New year and a new start, at least that’s the ambition for many people at this time of year. I’ve never really been one for resolutions, so I thought I’d just carry on in the same vein I adopted last summer having got back on my bike for some serious cycling after a break of nearly thirty years.
Motivation has not really been a problem; I always did enjoy getting out on my bike. No the problem has obviously been my level of fitness; which I’m pleased to say has shown some improvement over the last 6 months. My New Year Revolutions then… Well, I guess my ‘resolution’ is to carry on as I began last year. I’ve set myself a low target of 2000 miles, and a preferred target of 2500 miles. which I think is doable with an average of about 50 miles per week (Those may be my targets, but really I’m going for 3000 miles an average of 60 per week).
It’s harder than it used too be!
Thirty years ago I used to cycle to work everyday. A distance of just over 7 miles which used to take me less than 25 minutes traffic being kind. It was a moderately hilly route along busy roads with the morning and evening rush of South London.
Leaving home, I’d cycle up the hill to North Cheam, followed by a short sprint down into Worcester Park, a cut through Morden Manor and up into Tolworth. Then, it was just a short climb into Thames Ditton, before dropping down to Surbiton. All told 7.2 miles and 170 feet of ascent (climbing up the hills). At the end of the day at work, it was the reverse with similar amount of up and down.
So, why is is so much harder now? I started using Strava to analyse my performance (or lack of it) and soon saw the difference between southern and northern cycling. I typically go out and cover between 12 – 20 miles, depending on how much time i have and how I’m feeling. With those distances I will typically do between 800 and 1800 ft of ascent. so about 5 times more than I used to do during my daily commute. So, it’s not that I’m old and unfit, it is just so much harder!
To Strava or not to Strava.
As a male of the species I’m am supposedly driven by numbers. Whether you believe this nonsense or not when I get back from a ride the first thing I do is check my Strava stats. Always looking for improvement over my previous stats for at least one segment of the ride. So, OK I am driven by these numbers and the need to improve on them, however sometimes it’s worth just backing off a bit and enjoying the ride.
New Year Revolutions
1 week of January and off to a good start i think…
- 1st Jan 14.9 miles, 848 ft ascent, 2 degrees C, cold, Slow
- 5th Jan 10.4 miles, 818 ft ascent, 3 degrees C, cold, 2 Personal Bests
- 6th Jan 19.1 miles, 1494 ft ascent, 3 degrees C, cold, 4 Personal Bests
- 7th Jan 13.1 miles, 1039 ft ascent, 2 degrees C, cold, 3 Personal Bests
Photography from my ride
I’ve yet to find a way of combining photography and cycling. There don’t seem to be any camera bags designed to be carried on the bike. I accept the Canon 5D is probably a no no, but I should be able to transport the Sony without too much on an issue. Until I find I better solution I’ll have to manage with images taken on my phone and from walks in the same areas. The header image above was taken a few years ago near Penistone.