Once again the bedrock of my cycling year will be to meet my Cycling Annuity Target ( see http://thediaryofmybike.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/review-of-year.html for fuller explanation of this ) and cover 2100 km though , as last year, I would hope to exceed this and make 5000 km..
( As an aside it does occur to me, am I in danger of not making 80 years if my allotted total cycling distance is fixed and I am exceeding my annual target :-() )
Last year was dominated by preparing, competing in, and completing the inaugural London 100 and I have to confess that I really enjoyed following a structured daily training plan and pushing myself to new limits.
So this year I have decided on another challenge but it will be far less intensive than last year's effort.
Since reading about the adventures that people have had when touring I have decided to have a go myself. This year's challenge will be to ride Coast to Coast across Britain by the Reivers Route, a distance of about 280km. This time though I am doing it for me and not for any charity.
For the last few years I have also managed to find a cycling contact in a different part of the country and then persuade them to take me on a leisurely ride of about 100 km to explore their homeland. With luck I hope to do this again this coming year.
And so today I have been cleaning and maintaining my Mercian stable in readiness for my cycling adventures in 2014
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
My 2012 Mercian Vincitore Special
First of all, a few basic statistics because as anyone who reads my posts will know, I love numbers
Total distance cycled = 6541 km
Total ascent climbed = 48006 m
Total energy burnt = 144125 Calories
Total time in the saddle = 331 hours
which is pretty much the same as last year, though much of this year's cycling was done at a greatly increased intensity and pace; with the result that I have visited far, far less coffee shops.
But the statistics tell only part of the story, and perhaps a boring part at that.
The cycling year was centred around my challenge to ride with my son, as Team Roberts, in the inaugural Ride London 100 Mile Challenge. Given that I had never completed such a distance before and that it had to be completed in a set time to avoid being pulled from the event, this was all a very daunting challenge for me.
Despite some awful weather for the first 4 months of the year I kept to my training schedule and gradually got stronger and faster so that in the event I managed to complete the course in around 7 hours. This could not have been achieved without the great support I received from my friends, both new and old, in the cycling community. We used the event to promote and support the mental health charity Mind and raised almost £3000 for their cause. Much of this came from offering a Cycling Food on the Go Recipe booklet which contain favourite recipes complete with stories as to why they were special. These were freely given by a peloton of lady cyclists from across the world. A big thanks to you all.
Each year I attempt to visit a new part of the country and explore it by bike. This year a new friend invited me to Rutland to explore its beauty. It was a boiling hot day and I ran out of both food and liquid after about 30 km of a 100 km ride. I will be eternally grateful to Kevin for looking after me, towing me along and even volunteering to park me whist he got a broom wagon to take me to the finish. I refused that offer and suffered but I learnt never to go out without sufficient supplies again.
My other aim this year was to take a series of mono photographs to try and capture the essence of my cycling year and to act as a reminder in years to come. I have taken many images, but the aim was to distil it down to a panel of six, and here they are :-
The whole cycling year has been aimed at completing the challenge of riding the inaugraul London 100 with my son
The year got off to a very cold and snowy start. This is a picture of Cycle Route N68, a track close to my home and at the beginning of my winter rides
With the weather continuing to remain foul and my fitness still at a low ebb for such an arduous challenge, I soon started to feel the pressure.
When the weather did at last begin to relent it was time to bring out the Mercian Vincitore and treat it to a set of Go-Faster wheels, marginal gains and all that.
During the months of Spring and early Summer, my distances and continuous time in the saddle increased, but occasionally I succumbed to that temptation of all OAP Cyclists, the Tea Shop.
And this shows that I did eventually make it. In the event it was 164 km and I managed to get round in 7 hours.
And that is it for 2013.
The next post will lay out my hopes and ambitions for 2014