Thursday, December 20, 2012

An OAP's Aspirations for 2013

It is that time of the year when I need to give thought to my cycling aspirations for the coming year and I will try and be realistic.

The main goal will be to cycle a minimum of 2240km, in line with my annuity target ( see last post for an explanation of this ) though I hope to complete 5000km.  This will be the bedrock of my year and if achieved then many of the remaining targets will nearly automatically fall into place.

The overriding event for 2013 will be the  Ride London100 on 4.August where my son and I, travelling as Team Roberts, will attempt to cover the Olympic Road Race Course and raise money in aid of the mental health charity Mind. This will be a huge undertaking for me, travelling further and faster than I have ever done before. If you would like to support us, and in the process obtain a copy of * Cycling Food on the Go- recipes for success * then you can donate at our Virgin site

One of the great things about cycling is the people you meet and the friends that you make. Last year I combined this with exploring new parts of the country and I hope to do the same this coming year. One such challenge is to travel around Rutland Water and I have discovered that there are a couple of routes, the Giant 365,  which will not only allow me to explore some beautiful scenery but, at 100km and 160km, provide excellent training rides for the London adventure. Via twitter I have met a man, Kevin, who lives around that area and who has offered to join me on these trips and so hopefully I will have a local guide. The only thing I will need to watch is that he is much younger than me and I learnt last year, in a painful and exhausting way, that the definition of  *sedate cycling * is a very personal thing!

Since reading about people's  cycling adventures I have been enthused with the idea of touring, nothing dramatic mind, more a few days to explore more deeply a different region. To-date, my aspirations have remained just that, but since I mentioned this in an earlier post, +Trevor Woodford , a highly experienced cyclist has offered to go on a short tour with me. He is much hardier than me and carries tents and stuff on his bike whereas I am more thinking of credit card touring, but perhaps the two can be combined. I have enough trouble moving my own weight never mind increasing the load dramatically!

Like many people I suspect, I hate climbing hills. It can hurt. It can hurt a lot. And as Greg Henderson said, " Hills never get easier, you just get faster ". However I do have to admit that the sense of satisfaction of reaching the top of a gruelling climb and being rewarded with the stunning views can make the effort worthwhile. I am too old now to do no more than dream about the iconic climbs in the Alps and Pyranees, but we do have some of our own iconic climbs much closer to home. One such is Mow Cop and whilst the Killer Mile may be beyond me there are alternative ascents and Mark, who has taken me on other rides in that region has offered to be my domestique on this ascent.

And that will do. You will be able to follow my progress by visiting this blog and also read about the other things I see and do in my cycling year.


  1. Oh dear, about tents and touring! I have done it twice, both times in fair weather, and I was an enthusiastic camper. Erecting a tent in the rain, on wet grass, after a days cycling, is no fun for even the most enthusiastic camper. But, the mornings are even worse, wet tent, wet clothes, wet bike, and no breakfast! (The one desire is to get to a tea stop and dry out over a hot beverage of some sort). I guess this makes me a whimp, but there you are. My machismo tendencies end here.

  2. Hi Peter....thanks for the mention...
    Following on from the comment by Trexrider, as a friend of mine always says......"any fool can be uncomfortable" :-)
    Good cycle camping and backpacking is a bit of an art...I certainly don't ever feel uncomfortable and certainly would never miss breakfast!!:-)
    Have a really good Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year..

  3. Peter,

    Stick in there and I'm sure you'll fulfil your aspirations for 2013. I'll let you know when we sort another SCS social ride out. You're always welcome!

    Keep up the good work!