Don’t tell, but cycling long distances isn’t that hard

The trick is to take your time and not to let every niggle turn into a nightmare… which is why riding with friends, old and new, is such a good idea.

Most people who ride 200km or 100km are surprised at the end that they got around. If you are cycling regularly and are trying to enjoy the ride, you probably won’t struggle!

What kit do I need?

Start with a bike – that’s it really.

For the shorter distances pretty well any bike in good condition will work. As long as you are used to it and it’s set up properly for you, you should be fine.

If it’s been a while since you were out on the bike, as well as getting a few miles in, think about getting your bike looked over.

Watford Cycle Hub and Recycle A bike in Uxbridge are worth talking to if you need maintenance advice.

And for general advice you might want to check out this from Sustrans.

You’ll find that experienced long distance riders vary enormously when it comes to their essential kit. Some travel light with little more than optimism while others cart around the contents of their garage.

At the least you’ll need to be able to repair a puncture and carry a couple of spare tubes. Even if you are lucky enough to get around you’ll want to stop if you see someone else struggling by the side of the road.

Audax rides are unsupported – you look after yourself and fellow riders. If you feel the need for a support vehicle or mechanical backup on the road you may not be best suited to riding an Audax event.

Few people are likely to need lights for night time but some people feel safer with a rear light on constant (i.e not flashing) at all times.


You’ll need a base level of fitness – but common sense will tell you whether you can cope or not.

The smart thing to do is to try a few rides in March, April and early May of longer and longer distances. These will sort out whether your bike is properly set up and get your, erm, bum in condition.

Apart from that we don’t recommend any special training regime, diet or expensive motivational programme. Just get used to riding, keeping hydrated and eating as you go.

And don’t forget to bring a sense of humour and a willingness to encourage total strangers to keep going.

Finally – beware! Riding long distances can be very addictive. Before you know it you’ll be signing up for events like London Wales London or The Bare Bones 400km ride that we’re sending to Wales and back the night before the Tour de Ricky

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have – use the contact form on the home page and we’ll try to point you in the right direction.

We have booked sunshine and light tailwinds for everyone but the service has been unreliable in recent years so we suggest you keep an eye on the forecast.