Year Ahead : 2015

As last year was ending I sat down and thought about what I wanted to achieve in 2015. These goals centred around my chosen four areas of focus, personal, professional, cycling and photography (cycling kinda comes under an overarching theme of outdoor adventure, but it forms the core of that theme).

I am setting myself goals in each of these areas, targets I feel are ambitious and will require me to push myself, but ultimately should be achievable while allowing myself the flexibility to increase my target if possible.

My cycling related targets for this year are based on more riding, more fun, more skills and more social notworking.

Leadership Award

At the start of 2014 I joined British Cycling in order to work towards the Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award. Having made little/no progress I want to kick myself into action and complete the training necessary to complete this award. There’s a bit of cost involved but mostly it’s my fitness, my confidence and lack of planning that have held me back.

Starting fresh this year I have 4 rides in my course logbook and now need to increase the duration and geographical spread of my future rides to meet the attendance pre-requisites for the course (11 or more rides of 2-3 hours and 4 or more of 4-5+ hours in suitable terrain).

Mileage

I’ve never set a mileage target before so I’m a bit unsure about this one. Things like fitness, weather, holidays etc will all affect what I will be able to achieve here. With that in mind I’ve decided to aim for 2000km (1242 miles), which is less than an original (and arbitrarily picked) target of around 2500 to 3000km.

I’m counting any miles I spend commuting in my yearly total so in the back of my mind I’m still really aiming for 2500 or more but I’m sticking with the more conservative figure of 2000 to keep it achievable. It’s still a fair bit further than I believe I rode last year.

This equates to around 24 miles a week and at the end of January I am already somewhat behind that target (bad weather, laziness and so on). Hopefully this should be much easier over the summer and I’ll catch up and perhaps even raise my target mileage as the year progresses.

Community and Events

Riding socially is fun. Riding alone is great too, but it’s nice to have the option to ride with friends, or to meet other people and ride with them. Last year Mel and I rode the Great Manchester Cycle Ride with friends Steve and Lisa. It was the first event we’ve ridden at and we had a great time riding the empty streets and enjoyed the atmosphere of riding with a lot of other people.

To give myself someone to aim (and train) for this year I’ve entered the Batch Burner event. Taking place over the Long Mynd in June it is 48k of riding, mostly off-road, with around 4000ft of climbing – meaning 4000ft of great descents.

Last year I planned to take part in a trail building day though this didn’t happen (no excuses). This year I want to make the effort to attend at least one build day and put something back into the trails at Cannock that I have enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) riding.

Explore

The more memorable rides from past years have always been the experience of riding somewhere new, usually on natural trails. A mix of natural trails and trail centre riding in a number of different locations is another goal for this year. Hopefully riding somewhere new each month, even if it’s not that far afield, there’s plenty of places reasonably local to me that I haven’t ridden.

Essentially want to get out there, to explore and ride new places and to make more good memories.

Bikepacking

When I rode the WRT a few years back with friends I enjoyed most of it, but couldn’t relax and enjoy it fully due to some anxiety issues and low mood at the time. I still have some hangups but I worry less now, which is good so now I’m more relaxed I’d like to organise and ride a 3 day trip with the first night wildcamping and the second night either wildcamp/campsite/B&B depending on how I feel.

Tracking Progress

I’m recording mileage and rides using Day One (a journalling) app on iOS. Rides as part of my progress to the British Cycling award are being recorded in a course logbook. Other than that I’m using Strava to record most of my rides, including to and from work, so I can track my progress of the year. I’ll also be posting updates to here and Twitter.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your year too. I hope we all have many two-wheeled adventures and make some great memories.

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