Cycle 319km total: The Dean 309km audax.

Cycle 319km total: The Dean 309km audax. HR 129(159) 77% Z1+2


309km 11h55 (inc. stops).


1. Home-Oxford          25.4 km/h (4.7 km)  HR 121(141)

2. Oxford-Stow          27.4 km/h (49.2 km) HR 133(155)

3. Stow-Newent          30.3 km/h (60.2 km) HR 130(155)

4. Newent-Chepstow      27.2 km/h (49.4 km) HR 130(157)

5. Chepstow-Malmesbury  26.0 km/h (50.1 km) HR 134(159)

6. Malmesbury-Membury   25.5 km/h (54.4 km) HR 127(153)

7. Membury-Oxford       27.3 km/h (46.1 km) HR 122(143)

8. Oxford-Home          23.2 km/h (4.6 km)  HR 114(135)


Out the door at 6:25am, for a long ride – the “Dean” audax. The tendon at the back of my right knee was a little bit “tweaky” from yesterday’s run, but a bit a stretching and massage at each checkpoint kept it happy. It was 3°C when I stepped out the door, and although the sun was out most of the day, the wind wasn’t too warm.


I can remember many years ago that there was a whisper on the local chaingang grapevine that Nik Gardiner (a very strong rider, who’s moved to Bath in the last couple of years) was doing a training ride that went all the way into Wales, and came back via the Severn Bridge. It seemed a hell of a long way, but five or so years ago local audaxer Nik Windle set up an event that took exactly that route. Via a few wiggles and some very tiny lanes, it comes out as 309km. I’ve ridden it most years, either as a permanent or calendared event, with a best time of 11h30 when I picked up a great tail wind for the ride back to Oxford. There’s something magical about riding all this way, to cross the Severn Bridge, a distance normally only covered in a car.



Today’s sub-12hour clocking wasn’t too bad. I’ve not done much long distance stuff lately, so this was a bit of a shock to the system. From about Malmesbury onwards, my HRmax was really suppressed – a sure sign I’ve not done much of this sort of work lately. Pushing hard up the drag out of Lambourne, I barely manage to record 142bpm as a max. It doesn’t seem to affect the amount of work I’m putting through the pedals though.


Very tired when I rolled home.