Life Cycle High Minded
Cycling Plus|March 2017

Touring or audaxing? Rob Ainsley enjoys some surprising new research on the benefits of getting on your bike.

Rob Ainsley

It may be winter, but there are still plenty of reasons to ride. Recently I went to my mum’s for the weekend. It’s 60 flat kilometres from York to Hull, and it was a fine day, so of course I cycled it.

The same day, one of my cycling chums did similar, except he’s in Cambridge and his mum’s in Derby, 170km away. Obviously that’s not a suitable distance for a day ride. He’s an Audax rider [participants attempt to ride long distances within a pre-defined time] – a keen member of Audax UK, the long distance cycling association – so he expanded it to 200km. That way he could register it as a self-made Audax, to add to his season’s day trips of 200s, 400s and 600s.

There was a difference upon our respective arrivals, too. He ate en route, little and often, to ensure the 7000 calories he burned were constantly topped up, to be greeted with a well-earned sandwich and a glass of wine. I made sure I arrived hungry. Let’s see – 2000 calories used, against a bottle of wine (600 calories), shepherd’s pie (350 calories per ladle), apple crumble with custard (500 calories). Better go steady on the pie then. 

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