2018 has been a bumper year of cycling for me, I’d racked up an impressive amount of rides as confirmed by the “My Year in Sport” feature on Strava. I enjoyed rides in 6 different countries, Won 5 TimeTrials, placed very well in others, with mild success in CycloCross and Crit Racing and I’d only narrowly missed out on my 2nd Cat licence.
But what about this year? What about 2019?
This year I’d like to build on the successes of last season across the board but, predominately in timetrialling. I’ve come to appreciate that it takes a few seasons to really find your feet in this discipline and to consistently do well at it. I also appreciate that to allow that to happen I need to train much smarter than I have done and not just ride my bike accruing all of these “Junk Miles”. I’m in an awkward position really and it’s quite a tough decision, I’m clearly a capable rider and ultimately I don’t ride my bike for the race success or the acknowledgement of my peers – If anything that just adds to my stress levels and has a knock-on effect on my cycling – I do it because I love cycling, If getting the results in races means cutting down on my mileage a bit, then okay I can deal with that, but if it means sitting on a turbo trainer night after night chasing people around a fictional Volcano and rarely getting out in the “real World” then, quite frankly I’m not that interested. (No disrespect, it’s just not my thing- plus my interent connection is terrible.)
I’m sure there’s a good balance to be had between riding for fun and riding for serious gains. Hopefully through a bit of research and advice I’ll be able to strike a healthy balance between beneficial training rides and social rides with others. Do I owe it to myself to give it a go for a season? Possibly. I’m 25 so reasonably young; enough to still be classed as “young” but equally old enough to know that I’m not going to be a professional at the Tour de France. But I wonder if I’d want that anyway, all the stress of having to perform or face unemployment, watching what you eat all the time, not being able to do “normal” things with your friends? na not for me.
Timetrial: I’d like to complete a full season of timetrialling, from start to finish, every race that’ll count towards the Cornish cup and the BBAR. I narrowly missed out by one race last season, frustratingly I would consistently take blocks of time out of the rider who got 3rd in the cup, but spreading myself too thin with Crit racing the day before TT’s meant that I started to lose my gains on him towards to the end of the season. Having looked over the 2019 calendar there seems to be many events on the courses I enjoy, there also seems to be a lot held on courses over the border in Devon, I’ll welcome these new courses as a change of scenery for sure.
Road Race: Aswell as timetrialling I would like to do a couple more road races. I find Criterium races too stressful with way too many variables to manage and ultimately, it always comes down to a sprint, im definitely not a sprinter. I feel I posses many of the attributes of a good Road Racer, endurance, climbing ability and due to timetrialling, an ability to hold a solid pace for a prolonged period of time. Having made the mistake of racing too many consecutive events last year I’ll only consider Road Races if I have a clear weekend. Theyre not really a road race but events such as the RedBull timelaps or the Revole24 really appeal to me, 24hours of relay racing trying to clock up the most distance sounds mega! I just need to find a team of like minded/crazy individuals to do it with me. Cornwall doesn’t boast the biggest road racing scene so inevitably there will be a fair bit of travel involved, but why not give it a go I guess?
Cyclocross: My big goal for this year is to ride the 3 peaks race in Yorkshire, it looks brutal but a seriously good day out in an exciting part of Britain. Check it out here, it’s well worth a look: http://3peakscyclocross.org.uk/course-details/ Apart from that, I’m going to keep on training on my cross bike for a while yet, My Girlfriend is studying at Ashburton at the moment so i’m hoping to do some good exploratory rides over the moors that I’ll no doubt document. I’ve got similar goals for the new cross season, possibly giving the National Championships a go athough it seems a long way off now, it’s not even finished for this year officially. In addition to racing I’d be keen to check out the Grinduro or Gravelfest races if anybody wants a companion for a weekend!
Travel: Having had only a taste of cycling in different countries I’m very keen to get out and see more of the world by bike, this doesn’t have to be through competing, whilst I’m not a huge fan of the whole “Bike-Packing” craze I can see the appeal and I definitely get that its a great way to see more of a country. Aside from the annual pilgrimmage to Mallorca I haven’t got too much planned, but as before mentioned; I’m always keen to explore and in fact there’s still so much of the U.K. that I have never been to let alone ridden around, maybe thats a good place to start?
Blog: I’m still very new to the ever popular world of Blogging, I enjoy writing and I really enjoy riding so it seems to make sense to write this blog. I’d very much like this blog to grow and become something quite special and not just be a space for my thoughts and ramblings. This year I’m planning a few good articles/posts mostly about my local rides. Cornwall is a fantastic place to call my home roads and I’d love to showcase it more on here. Kit reviews and product testing are also very much on my radar, but not immediatly. I’d like to get the Blog established with a steady stream of regular content to a wider audience first. But if anyone wants any kit tested or written about, please keep me in your thoughts!
Aside from competing I’d really like to smash the 200km on a single ride, I’ve done some longer rides but I’ve not yet hit the mythical 200km- that said, rather conveniently the place my Girlfriend now studies at is almost exactly 200km away… To conclude, will it be a New Year, New Me? I’ve certainly got the plans to train more efficiently, but whether i will remains to be seen. I don’t hold out much hope to be honest!
Enough about me, what are your plans for 2019? What do you think of mine? Is there anything you would recommend? all of my plans are fairly loose at the moment so i’m always open to experiences new.
Once again, good luck in your own plans for this year. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.
Now, Just Go Ride.