For many years I used my bike solely as a means to get to work and back. This was not largely due to a love of the bike but more born of a hate of buses – brought on by years of nauseating bus rides to and from school.
Slowly I started to appreciate the joy of cycling: the freedom, the adventure, the exhilaration, the … well you know. I began to venture out on the weekends slowly stretching out my distance up to about a maximum of 50-60 miles.
And then came a turning point. My wife signed me up for the 100 mile route of Dartmoor Classic sportif. I trained hard and just about managed to haul my carcass around the course. I had struggled and cursed over the last thirty miles but promptly forgot that after the event. I was now hooked on cycling longer distances. (My wife won’t be please to hear it’s all her fault).
I joined Audax UK (http://www.aukweb.net/) and started cycling 200km events local to me. It was whilst cycling one of these that I started talking to someone who was using the event as a training run for an end to end. “What’s and end to end?” I asked. And so the seed was sown.
When I came to plan my end to end I felt completely daunted by the task of planning a route over such a vast distance. I spent quite a lot of time searching for routes on the internet and I bought routes from CTC and purchased a couple of published guides as well.
Ultimately I discovered that somebody else’s route was not my route. So I set about mapping my own route from scratch and creating written route sheets and gpx files for a navigation device. This took a lot of experimenting and research to achieve because there is nowhere that I have found that can give you a complete answer to this problem (until now). To save you untold hours of trawling through web forums I have included a section in the book that tells you, step by step, how to do it for yourself.
I also spent far too much time researching training and nutrition to give me the best possible chance of completing my challenge without collapsing. There is a vast quantity of information out there, much of it conflicting and most of it confusing. I have encapsulated what you need to know in the contexts of training for and riding an end to end within the book so you don’t have to do the leg work yourself.