bikebritain News January 14, 2012

Looking straight ahead; welcome to 2012!

Can you believe we are already half way through January? You hear this all the time, but it really is crazy how quickly time passes by. So let's take a quick look back through 2011 and see what's coming up for 2012.

Firstly the stats. Outside of Cycle Oregon and RIDE24 (more of these later) I use the Cyclemeter app on my iPhone to track my rides. This means I have a good record of my activity throughout the year, which were good months and which were the lazy ones! It turns out that I specifically rode (not including my commute because it's so short) 128 times accruing nearly 6,000 km and ascending about 40,000 meters. About 170,000 calories where expended (just as well), with my average ride lasting 1hour 40 minutes. Not bad, but always room for improvement. The website itself achieved nearly 17,000 hits during the year. 

I had originally targeted to ride one of the Greatest Cycling Climb hills each month. I didn't quite manage that, but I encountered some fairly stiff challenges along the way. River Road in Matlock stands out, as does Mow Cop. There will be more mad hill climbing during 2012, I can assure you. Plus, I still have unfinished business with Porlock Hill. 

Closer to home, we've remained a one car family and used the bike trailer throughout the tear, come rain or shine, transporting our son primarily to and from nursery. As he's gotten older he's enjoyed the experience more and more - and for my wife and I its become more and more of a challenge....he's getting quite heavy! They'll be doing this journey tomorrow and I hope it's not raining for you both! 

One of the aims of bikebritain is to have a community/charity component to the brand. In 2011 bikebritain sponsored Ian Taylor to cycle the length of Britain which he achieved in May. Well done Ian, a terrific effort. Team bikebritain also entered the inaugural RIDE24 event at Goodwood where we raised somewhere in the region of £1300 specifically for sick children. An amazing experience and a very touching cause. We were all so tired by the end of it, but it was worth every minute. Thank you to all our sponsors and those special people who came to support us during that time - you know who you are.

September was a very special time for myself, Swazy and Malcolm; we rode in another Cycle Oregon. It was spectacular week, filled with laughter and mileage, cycling through another scenic part of Oregon. It was an opportunity to catch up with Californian Craig and meet his son Brevin who completed the course with his Dad on a tandem. Great work. A long time to be away from the family, but we all had a terrific time. 500 miles later we had some stories to tell. If you have 45 minutes to spare you should check out the video.....it also provided a chance to meet PortlandBiker, Phil, who is a proper (hardcore) cyclist!  

So what for 2012?

In terms of events, there are a couple already in my sights. I intend to ride at least 6 wiggle or Evans events, as well as the Worthing Winter Warmer held at the beginning of February. I have been really impressed with the organisation of all the commercial rides in 2011 and if you've not tried one before, it's worth a go. The signing is usually very good and you get the chance to meet some like-minded people. And see some smart bikes.

As far as more exotic rides go I intend to get back to Mallorca this year, perhaps in May. It will have been 2 years since I was last there and I feel the need to climb the Puig Major again. And Sa Calobra. In the same ride. Tasty. There's a three mountain ride with my name on it in South Wales at some point as well, plus a Summer trip to Scotland with my RIDE24 team mates to scale the hill that is graded 11/10 by Simon Warren. If Riber Road was anything to go by, this is going to be tough......

Well the charity contributions will continue. I am delighted to announce that already Luke, Malcolm and Frank have verbally signed up for this years RIDE24 following our 28/50 placed finish last June. I think we can go better; in terms of our fund raising and our final placement. I think there's probably a work team I could organise as well....nothing like a bit of friendly competition to move you up the rankings. We should really start working on our tactics now.......

In terms of the website I shall be making some tweaks, but nothing radical. I'll be including some (long overdue) links to a couple of local organisations and perhaps include a brief bio page about my cycling background. The fan page, at www.facebook.com/bikebritain will continue to be updated as well as the Twitter feeds. I also hope to produce the 200th article for the website sometime this year. If you have ideas for material or things we should test, then please email me at ride@bikebritain.org. Moreover, if you would like to contribute to the site then again, please contact me. The more writers, the broader the appeal of bikebritain. I should also take a moment to thank Lukey and Emma folks who did write for bikebritain during 2011. 

I read an interesting article on the web recently. It said it (the web) was an 'opt in' environment, where people made individual choices to spend their time browsing whatever they wanted. Not only that, all ideas were created equal on the web and personal contribution counted much more than individual credentials. I think you can relate this to bikebritain. I may not have been a pro cyclist but my experiences on two wheels provide a level of credibility that hopefully you, the reader or viewer, can relate to.

The final word should go to you! Thanks for your on-going interest in bikebritain and I hope this will continue to be the case throughout 2012.

So that's the plan. I remain as committed as ever to developing bikebritain, despite an absolutely frantic 'proper' work schedule. One day, bikebritain will also be known as a market leading cycling event; until such time myself and my co-contributors will be passing comment on all things cycling.....and anything else that has two wheels that gets in our way! So ride safely during 2012 - especially since its cold, dark and probably wet out there just now!

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