Sunday, 5 January 2014

2014 Looks Challenging

I have signed up for a couple of cycling "challenges" in 2014.
Not the sort of thing I have done before.
For a long time I have been primarily a "transport" cyclist - getting about from A to B, and sometimes moving stuff while doing so - commuting, shopping, that kind of thing.

Late last year, I joined a cycling forum on Google+.
Google calls them communities rather than forums, but they're the same sort of thing.
It can be good to share ideas and experiences with others.
Apart from anything else, it reminds one of the things we all share in common, wherever we come from, whatever our age and upbringing.

My favourite forum ("community") is called "Bike Commuting".
There are several forums with this name, so look for the one created by "Bike Commuter Cabal".
They seem to have a good mix of people, from those riding high-end bikes, to commuter plodders, and everything in between, with some folks being "sport" cyclist, some being "leisure" cyclists, and some being "transport" cyclists like myself.
The forum is described by its organisers as a "... community for people that ride or are interested in riding a bicycle to anywhere one might otherwise go with a car. Our community includes people from all walks of life all around the world. Whether you used to ride, currently ride, or want to start in the future, we welcome you!"
Well, I thought, that sounds like me :-)

Being in my first year with the forum, I don't know what they do apart from the recent posts.
Recently, they posted a 31-day challenge.
Ride 5 miles or 10 miles EVERY day in January.
I thought I'd start with the 10 miles, and if it wasn't working out, I'd drop back to the 5 miles.
A bit of fun.
A chance to shape up a bit, especially after Christmas.
Perhaps if I lost a bit of weight, the nice Italian suit I have in the wardrobe would fit me again - the later suit that I bought for my mother's funeral is fine, but the Italian one is nicer (and cost about 5 times as much, allowing for inflation, and is a couple of sizes too small for me know).

A few days into the 31-day challenge, and the forum advertise a "January 500" challenge as well.
500 miles in January, thinks I.
Well, hopefully I can do 310 on the 31-day challenge, so that is two-thirds of it done anyway.
And it appears that I can do my "500" in kilometres ("serious" road races, like the Tour de France, are always measured in kilometres), so at 31 times 16 km per day, that's 496 km, so if I do one challenge I can do two!

I've done the first four days of the 31-day challenge already.
I'm about to go out and get another day's riding done, hopefully before it rains (rain is predicted later).
But, hey, its all a bit of fun, and I'll just see how far I get!


  1. Day 12 (Sunday) and I managed to crunch out my 10 miles (16 km) a day, every day, so far.
    I'm at about 143 miles so far (231 km)
    Some days I have only just sneaked over the 10 miles, while other days I have gone a bit further.
    My longest journey (and also my toughest) has been a 20 mile trip from Aylesbury, up Tring Hill, and then onto Aldbury (which also has a serious hill!!).
    On some days my mileage has bin in little scraps of a few miles at a time, and a couple of times I have come home a few hundred yards/metres short of the 10 miles (16km), and gone out again to finish it.
    So there we are.
    Sometimes a bit scrappy.
    But I'm still on target!

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  3. And I'm over the 500 kilometres!
    So far, as at lunchtime on the 28th January, I have covered 540 km.
    And there are still 3-and-a-bit days to go!