Posts Tagged ‘ronde van vlaanderen’

Delayed like last year, but here it is – a summary of my pathetic performance on the bike last year (at least in terms of mileage).

My total mileage in

  • 2010 : 2,266 km / 1,409 miles
  • 2011 : 3,796 km / 2,359 miles
  • 2012: 2,111 km / 1,312 miles

Month-wise Recap
2012 - Monthly Mileage

The few miles in Jan’12 were all on the rollers. Actually, it was exactly 6 sessions of 10km each on the rollers.

Feb was a quiet month, given the delayed cold wave and because I wanted to spend all spare time with girlfriend, who was going off for a month to Peru. It was also when I took a dip in the pool, and decided to stay – started properly learning swimming.

March was much better than usual. Signed up and rode 2 early season sportives – Burgess Hill Springtime Classic, which I barely managed to finish, and Evans Cycles’ Woking Ride It event, half of which I rode with a broken saddle. Topped off the month by riding the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) sportive, my first event on the continent. Unlike the two previous events this month, this one was a success. Managed to successfully finish the sportive, while riding up all but one climbs, while much fitter (looking) riders all around me faltered. Even made a few friends on the ride – couple of lads from the US, and two young brothers from Belgium. All in all, an ace month for riding.

April was washed out in getting married, and the subsequent (long) India trip.

May & June were regular early summer months with lots of rides, but not many long ones. Highlight of May was the half-loop of Evans Cycles’ King of Mountains sportive, which made me quickly realise how much fitness I’d lost over the previous month (and how much had I gorged on – weight had increased by 8 kgs!!) Highlight for the month of June was the BHF London-Brighton-London ride. While the ride to Brighton was slow (30,000+ riders on narrow country roads), the ride back was faster and easier. Best bits were climbing the Ditchling Beacon through those crowds, hi-fiving kids along the finishing straight, descending a steep South-Downs chalk-trail in cleats while carrying the bike, and riding the last 20 miles with a family of 3, 2 of whom were planning to ‘ride-ahead’ of le Tour a week later.

July was the highest intensity of riding, though it lasted just about a week. Here is how the stats for 1st 7 days of July read:

1-Jul-2012 Richmond Park Century 101.58
2-Jul-2012 Richmond Park Century 100.54
3-Jul-2012 Regent’s Park Century 101.83
4-Jul-2012 Richmond Park Half Century 50.80
5-Jul-2012 Richmond Park Century 100.71
6-Jul-2012 Regent’s Park Century 100.07
7-Jul-2012 Sutton – Brighton 82.49

Little did I then know that this flurry of rides were going to be my last good rides for the year! After getting drenched in 4 of those 7 rides, I decided to take a break from riding in the rain, which, given English weather, meant no cycling for a couple of weeks.

August was lost to a hiking trip to the Lake District. It is a beautiful country, great for cycling, but even better for hiking. I’m still in love ;)

September saw a new member join our young family. Our Labrador puppy, fondly referred to as Chewbacca, took up all our waking, non-working time in September, October & November. Out the window went all Cycling, Hiking, Swimming plans. Heck, even heading out for dinner to a diner around the corner became an exercise in advanced planning and quick gulping.

December should’ve seen some riding, but by now I was completely out of form, vastly overweight, and extremely lazy. The cold and non-stop rain and flooding didn’t help my enthusiasm either.

The chart below shows a comparison of rides over last two years, and starkly highlights how badly I dropped off the circuit in 2nd half of 2012. The graph in faded blue is 2011 mileage.

Cumulative Mileage - 2012 & 2011

Overall, my 3 highlights of biking in 2013 were:

  • Riding the cobbles (Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour of Flanders sportive)
  • Up the Beacon (London-Brighton-London, hadn’t ever ridden to Brighton before because I had a mental block about my ability to climb the Ditchling Beacon)
  • Century Week (1st week of July when I rode 5 century rides and 2 half-century rides, before being stopped by a lack of dry clothing, shoes & will power)
  • Successfully completing 30 days of ‘Ride-Everywhere’ in March

Looking back at the targets I’d set for myself for 2012, the performance was dismal:

  • 4000 miles of riding, all inclusive – Failed massively, riding about a 3rd of the distance
  • More sportives (attended only 2 this year) – A success, mainly due to the 3 sportives in March. Not by much though, given year’s total of 5
  • Lower HR – Very successful while I was still riding. Had seen a drop of about 20bpm in avg HR while increasing the speed. Will need to work it back again :(
  • Better Climbing (subjective, but important) – Subjective. Found the climbs in Ronde moderate but succumbed in King of the Downs
  • 100 50mile+ rides – Big Fail!
  • LEJOG / Cycling vacation in Lake District – Did have a vacation in Lake District, but wasn’t a cycling one. Went hiking.
  • Cycling vacation on the continent, preferably closer to the Alps – Didn’t happen, and unlikely to happen in near future while Chewbacca grows up.
  • Get Rags a road bike and get her riding hills with me :) – Biggest success of the year! For the latter half, she actually rode a lot more than me. And already has 3 rides logged in 2013 while I’m yet to get out.

Targets for 2013

Finally, coming to plans for 2013. They are simple (and likely too ambitious):

  • 2500 miles / 4000 km of riding, all inclusive
  • At least ONE ride in each month of the year
  • Lower HR
  • Better Climbing (planning to do Kingston gate – Robinhood gate reps in Richmond Park)
  • 50 30mile+ rides

Doable? We’ll know before long :)