I managed to complete my 5000 miles at the beginning of October much to my surprise. My total mileage for the year was 6,343 miles, which took me 365 hours and I also hit my target of raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK with £2009 raised.
The hardest thing I found about the challenge was finding the time to fit in my riding. Having to juggle my business and spending time with my family. The actual riding was a joy and if I’d have had the time I would have been out a lot more.
Although I had got back into road cycling back in October 2021 the challenge gave me the incentive to go that extra mile and the fund raising helped too.
I’m surprised how my fitness improved so quickly after not really doing much exercise since I gave up competitive cycling in 1986 aged 16 and taking up smoking not long after that. I would say I’m well and truly hooked again.
Since my last blog I completed another Sportive, the “Puncheur”, which is 62 miles around the South Downs with 1,320 meters of climbing and finishes at the top of Ditchling Beacon.
I managed to finish the course in 3 hours 34 minutes which meant I was the 24th finisher out of 250 and set the fourth best time in my age group. I was pretty happy with that.
I’ve also been setting some good times on Strava segments one in particular on Brighton seafront. At the moment I’m sixth overall out of 29,835, and joint first in my age group. It’s a completely flat section, half-a-mile long, and I managed a time of 51 seconds with an average speed of 33.4 mph. The KOM time being 49 seconds.
All my miles apart from around 20 have been ridden outside, I’m quite happy to go out in the rain, and love riding when it’s frosty, but not so much in a strong wind. Having said that with the weather being so bad at the moment I just bought myself a second hand Elite Direto turbo trainer at a bargain price.
The highlights of my year were the Puncheur and the two days I spent riding in the Yorkshire Dales which made me realise what I've been missing out on. I can only imagine what it must be like riding in the Alp’s or Pyrenees which is what I hope to do one day.
The other thing I have enjoyed is buying all the gear that I could never afford when I was racing as a junior, and although I have been banned from talking about cycling at home, my wife has been very supportive.
I did jokingly say I was going to aim for 10,000 miles in 2022. Her response was; "you’re not single, but you could be!"
I will be doing the CW5000 challenge again this year, but will be riding more productively and hope to start doing time trials when the season starts . First I need to loose the five kilos I put on over the festive season.
Thank you Cycling Weekly for giving me that extra boost, and to my late father Raymond White who got me into cycling in the first place who I thought of on every ride. This in memory of you.
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