New Year's Eve and there's nothing on the telly... not that I watch the TV anyway. Seems like a nice time to do a year in review. Not least because I have just passed the 50,000 km point; the distance covered since I started recording my rides.
Looking back, in 2009 I rode LEJOG and added 1600km to my total for the year, in 2010 I dislocated my ankle and broke my wrist, which dented my cycling for a while. Overall though the total distance has been creeping up and this year I passed the 9000km mark for a single year. My first 'serious' bicycle was the Giant which I obtained in 2006 and loved riding, it introduced me to longer distances. The Trek road bike came next and I rode that everywhere - it is still my favourite lightweight bicycle. The Thorn existed for two years but I was never happy with it, LEJOG had not been made any easier by the Thorn and I was happy to part with it to someone who would love it. At the end of 2010 I obtained the Spa Cycles Tourer and this is clearly the bicycle I like riding the most, it is the one which I audax on and the one I pick to ride by default. The Spesh MTB is really for occasional muddy trips and mainly for bouncing my way to church and back in the morning.
After obtaining a 'Super Randonneur' award in 2012 I decided to take it easier this year, I backed off the audax quite a lot, but still managed to get a few in. Most notable rides from 2013 are:
Much of my 9000km was actually covered in errands and replacing rail journeys with cycle journeys. I have been down to York several times to meet friends and taken the opportunity to get long rides in. Riding every available day has been important too because my job has been extremely busy this year. Instead of the typical 30% travel it has risen to 40% in 2013, with quite a few weekends. Weekends away from the family have been the hardest, and it is time which you never get back.
Even though work has been extremely demanding, I've enjoyed meeting great people all over the world and I'm looking forward to 2014 and the developments that it is going to bring, but coming back to cycling I've really missed riding with my wife. 2013 appears to be the solo year, the year in which I have not spent much cycling with Carol, which is why the Loch Katrine event was so special. Carol, Katherine and Edward all indulged me by coming for a day out on hired bicycles and we were blessed with wonderful weather and super scenery.
Supporting the London-Edinburgh-London team in Thirsk was good fun, and whet my appetite for what was to follow: becoming an Audax Organiser was a absolutely brilliant experience. Seeing 100 riders set off from a nationally recognised event I'd coordinated was humbling. The generosity of the St Francis of Assisi Church community in Ingleby Barwick and the support of All Saints Academy was deeply appreciated.
So as I close out 2013 and start my pipe dreams for cycling in 2014, here is wishing all my readers, their families and friends, and all cyclists everywhere a Happy New Year and plenty of pedaling opportunities. May the road rise to your wheels and may the puncture fairy forget your name.