Thursday, 1 January 2015

Review for 2014 - about 3400 km cycled

What a year it was.
I suppose the highlight was my first ever "Imperial" century - a 100 mile ride on Mermaid
My 100 mile route completed on the 11th August 2014
The year had started grey and damp with a ride on January 1st on Mermaid, during which the drizzle never stopped.
Expecting snow, I fitted "snow tyres" in late January, but the snow never came, and I ended up keeping them on until June as "resistance training" tyres.

By April, I'd been lent a 25 kg 3-speed Pashley Mailstar bike, and I took that out in May on some decent training rides, such as a half-century route that included the NOTORIOUS Whiteleaf Hill (as featured in the book of 100 great hill climbs), where I half-cycled, half-dragged, the bike to the top.

Another big training ride of the Pashley Mailstar, which I had nicknamed "Flame" saw me doing some serious hills on the 8th June 2014, when I did a 60 km ride, including 3 ascents of the Chilterns.

Then the event for which I had been lent "Flame" - the London to Brighton bike ride, which I undertook with some colleagues on the 25th June.
Many thanks to Royal Mail for lending us the bikes and supplying us with support vehicles to get us to the start and home from the finish, and to top it all, we even got free parking in Brighton at the Royal Mail depot (!).
The Royal Mail Aylesbury team approaching the finish line of the 2014 BHF London to Brighton Bike Ride.
That's me (and Flame) on the outside, with the yellow panniers.
After that, Flame was returned to Royal Mail and I was back to riding Mermaid.

I was still cycling hard going into July, and that was when I had the "crank breaker".
I would like to think it was my powerful cycling technique that broke both cranks, but is was more likely to be a combination of a poor quality control and metal fatigue!

After gingerly riding with a couple of short "kiddie cranks" I got from an old "teen" bike our neighbour donated to us, I "upgraded" to a set of XD-2 pattern forged alloy cranks, and then later to a new rear wheel, a front derailleur, and an 8-speed set-up to replace the original 6 gears that Mermaid started life with. New bars, shifters and grips were also added.

Then, of course, there was the 100 mile ride I mentioned in the introduction.

Apart from that, there has been a lot of shopping on our bikes - both Anna and I moving more by bike than ever before!
Moving shopping by bike - this is Mermaid (after the rebuild) with a BikeBins pannier on the left and our new
Pacific Outdoor Shopping pannier on the right. What a lot of shop we got!

For those that are interested in things like mileage, I joined Strava on the 9th of June, and I have 1523km logged with them for the period 9th June to 31st December 2014.
I mapped another c. 1900km with MapMyRide before that (and lost my password, so I can't access it now!).

So that's about 3400km for the year in total - which is not quite as much as I used to cycle as a teenager, but it is the most I have done for a long time!
Back "in the day" I used to cycle about 400km a month, all year round. It was called commuting to work! So that would have been 4800 to 5000km a year (I didn't cycle that much apart from commuting, but I still cycled into the town centre whenever I went there (about 5km each way).

So maybe that could be a target for 2015 - to cycle more than 5000 km - after all it is less than 14km a day!

My targets for 2015 (subject to paperwork etc. etc.) are to cycle the BHF London to Brighton ride again (56 miles), to cycle the local Tour de Vale two weekends before (another 55 miles), and, if I have time in the Summer, to cycle an "authenticated" 200km "randonneur" ride.
If that lot all goes well, I'll have made a good start in the 5000km target as well!

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