I get a bit bored of New Year’s resolutions, so it’s a bit odd that I’m even bothering to set out my cycling goals here. However, I do find that stating such things publicly helps the resolve through the subsequent 12 months.
Two years ago I gave up smoking, and have not touched a cigarette since. I haven’t even puffed on one of those plastic vapour things for eight months. This time last year, things got a little more serious: I pledged to take up cycling, lower my blood pressure, and lose four stone. Yes you read that right, FOUR stone!
It didn’t turn out too badly. The presence of this blog is evidence enough that I did indeed take up cycling. A relatively cheap Trek 1.1 road bike (called Gertrude) was purchased for £600 or so from Cycle Revolution in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, and an alarming number of accessories followed soon after (helmet, jerseys, wind jacket, shoes, shorts, pump, bottle, Garmin Edge, GoPro camera, socks, gloves, turbo trainer, glasses, heart rate monitor, spare tubes etc etc). As my bank balance emptied, it was obvious I had caught the bug, and my Strava summary of 2014 shows some interesting facts to confirm it…
So according to Strava, in 2014:
– I rode 2,749km
– I climbed 16,476 metres
– I spent 130 hours on the bike, and 52 minutes ‘running’ (the less said about that, the better)
– My highest heart rate sufferfest was 387 (I think that means I should have died)
– My highest climb was 228 metres
– I got 94 kudos from Strava followers (all sympathy votes, I think)
– I made 609 personal achievements which mainly involved 1) staying upright, 2) not dying, and 3) Not getting lost
All this means that the ‘taking up cycling’ goal for 2014 was met. However, I did not lose four stone. I did lose one stone, but I put on considerable muscle tissue, especially in the legs and core – so that effectively slowed the weight loss. And what about the blood pressure? Well, sadly that has not really come down, meaning perhaps it is something I just have to deal with as it’s clearly not so much of a weight or fitness issue for me. It’ll come down a bit more, for sure, but I was a little disappointed when my latest BUPA assessment highlighted the issue again. I don’t really want blood pressure meds, so I’ll give it six more months on the bike first to see if it does come down any more.
Enough of 2014: it was fun, and the main part of my goal–cycling and getting some fitness–was achieved well enough.
On to 2015. This year, I intend to:
1. Lose two stone
I think this is realistic. Having built up core strength in 2014, I reckon my cycling effort can better attack my excess baggage in 2015. I’m also going to be a little less greedy at meal times!
2. Ride 5,000km (or 3,106 miles)
This is a chunky increase on the 2,749km ridden in 2014, but a reasonable target.
3. Improve wellbeing
I’ve written about this before, but cycling really does lift the spirits. I want to keep that going as I continue my journey to being fitter and happier.
4. Keep up
I want to continue improving in the saddle, to an extent where I can comfortably keep up with the regulars on trips out to Orford. I’m also toying with the idea of joining a cycling club to go on more group rides (once I’m happier with my speed). If I do, I’m leaning towards the Stowmarket and District Cycling Club, who seem a really friendly bunch, riding out very regularly from Claydon. I’m not sure they do the club colours in my size, however!
5. Blog more
Your heart might sink at this one (but perhaps not if you’ve read this far), but I pledge to update this little part of the interweb more often. And I’d love to welcome other writers here, too. So if you’d like to see your name up in lights on www.suffolkcycling.com just let me know (email@example.com)
So that’s it. 2014 was pretty positive, but I resolve to make 2015 even better.
Stay safe on the roads, and Happy New Year!