Saturday 30 January 2016

My Year in Cycling 2016

Gosh it's been a while.  I decided I was going to write about my ongoing cycling adventures in 2012, and managed to keep it up for about twelve months and then got sidetracked with other things.

To some extent, the things I did in 2012 where a bit more noteworthy, which included a LEJOG - (End to End) and a great road cycling holiday in southern Spain, but there's been a few great days out since then that would have deserved a mention.  Oh well, after a two and a half year absence, I'm back.  If I can remember what happened, I might go back and plug a few gaps.  There's been a number of epic one day rides and I ventured onto the velodrome (indoor track at the National Cycling Centre) for the first time in the spring of 2014.

Me feeling good after a session on the track (in Manchester)
I thought I'd keep a record of the main things I do in the cycling world each month this year.  Hopefully, that will give me a bit of motivation to try a few more things again.  After getting back into cycling in a big way at the end of 2011 and joining a cycling club for the first time at the tender age of forty one, I seemed to be on the up for a couple of seasons.  Now I seem to be going backwards, but maybe with a bit of focus and planning this year, I can make some improvements again?

As I say, depending on time available. I may even backtrack over some of the things I did in 2014/2015.  Even if I didn't do too much on the bike worth mentioning, there was watching the Tour de France in Yorkshire (Grand Départ), which was pretty epic.  Come to think of it, I rode the Stage One (...and some) a week or two before the Pro Peloton arrived in the UK.

Ribble Valley Cycling and Racing Club on a Wednesday night

Club Cycling also seems to have taken a back seat over the last couple of years too.  After I kicked off some Wednesday evening rides for the faster riders in the Cycling Club (the Ribble Valley Cycling and Racing Club) in 2014, I seemed to be conspicuous by my absence the following year when the pace hotted up a bit, and I watched the fitter riders disappear off in to the distance when there was a stiff climb thrown in the middle of the ride.  Oh well, I'll try again this year.

I ended 2015 with the gruelling Rapha Festive 500 Strava challenge, as I'd done a few times before (I failed once, but did achieve it the first time).  310 miles in a week and a day, doesn't seem like much of a challenge on paper, but considering it's between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve and I'm in the UK, it's a test.  The weather is poor, the days are short and if you are not working then you're doing the social rounds with friend and relatives, so physically fitting in 40 miles a day is tough.  Once you've missed a day, that's a pretty long ride in the winter needed to pick it up.  Anyway, I got there and recently got my fabric badge to prove it (...and to go on my Speedos!).

My Rapha Strava challenge badge collection

Getting back onto the road after that has been tough.  The winter's been extremely mild, with very little frost, snow or ice, but it's been pissing it down constantly off the back of a number of tropical storms and many places have been flooded on and off since early December 2015.  One motivation has been the Strava segment climbing challenge (...well competition) that one of my club-mates set up, and the man at VeloViewer kindly automated into one of his segment hunter features.

The Ribble Valley Grimpeur Of The Year 2016 was born one club night over the winter and has been cooking up a bit of rivalry out on the roads and online.  I've been chipping away at the various segments off the list, but it is very slow going at the moment.  Oh well, things can only get better?

The Ribble Valley Grimpeur Of The Year 2016

I'm riding high on the leader-board at the moment by virtue of riding most of the climbs, not how well I'm going up them.  However, I discovered I'm carrying a whole bundle of extra Kilos I didn't know about up 'them there hills', but that's a whole other story!

New RVCRC website for 2016

Off the bike, I've been having some fun and games with some hackers on the Cycling Clubs website.  The end result is that I'm currently doing a new one for them, which should be up and running in mid February 2016.  It'll be on a new domain name and a bit easier to manage, so hopefully between me and the other volunteers we can keep it a bit more up-to-date going forward.  Watch this space...



Unknown said...

Ash I enjoyed reading this. It is good to have a record to look back on and as you say to motivate yourself too. Think I might have a go at this blogging lark myself. Annie

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