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Thursday, 1 March 2018

The Year In Review

result-6How has your cycling year been? 2015 has been a great year of cycling, one of adventure, of more miles ridden and more metres climbed than any other year. I’ve learnt how to train properly by becoming my own coach and I’ve seen many a beautiful part of this world on two wheels.

Back in time

Cycling Regent's ParkWhere to begin? January I guess. A slow and steady spring began with many a loop of Regents Park. In fact I barely rode anywhere else for months! Good job I love that park. Truth is I’m not one for base miles. Long distance riding is only fun when touring. With the constant tiredness of 2014 looming large, I had already decided it would be quality over quantity.
Come Easter and I was in adventure mode, exploring the cycle lanes of Hertford and better still, the jagged saw tooth elevation profile of the Chilterns. New hills, nay, enemies were discovered.
Obligatory bike with signpost photo
Randomly, I then decided to jump on an overnight train to Cornwall for an impromptu cycle ride from Lands End to London. Bliss. Not day two though, I won’t quite forget cycling over 90 miles into a headwind and over the moors. My hardest and longest ride of the year. This is the first year I’ve not completed a 100 mile ride. Gulp.
From the Cornish odyssey, the rest of the cycling year seemed to be mapped out for me. A month later and I was heading to the opposite end of the UK, another overnight train trip this time to ride the magnificent coastal roads of Scotland. I cannot recommend this land enough.
Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye
A month of recovery and I was off to cycle the Alps, an 11 hour drive rewarded with a week of climbing cols. Stunning stuff, yet Scotland was better. I like change and Scotland does change better than many another land. Weather, gradient and scenery. Sorry France.
The joy of the Alps left me recovering for the remainder of the summer until my traditional birthday ride and an hour of pain around Richmond Park. The tempo rides in the Alps helped me to record my fastest ever 3 lap personal best, smashing a record two years old. There’s life in this mangy old dog yet.
Croix de fer summit cycling
September and I was lost in a world of intervals and a shift to the dark side on the evil turbo trainer. First a trial of the Strava premium training plans which left me a little tired for my week of September sun climbing the twisting roads in Majorca.
A little rest and I was back on the intervals, an eight week time crunched training programmepurely to see how my body would respond. Well it seems, with personal bests many a year old easily broken in late, late, late December. The old dog rides again.
It was only fitting to finish with a brief ride around the cycling heaven that is Copenhagen, an alien land where cycling is the norm. Now I sit here not riding once again. Resting. I need it!
Phew. I’ve learnt much and seen much more.
I even somewhat haphazardly managed to stumble on the words that describe why I enjoy cycling. I’ve enjoyed sharing my world with you my dear reader. Thank you to all those who have left comments here or elsewhere. Words are empty without the readers who add meaning.
Most of all I know what a lucky boy I am to find the time to enjoy something that gives me so much pleasure. It is with no small thanks to the other constant in my life that brings me such great pleasure. She may not have a blog dedicated to her but she has the man.
What a year. How was it for you?

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