UK. The aptly named event is (allegedly) not actually any reference to a part of the male anatomy, but instead a reference to the Willesden Green Cycling club, who promote the event, and the fact that cold weather is assured.