Cycling through 2016

So almost the end of 2016 and my Just Giving pages from this year will close soon.

It has been a fairly quiet year cycling wise although I have travelled more miles this year than before by bike. Even so, I am no fitter or faster on a bike now than I was at the start of the year, so maybe I am just riding my bike and not training with any structure. I don’t use heart rate monitors or power meters as I am just not that serious about it. Yes I love cycling and taking on some sportives and challenge events, but that’s what they should be to me, a challenge.

That’s my explanation for it anyway and if these events were not a challenge, why would anyone sponsor me to complete them?

Some highlights of the year;

  • Etape Loch Ness – a stunning ride around the Loch on closed roads with a tough old climb in the middle of it. Who knows what the weather will be like either, driving up to Inverness through snow falls, to end up with a gorgeous sunny afternoon after the event. I don’t know what there is not to like about this event.
  • Dunwich Dynamo – Riding 200km through the night along with 2,000 others to finish on the beach at sunrise. Follow the lights they say and that is about it, through the dark and countryside, all you can see are the lights from bikes up ahead. Late night / early morning food stops at pubs along the way, it really is the stuff of legends.
  • Tour o the Borders – a top class, closed road event which takes you through stunning scenery on beautiful Borders roads, but then I would say that as this is my home region so I might be a little biased.
  • Coffee Morning Bike Ride – My own idea, my own event. For a first attempt, we managed to get some 35 riders along to do either a 20km or 50km route around Stevenage and North Herts, whilst raising funds for both Macmillan Cancer Support and a local charity, Cancer Hair Care. To me it is equally as important to help these small local charities, many of whom fill the gaps left by the large national charities to their local communities. We will be back to do this in 2017, hopefully with a 100km route as well.

The big down side to this year unfortunately was the Ride London Surrey 100. Yes it is great to cycle through central London on closed roads but it is just too big and there are far too many who treat it as a race, not paying attention or showing any consideration for other cyclists taking part, an example of this being the cyclist in front of me taking pictures on his phone of a young girl laying prone on the road as her head was held still. Why would anybody feel the need to picture that, it beggars belief it really does.

I am also stepping down as the Chair of the Stevenage and North Herts Macmillan fundraising group. It has been a real highlight for this year to see the new group come together and give so much time and enthusiasm to raising money to help those suffering from cancer, I’m sure that the group will go from strength to strength from now on too.

As for 2017, I will be cycling, I want to do London to Paris in 24 hours, now that would be a challenge. Maybe also take on a Monument, but let’s see. I’d better get on the turbo and find some cycling legs again.

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