2008 Planning

December 30, 2007

Photo by Mike Rhode used under cc licenseThis year I cycled nearly 10,000km and nearly two thirds of that was through commuting alone.

Fun weekend rides and a cycling holiday in Holland added nearly 1,000km while almost 1,500km were through training for cyclosportives.

The events themselves added just over 1,100km to my total.

I don’t plan to ride any further overall next year and I’m adopting the same approach to sportives that I did this year.

From April to November I’m going to ride in at least one event each month and use them to see a few of the more attractive parts of this small green island near Europe.

Cyclosport.org has already listed what I think are all of next year’s sportives so I spent some time picking out my favourites and then seeing which of them I could fit into a sensible calendar.

April: White Horse Challenge. The perfect start to a season taking you past four chalk white horses carved into the hills around Swindon with 3,000 year old Uffington the oldest (and highest).

May: Gran Fondo Cymru. A very hilly looking meander through Wales’ Snowdonia National Park.

June: London to Brighton charity ride. A frustrating experience if you don’t get an early start but for a good cause.

June: Circuit of the Cotswolds. A chance to revisit some of the scenic villages I toured through in August last year. Hopefully at a slightly greater pace this time.

July: Dunwich Dynamo XVI. The legendary overnight ride from London to the medieval sunken city of Dunwich on the Suffolk coast.

Aug: Devil Ride. A new 100 mile event over many of the classic climbs of mid Wales, including the infamous Devils Staircase.

Sep: Southern Sportive or the Circuit of Kent. The Southern was thoroughly enjoyable this year but the Circuit of Kent also looks good.

Oct: Ride of the Falling Leaves. An iconic end of season ride that starts from London’s Herne Hill Velodrome before a very energetic spin out into the hills of Kent past Winston Churchill’s home and back.

So, despite my cycling saving me what I’d normally spend on public transport and going to the gym, I’m now spending that on the travel, entrance fees and sometimes accommodation for these events — but getting a much better return on the investment.

Also, there’s an opportunity for a two-week cycling holiday at the end of October and Laos looks highly likely, but that’s another post.

Good luck to you in realising your goals next year and I hope you managed to achieve everything that was important to you this year.

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3 Responses to “2008 Planning”

  1. edward Says:

    You cycled roughly the same distance as me this year – ouch!

    Good luck with the sportives – I did three in three weeks last year, and that proved exhausting (though, after a month or so, my legs settled and I was much quicker in time trials than before the sportives…) – I do think they’re one of the most civilised forms of cycle sport, and always good fun.

    I did the circuit of the cotswolds last year, there’s a report on my blog somewhere, I’d also recommend the Chiltern 100 and, if you fancy climbing, the White Rose Classic in Yorkshire.

    Time/money constraints mean I’ll probably only do the chiltern 100 this year (though Paris-Roubaix is also being mooted…)

    Thanks also – I’ve been reading various cycling blogs the past week, and they’ve helped motivate me, after I’d really started lagging in Nov/Dec!

    Will certainly see you on the Dynamo!

  2. edward Says:

    Damn! Just checked my blog, and I lied to you: I didn’t actually get round to writing up my Circuit of the Cotswolds experience…

    Point was, I did that ride having done the Chiltern 100, then the White Rose the next week, then the Circuit of the Cotswolds.

    I was then supposed to do the British Cyclosportive but was all cycled out, so I took some time off to recover.

    I think my enjoyment of the C of the Cotswolds was limited by the fact I was a bit jaded by that point (and that I had a long cycle to the start, and got lost trying to find Oxford afterwards, meaning I did 155 miles for the day).

    However, it did have some inevitably beautiful scenery (including some free scenery as a huge bunch of us went off route), and it was pretty well organised. Cleeve Hill is the only hill I’ve ever had to get off – not due to tiredness, but sheer gravity and being undergeared. A real challenge.

    The descents were mostly rolling and not as hairy as the ones I’d encountered in Yorkshire, the ascents (apart from Cleeve Hill) were dig-in-and-grind affairs.

    This was also the point where the summer started to disappear, so it didn’t have the blazing sunshine of the Chiltern 100 or WRC.

  3. edward Says:

    Hi Adrian, you may have heard of this, but given your mention of ‘cost’ above, this may be of interest to you – and it raises an interesting point about British over-organisation?

    “This years Het Volk cyclo is set for the 26th of April. The event
    starts and ends in Ghent and features distances of 30, 65, 85, 120,
    165 and 210km – so there is something for everyone. Entry prices
    range from Euro 1.25 for the 30km event to a staggering Euro 3.70 for
    the 210km one. No messing about with online entry and doctors certs,
    you turn up ON THE DAY, pay your £2.50 and ride your bike (are you
    listening UK cyclosportive industry INC?).

    As it features some sections of pave it would be excellent prep for
    Paris-Roubaix. Also, the parcours takes in many of the climbs of the
    Tour of Flanders – without the other 8000 riders on that sportive – so
    anyone wanting to experience riding these famous bergs can do so
    without the traffic.”


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