Looking back…

It seems an appropriate time to look back over 2018. It’s been quite a year on the bike! I’ve achieved more than I set out to at the start, and far more than I could have imagined when I started cycling about three years ago. I’ve covered a very similar distance this year compared to…

Over the Border

Yesterday I completed the eighth ride in my attempt to complete a Randonnee Round the Year – a 200k ride every calendar month for a year. My original plan had been to ride to my parents’ house for Christmas today (I did this last year and it was a little over 200k), but the forecast wasn’t…

Queen of the South

Had a good ride today. The forecast was for strong gusts from the west, with rain arriving at around lunchtime, so I decided to get an early train to Dumfries (southwest Scotland), and ride home – about 60 miles. It was dark and blustery when I arrived at Bardon Mill station to catch the 07:16….

Drawing a Long Line on the Map

One of the things I love about audax riding is that you end up going a long way. I’ve realised over the last year or so that I am more interested in going further than faster. There’s something incredibly satisfying about drawing a long line on the map, and that is especially the case with a long linear ride….

Digging Deep

Saturday was meant to be my 200k ride for October in my attempt to complete a Randonnee Round the Year (a 200k ride each calendar month for a year). It didn’t go to plan; there was snow, I got mega-cold and made the sensible to choice to quit. I was genuinely fine with having to…

Sometimes You Have to Bail-Out

The plan for today was to ride the Peculiar Old 200 audax. It’s a 200km ride starting in Darlington. The route goes north to Sedgefield, west to Middleton-in-Teesdale, south to Masham and then north again back to Darlington. The forecast a few days ago looked decent. As it got closer to the weekend, the forecasters…

Cycling and Mental Health

Wednesday last week was World Mental Health Day. I was inspired by the courage of a number of friends who shared their own experiences of living with mental health problems. That openness and honesty is so important, and I think this is an example of one way social media can be a powerful force for…

Allen Valley Velo Two-Stage Hill-Climb

Yesterday I took part in my first competitive cycling event: the annual Two-Stage Hill-Climb competition organised by my club. For the uninitiated, it’s a time trial event – riders start at one-minute intervals and race against the clock. In this particular event there are two hills, you race up each in turn and your combined…

Humber Bridge 200 Audax

A year ago I took part in my first audax. An audax is a non-competitive long-distance cycling event, with its origins in France. As I understand it, years ago cyclists in France would ride from one city to another and back again within a certain time-frame, bringing some sort of proof of having visited their…

Tofu Stir-fry after a Weekend Away

I’ve been away for a residential weekend as part of a study course I’m doing. It was the first time I had really had to rely on someone else to cook me vegan food. I had informed my college in advance, so just had to trust that the message would get through. I have stayed…