This year has been a roller-coaster year to be honest, full of ups and downs.
January started with a new job on the outskirts of London - potentially meaning that I could get out on my bike a lot more cycling to work. However, I seem to have spent the majority of the time on my bike commuting to and from work and the social rides and just rides at the weekend have been missing. Part of this can potentially be attributed to doing a lot more with my air cadet unit, though some of it could be down to laziness at weekends.
Perhaps the other reason has been that I'd dug out my running shoes this year again. I've run 244Km this year, slightly under my PB of 246Km in 2012. Running had become part of my training routine again as I was trying to join the Royal Air Force and cycling unfortunately isn't part of the training or entrance fitness test! However, I've enjoyed running again and it's been good to see progress. I'll look into trying to break the 300Km mark next year, though I won't be joining the RAF as they have declined my application due to medical grounds. Whilst disappointing, I'm looking to run some of the local races again next year (such as the Welwyn 10K).
Whilst I say I've not done as much cycling, I've still managed to do my second best year in terms of distance - last year was a PB with 3,741Km total of running, walking and cycling and this year is 2,721Km.
However, my climbing this year has been pretty pitiful.
The main part of this has been that the route I take to work is fairly flat - going via an old railway line, so the path is fairly flat. Without the weekend rides to make up the elevation, my elevation has been fairly flat line - like my bike rides! ;)
So I've had new toys this year, with the purchase of my Verenti Substance Sora from Wiggle in the later half of the year.
The delay in getting it (thanks to some issues with my cycle to work voucher) has meant that I haven't ridden it quite as much as I could have done (and then it managed to get a puncture only on it's second ride out). However, I look forward to using this more next year.
Overall, the year hasn't been too bad for activities and I look forward to 2017. It looks like that 2017 will be different and unique challenges to the table - for example, I'm looking at more hiking and walking expeditions this coming year, with the potential for getting registered on the Mountain Leader scheme and to become a Duke of Edinburgh assessor/supervisor. Obviously, this could make that cadets takes more priority over cycling again but I'll see what happens. I don't intend to stop cycling to work either!
However, that shouldn't stop me setting myself some aims for the new year - just to keep things interesting.
- I'd like to cycle to work at least 100 times in a year. Considering that I can't really cycle to work on Tuesdays or Thursdays due to evening commitments with my cadet unit, this reduces the number of days I have available to cycle. However, I believe this should be doable.
- I'd like to hit 3,0000Km of cycling and 300Km of running this coming year, with some more hiking etc thrown in for good measure.
- Elevation wise, I'd like to see myself exceed this year. This means getting out at weekends or evenings during the summer and aiming for some actual inclines.
- Perhaps a sportive or organised ride this year would prove to be a good distraction and training aim. I had wanted to do the London Revolution but I'm not sure I'll do that this year, though I have my eye on the London to Bath route and I'd love to do the Devon Coast to Coast ride. That might include some of those hills I'm looking for as well!
- Lastly, I've seen a club on Strava and I've seen a Road.cc post about it before about riding all the roads in the local area. I'm looking at doing this for Welwyn Garden City and then perhaps spreading out to nearby areas as well as I know there are areas of Welwyn I've never even visited since I moved here in 2014 and I know that I've rarely (never via bike at least) gone to old Welwyn either so I think it's high time that I changed this. I'll look into marking all rides I do this on Strava with the hashtag #RER (Ride Every Road) so then I can use the excellent Strava Multiple Ride Mapper tool to track this and keep a copy of the final results.
I've continued to track all my rides on Strava and I've now gone back to Garmin to also track data (with two Garmin devices, data goes into Strava through the Garmin Connect app, thanks to its auto linking). This way I'll have two copies of my data online, though I also keep all the files from the devices as well so I have the originals - either by downloading from Strava in the earlier part of the year, before getting them from the device or from Garmin Connect. I've done this since 2012 so I've a few years of data now.
Once again, I've renewed my subscription to Veloviewer. I found the service excellent for looking at Strava tracks in more details and specifically I like the mapping feature where I can view all my rides on a global map. My Veloviewer infographic for 2016 can be seen below.
Looking at the aims for the new year, Veloviewer will continue to provide excellent value for money for the £10 it has cost me for a year of service.
So onwards and upwards and here's to 2017! Happy New Year all.