Monday, 3 January 2022

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I'm sure we are all wanting something better. I do hope this year blows your socks off!

2021 wasn't the best of years on the challenge front and I've still not cycled the TransAlba Race. Hopefully, the TransAlba will be completed this year, Covid or not. 2021 didn't end so great either, however, it wasn't so bad. No Rapha 500 was completed, however, I did complete the Albion/Re-strap Solstice challenge that awards a funky badge for cycling 100 miles. Having a broken foot is my excuse for not performing wonderfully in 2021.

So, what about 2021? What were the scores on the doors? Well, I didn't cycle or run as far as I had planned or hoped. Below is a list of my distances from last year and yesteryears (dating back to 2009). Cycling distances are followed by run distances.

2009 - 5,086 (3,160) LEJOG 2009
2011 - 8,378 (5,207)   PBP 2011
2012 - 6,935 (4,309)
2013 - 12,498 (7,766) LEL 2013
2014 - 9,253 (5,750)
2015 - 5,531 (3,436) and Ran 1,170 (727)
2016 - 6,515 (4,048) and Ran 1,204 (748) Iron Man (Bolton) 2016/TNR 2016
2017 - 8,940 (5,555) and Ran 514 (319)
2018 - 10,958 (6,809) and Ran 417 (259) TransAtlantic Way Race 2018
2019 - 8,034 (4,992) and Ran 484 (301) Bivy-A-Month 2019
2020 - 10,082 (6,265) and Ran 466 (289)
2021 - 9,021 (5,605) and Ran 319 (198)

So, I didn't achieve my cycling distance and running distance goals from last year (10,000k and 500k respectively) - can I blame a broken foot? I didn't complete TransAlba - definitely blaming Covid for that one (race has now been postponed 2 years running). One of my goals was to enter a cyclo-cross event, which I did - never cycled it though as was cancelled due to Covid. My other goals were to cycle a Tron Bike on Zwift which I managed to achieve and to cycle around a velodrome which didn't happen either. So pretty naff, all in all. However, I still had adventure and loved that very much. Cycling the King Alfred Way was particularly awesome and all my wild camping was very much fun too. 

Let me end this blog post with goals for 2022. They are:
  • Cycle 10,000k and run 500k by end of year. (I am not 'allowed' to even start running for a 'couple' of weeks yet due to the aforementioned broken foot menace).
  • Complete the TransAlba race. 1,000 miles and about 50,000 metres of climbing. (Better start training, especially as I currently weigh 96.9kg, which is seriously ridiculous).
  • Lose weight. My usual weight is around 90kg. All the lack of training/exercising due to broken foot menace has resulted me going up 2'' in my waist size. I'd like to be 88kg or less for TransAlba.
  • Cycle a 200k event on my fixed cycle.
Be the best dad/husband/person that I can. Lat year, I wanted to produce 'fruit of the spirit', - I don't think I produced enough. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5:22-23). I'll give it another go.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

November Rain

November started off so well. Took 'B' out for her first off-road ride and cycled the Breadcrumb Trail. Sweet.

Sweetness soon turned sour. Neil (work buddy) was friends with the drummer from 'Bullet'. Neil and I went to see Bullet play at some venue in Cardiff. This was a 'heavy' night, and heavy dancing led to heavy fall, which led to me breaking my foot.

Doo and Neil

Although my foot hurt somewhat, I didn't know it was broken at the time. I hobbled back to work for a couple of days and then partook in a wonderful cycling adventure. My cycling adventure took me to Weston Super Mare and back. 

Not what I expected to see on my way to WSM (reminded me of playing with Baby Ganesh and Melody)
Melody playing with baby Ganesh
'Spoons breakfast is always a winner
Puncture menace!
No chance, I didn't have paper...
Cycled this Strawberry Line only a couple of weeks back
Made it to WSM!

Celebrating with a JD
JD still calling me on return home
It was only after my wife tasking me to walk our dog, and I replying I couldn't walk that I decided to go and get my foot checked out. Horrors - my foot was broken and I was given a 6 week sick note! Sweet November Rain!

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

October musings

Much happened in the month of October that made me smile. Little did I know that my dog Ernie had the Navajo gene. He really does, he can walk high among the trees!

October's wild camp was another hammock adventure. Both Rob Dog and I took hammocks, however, it was only me who slept on one. Rob Dog preferred to sleep on the ground - not too far away from a big badger hole! As ever, we cooked, ate, slept, awoke and ate some more! Strung up a tarp, not because I needed too, just to make sure I still had the magic. Oh and a certain Bert Warren was buried here. I dubbed this spot 'the burial ground', although Rob Dob said it should be called 'the 2 tomb stones'.

Had a nice trip with my buddy Roger on his tandem. We stopped at Whitlenge tea rooms for breakfast which is always a winner. Cycled to and from Roger's on my wonderful GerTruDe bike.

SJ painted the spare room and converted into an office for me. Strange colour but am not complaining. Check out the 4 screen set up!

My sister, her dogs, daughter and a whole bunch of Iranians rocked up. This turned out to be a rather jolly day. We walked the fields, climbed trees and ate much food at my ma and pa's.

For so long, I had wanted to run 10k. This finally happened on a day during October. Ernie and I, ran from Black Hill car park to the Beacon (Malvern Hills) and back. An almost perfect 10k. It was a real windy, wet and misty day.

October was also the month for a new bike. I've now gotten a MTB at last. This bike is affectionately known as 'B'. This is the first bike with 27.5 wheels and a dropper post that I have ever owned! Debut ride was a quick blast with Ron which ended at the Lark. (We met a guy who was an e-bike MTB fan and he suggested we join him soon for MTB adventure).

October finished with an awesome audax event entitled 'The Ticking Tortoise'. I completed this event with cousin Andy and Ron. So awesome was this adventure, it has it's own blog post!

Sunday, 31 October 2021

The Ticking Tortoise / Changing seasons doorstep challenge

The Ticking Tortoise was a brand new audax event for 2021 - A 166km Severn Bridge Series event with around 1300 metres climbing. I completed this adventure with Ron and Andy P. All in all, a great day out.

Taking inspiration from the route Mike Lane rode 'week in week out' on his way to becoming the 6 Times National Audax Champion,  Oliver Iles designed a winter friendly flat route out to the Somerset Levels and back for riders to enjoy.

Starting from Warmley Waiting Rooms Cafe which opened early for us, we rode a section of the Bristol to Bath Cycle path before a low traffic route through Bristol to get us back onto National Cycle Routes to the flat Clevedon Moors.  Next over to the Strawberry Line in Yatton where we cycled the cycle path till Sandford.

Next we headed onto the Somerset Levels, passing the 18C Ashton Windmill for a well earned Coffee break at the Cycle Friendly Sweets Tea Rooms. To be honest, we had no real break as the queue's were menace. I spent a few mins tightening the bolts to my loose bottle cage.

Next we headed towards Glastonbury for fine views of the Tor before heading back over the Somerset Levels ready for a short but tough climb up to Snake Lane maxing out at 20%.
More riding on the levels before a final short climb with great views back over the Somerset Levels where we took advantage of the FREE Hot Dog stand that was ready for us. I was champion here and devoured 3 double hot dogs!

Then return home from Bleadon onwards was mostly on the same roads out.

I also used this ride to complete Gravel Union's Changing Seasons Doorstep Challenge. The pictures and the brevet card that I needed to complete are pictured below. My route was added to Komoot and the pictures to Instagram.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

AV Park Run 18 September 2021


Completed another Park Run, this one was my second run of the 'new' Arrow Valley course. Had a quicker time than my previous run and finished with a time of 25:06. My position was 54/240. I'm weighing 93+ kg. Hopefully, if I lose weight, I met get a quicker time. Will I ever beat my PB of 21:39?

Wild Camp September 2021

September 2021 saw another wild camp. Just like the previous month, this was another camp in Crow Woods. Jamie and Rob Dog accompanied me on this adventure. Unlike last month, the Phantom was elsewhere. This was Jamie's first hammock camp. Just like me very first attempt to hang, Jamie fell out.

I'm sure it won't be the last time I say it but hammock camping really is the way to go. Kit is lighter and less bulky. Most importantly of all, hammock camping is super comfy. Rob Dog said he wasn't convinced, however, he had never tried the delights.
As per usual, we had much cooked food to eat. Much alcohol to wash foods down. A good nights sleep, followed by breakfast.
We had a little rain in the night. No a real menace, I covered myself with my tarp and stayed dry. I think I should figure out how to string up a hammock tarp and maybe my hammock trips could continue into the winter months.
Before we cleared camp, Jamie encouraged Rob Dog to have a hang in his hammock. Rob Dog was surprised how comfy it felt and ordered a set up a couple of hours later! Am hoping for a multiple hammock hanging trip next month.

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I&#...