A look back at 2010

It has been a long time since I have written anything for my blog.  Must try and do better next year. Looking back at 2010, it seems to have been the normal balance of achieving what I wanted to achieve against not achieving other things due to various reasons including illness (not serious thank goodness), bad weather and laziness.

My Garmin log shows that I cycled 964 miles during 2010 which was way below my target.  I did cycle a few miles without the Garmin on other bikes so may have hit the 1,000 mile mark.  I could make excuses as to why I did not achieve more, but the simple fact was I needed to make more of the summer evenings and ride for longer at weekends.

My start to 2010 was on a turbo trainer due to not being able to get out on the roads until 17 January due to snow.  I am still nursing memories of a broken elbow and wrist from a couple of years ago when I crashed out on black ice.

In March, Transport for London announced that a new cycle hire scheme would operate in London.  This seemed like a perfect way for me to get to work.  I have an hour long train journey into the Capital followed by a 30-45 minute underground ride.  If I were to cycle, the second part of my journey could probably be cut to 20 minutes.  But alas, six months after the scheme launched I have yet to register.  So there’s another resolution.

My first big ride of the year was to have been the Essex Countryside ride.  This was a 60 mile route starting and finishing at Chelmsford.  During April, I stepped up the training, gradually increasing the miles on each session.  But come the day, the weather was dreadful, with a flash warning of strong winds and heavy rain.  In spite of my optimistic speculation that I would still do the ride, in the end I didn’t.  Too many memories of similar conditions the year before

May started off on a better note with a 65 mile ride out to Malden and back .  The ride was a mixture of sun, wind, hail stones and a fantastic downhill.

A week later I luckily survived what seems a very rare mechanical failure.  My saddle bolt snapped resulting in my saddle falling off without warning (or had Tatia been handy with a saw!).

My first sponsored ride of 2010 was the Essex Orchid, and a better organised ride you’ll be hard pressed to find.  I am afraid that once again I opted out of the 75 mile and 100 mile routes and decided on the 40 miles.  I also had great support this year and was waved off by Tatia and Seri and then welcomed back by Tatia, Seri, Ellie, James and Zoe.

On the 19 July it was time for the London to Southend bike ride. That can only mean up with the sparrows at 5:30 am in order to catch a train to London in order to enjoy cycling 60 miles back again with a few thousand other like minded souls.  It still amazes me just how badly prepared some people seem and how badly maintained their bikes are.  People seem to not realise just what a 60 mile ride is.  I am pleased with my own performance though as I am steadily improving each year; this year I finished in 3 hours 31 minutes, 9 minutes faster than 2009 and 20 minutes faster than the year before.

Being interviewed

The end of July saw my longest ride ever, 100 miles to nowhere .  Why nowhere?  This was a charity ride I was doing as part of Relay for Life and so consisted entirely of cycling around an athletics track until I had notched up 100 miles.  It really took some doing and may well have been the first and last time I do anything like this.

My last event of the year was the Southend Bikeathon with Seri on her trailer bike.  It was good fun and I was very proud of Seri for keeping on pedalling with enthusiasm for 13 miles.  Her chatter certainly kept me company!

At the finish

2010 also seemed to be full of usual moans and groans about other road users and people who abuse cycle lanes, like this white van man who thought it perfectly ok to use a cycle lane as a car park:

Excuse me but how do I pass?

Then there was the infamous new stretch of cycle lane along the Southend-on-Sea seafront.  I’m sure in a planners sketch book this looked like a good idea, but clearly the planner had never ridden a bike.  The hazards to be  faced include:

  • nothing to stop kids wobbling into the traffic
  • inadequate car door clearance
  • nothing to stop pedestrians using the cycle lane
  • nothing stopping cars parking right next to the path

And what happens when you reach the end of the cycle lane?  Because of the dual carriageway, it looks like riding on the pavement is the only option.

Still, I can say from experience that it is pretty much ok at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings.

On the pro cycling front, after 42 years there was once again a British team in the Tour de France. Team Sky were named among the 22 teams to compete.  But all of the promise slowly faded away as Bradley Wiggins didn’t live up to expectations.  And the Alberto Contador doping allegation saga is still running.

And once again, stories of drugs and doping over shadowed the sport. http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/drugs-and-rumours-mar-cyclings-year-28710

So that was 2010, here’s looking forward to 2011

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