AJ, RP & DH go RAB
10-18 September 2022
Ride Across Britain: an event like no other, led by a company called Threshold Sports with a tagline 'More Is In You.'
When you think of bucket list rides LEJOG is definitely featuring, but to most this is an aspiration and not something you think you can do or would choose to do so over 9 days. Back in 2021 I signed up, not knowing what it entailed but thinking I can just train my way into it. It's always been my mantra of 'sign up and deal with consequences closer to the time'. Fortunately, soon after not 1 but 2 other Horsham riders signed up with Duncan Howarth and Richard Pendlebury joining me for the 9 days in September (Richard for the golden jersey of his 3rd RAB ).
What an experience and feat! I always thought it would be a physical challenge, but instead it proved to be more a mental one with highs and lows experienced throughout the days. Threshold Sports run the event logistics exceptionally well, so all you have to do is go from the Start to the next stop (35 miles on), then the next, and finally the day finishes. It's set up for success - and if you want to... you can do it yourself through Ride Across Britain.
My biggest challenge was the tent! If you don't like tents, they do a RAB Plus option of using hotels! On Day 6 I went to the hotels and despite getting no official extra sleep it made a huge difference to me.
Training for an event like this is very important. RAB do training plans based on 100-mile rides about 3 months prior to the event and a back to back 100-mile rides 2 months prior to the event. In Sussex we are lucky as we have hills... these definitely feature in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset and in Scotland (we rode through 2 ski resorts). Whitedown and Steyning Bostal are good preparation hills!
Food is a well-known feature of RAB. Every meal is provided and my favourite was Rowntrees Randoms at the Pit Stops. Skittles are too hard to eat in a rush!
With 800 riders and multiple chaperones there is always a group to ride with. From club rides we know the benefit of the draft, but group riding is critical for when the head questions what you are doing!
Kit: All weather! We were lucky to have 6 days of great weather. Scotland wasn't so kind and not kind at all. Riding through snow and 30mph headwinds up Glenshee was a real challenge! But a great one all the same.
Should you give RAB a go? Well, what an incredible way of seeing the country and learning about yourself, with the hills and mental battle and on the way seeing some amazing parts of the UK and making friends. Was it easy? NO, but that's part of the fun. The next one is 2024 - you can do it! Test yourself :-)