bikebritain News December 26, 2012

bikebritain's review of 2012

bikebritain's review of this year

It's been another hectic year for bikebritain. It's hard to believe it's another 12 months has elapsed from the last retropsective. Honestly, juggling bikebritain content with my paid employment is getting harder and harder, but I remain committed to the bikebritain vision. I firmly believe bikebritan will one day become a national bike tour. The original plan was to run a tour that had matured by the time the 2012 Olympics came to town. Everything else aside, I had the right idea. This year, cycling has gone interstellar. Mark Cavendish has been reigning UCI World Champion, Bradley Wiggins has won the Tour de France, at the Olympics Team GB basically cleaned up in the Velodrome and Team Sky have dominated the pro tour this season. I never thought we'd see the day when this level of GB pre-eminence would be achieved - let alone in all one year! You could say Bradley Wiggins winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year - a cyclist(!) - simply tells its own story. And from a Team Sky perspective, the TdF victory came 2 years ahead of schedule. Just think what might happen in the Grand Tours during 2013.

2012 wasn't just a year of achievement for our Team GB athletes; bikebritain hit a couple of milestones as well. Another 3000 miles or so was ridden for starters. More specifically, in April I rode up Bealach Na Ba with Swazy - probably the closest we can get to an alpine pass in the UK. Despite a couple of technical issues (Frank forgetting his skewers and me not screwing my right hand pedal in properly), we managed two successful ascents of the slope http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=145 I continued on my quest to complete the UK's 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs (according to Simon Warren), only to find the blighter had gone and found another 100 for me to ride up! Later on in the year myself, Malc and Lukey flew to Mallorca where we cycled round a good portion of the hilly bits. Malc and I had been there upteen times, but it was still alot of fun. For Lukey it was his first time on proper 'hills' and he acquitted himself very well. You can read about his mountain climbing advice on here - http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=175 It was  2 years since I'd clocked 100 miles in one outing - this year I've managed to go North of that distance on two occasions, both during the Summer. (In case you missed it, it lasted for two weeks in early August). The second time I rode it in less than 6 hours which I thought was decent going, especially since I was riding over Downs. More of that needed next year I think! From a spectators perspective watching the road race during the Olympics http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=159 and then deciding to 'squeeze in' some individual time trialling the following Wednesday was extremely exciting http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=163 Bradley Wiggins must have ridden through a tunnel of cheering that day. The atmosphere was electric and I am so glad I made the effort to go and watch him win. On a smaller scale, the Tour of Britain no doubt benefitted from being in the the Olympics hue, and being able to see Cavendish sprint to victory in the final stage was just as exciting. They just need to work on the organisation a little bit.    

I'm pleased to say the @bikebritain Twitter followers continue to grow (although some of them are slightly questionable) and the Facebook fan-base has also steadily increased since this time last year. 

I'm undecided what challenges I'll take on in 2013. I still figure one '100 Greatest Climb' a month is a reasonable objective. I'd like to go back to Mallorca and ride the full length of the mountains (along the MA-10) in one stage. I will compete in a couple of Triathlons but the shins are hit and miss when it comes to running. I'm going to have to that portion from scratch. AMR have already been in contact asking whether bikebritain will submit a team for 2013 challenge. So far, bikebritain sponsors have raised over £3000 for research into diseases that afflict children http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=155 'Thank You' to everyone whose made a contribution. Next year’s event will be held at Thruxton in September and maybe the weather will be better. However, as Lukey commented, if you 'Google' "Is Thruxton windy?" you get 511,000 results. No change there then. At least they have shower facilities! For sure bikebritain will participate in some kind of sponsorship activity, but in what format remains to be seen. The idea of taking part in an Enduro (at Brands Hatch) also appeals and this is in the same month, so maybe I'll opt for doing something different.......

There's something else that happens in 2013; I reach my 40th year and for sure I will be doing something cycling related to celebrate. I've been looking at 'Ride the Rockies' and Cycle Virginia, but they are both planned for June and for one reason and another, June is already a busy month for me. A tour of some description is definitely planned, but again, right now, I'm not quite sure what format that will take. I think there's about zero chance of getting into Oregon this year given how quickly it sold out this year (just 40 minutes).

Before I go I'll just mention two more special 'Thank You’s'. The first goes to Lukey who has continued to support the site throughout year, sharing his cycling related observations with myself and the rest of the bikebritain populous. I am still chuckling at his Top 5 tips to ride up the Puig Major - http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=176 The second goes to Kayren, my wife, who continues to turn a blind eye to (a) the cycling purchases that have been made through the year and (b) my scarce free time a significant portion of which that's been utilised being on 2 wheels. I appreciate your understanding sweetheart. I hope you, the bikebritain readership have enjoyed and/or found the site entertaining and/or useful during 2012. They'll be more of the same for 2013....... 

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