2014: A fantastic cycling year!

Looking back at my 2014, it has been a top year on two wheels! Actually the past couple of years have been great and in that respect I am truly lucky. Here’s a few quick stats I’ve pulled from my Garmin account:

Total Distance:   4462 miles / 7180 km
Longest Ride:   101.5 miles / 163 km
Elevation Gain:   145,778 ft / 44,443 metres
Biggest month:   June – 585 miles / 940 km

There were many highlights along the way – too many to name them all – so here’s a quick run down of just a few of my high points from 2014.

Tour of the South East

This was a two-day, 185 mile ride offering the full “pro peloton” experience. That included ability seeded groups, timed hill climb sections, domestiques in each group offering support, motorcycle outriders stopping traffic at junctions and team cars loaded with spare wheels and bikes! I wasn’t “lucky” enough to suffer a mechanical, but if you got a flat you simply rolled to a stop so the team car could swap out a new wheel and get you going again!

NSPCC001Anthony, James, Richard, Dave (our domestique), Marcos and I at the finish!

This was (for me at least) a very challenging two days in the saddle, but two of the most memorable and enjoyable rides of 2014. It was great to share the experience with a bunch of my club mates and also raise a bit of money for charity. I couldn’t have done it without them as they pushed me to ride harder than I thought I could at the time.

The Rapha Festive 500

I couldn’t leave this one off the list! Ride 500km in the eight days between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. I really pushed my endurance limits with this Strava challenge and even rode my first ever imperial century along the way. It was cold and mentally draining at times but I’m glad I completed it.

editied-strava-finish

A bunch of other Strava Challenges

Along with the mammoth Festive 500, I also managed to tick off a whole bunch of other Strava challenges throughout the year.

trophycaseSome may knock Strava, but I find it a great social and motivational tool. I can keep tabs on my own progress and see what and where my mates are riding.

Their 2014 series of monthly Gran Fondo challenges have pushed me to up my distances and get some extra miles ridden. Last year my longest ride was less than 80 miles, this year a shade over 100 miles! I managed to bag 10 out of the 12 monthly Fondos. And no, I didn’t buy all the limited edition jerseys!

Being part of a club

Being part of a thriving cycling club has been a game changer for me. Over the last two years I’ve seen the club ride grow from just a handful of guys meeting under a tree at the Leisure Centre, to as many as fifty riders turning up for a summer ride out to the Surrey Hills! Aside from the cycling, the club’s monthly social nights at a local pub are a great way to catch up and chat over a pint away from the confines of Lycra.

WCC crestAs the club’s competition secretary I organised a series of evening time trials, with a hill climb at either end of the season. The hill climbs especially were greeted with much enthusiasm by many riders. I’m hoping to grow this in 2015 with larger fields and introduce a few more newbies to the dark world of time trialling.

So that’s 2014 all wrapped up, now looking forward to an epic 2015!

How was your year on the bike? #keepcycling

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