From a personal cycling point of view this has been a year of two halves. The first six months saw a stuttering start after a snow and ice packed winter, through my first sportive the Puncheur, then onwards and upwards to probably the fittest and strongest I’ve ever felt on the bike in May and June.
However, sadly and a source of much frustration my riding has been sporadic and infrequent for the remainder of the year. I clung on to some fitness for a while to set a personal record of 31kmh average over 90kms with the Bayeux Cycling Club in July. I then managed an ok time in my longest ride of the year the Circuit of Kent sportive in September where I set an acceptable time (silver standard) considering how little riding I’d been doing.
Since that point I’ve continued to only manage the occasional ride and I’m now the least fit I’ve been since 2008. This is not the sort of end of year review I was hoping to write but unfortunately that’s how it is.
Overall I guess I should be quite happy with the mileage I’ve managed – approximately 3,500km but that’s over a thousand down on 2010 and 2,500 less than I’d hoped to do.
But that’s life – sometimes, work, family and various other commitments rightly take priority. I end the year feeling a bit miffed about how out of shape I am, but I’ve learnt enough to know from experience what sort of commitment to time on the bike that I need to get my riding and fitness back on track, coughs, colds, snow and ice allowing.
On the positive side, at various points this year I’ve ridden better than I ever have. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about the blog and about riding next year including considering trying some road racing, a trip to the Alps somewhere in Europe and even heading off road to do some mountain biking. I’m absolutely delighted that my blog has hit 200,000 views this year which is a terrific personal milestone.
One thing’s for certain, despite a year of ups and downs my enthusiasm for riding a bike is unabated and in fact has only grown. I’ve been fortunate enough to ride some fantastic bikes this year and I hope with a bit of luck that I’ll continue to be able to do this in the new year but even if I don’t I’ll absolutely be out there getting some miles in, enjoying the views and the challenges, meeting new like-minded people and working on being happy, healthy and encouraging as much as can.
A really happy outcome of patchy riding and a general lack of form is that it helped me appreciate the simple joy and pleasure of being out riding my bike and that’s something you can enjoy whether you’re fit or not or riding solo or with friends.
Wishing you the best for the festive season and as always, thanks for reading.