A look back.

Well December and Christmas has been and gone.  Over the course of the Christmas break I picked up a bit of a nasty virus which knocked me for six.   I’m only just getting over it two weeks into January but at least I’m now back out on the bike, albeit with some catching up to do.  All I could do was sit out the virus which gave me good time to reflect on last year and look forward to 2017.  As we all know its good to look at the past before planning for the future.

LOOKING BACK

Its been a good year with a number of successes.  No podium finishes or anything like that, but successes nonetheless.  I finished the Transcontinental Race which was my main goal of the year.  In the lead up to it I rode many Audax’s, using those to work on the unsupported nature of racing.  I think I’ve found that balance now between being uncomfortable and able to successfully finish and being uncomfortable and failing (like the previous year).  I just need to work on the success bit now to be even more successful.  To do that I need to move some of the boundaries even farther away and make things a tad more challenging.

So just to summarise my year…

I rode just short of 14,000miles over 170 rides last year, that’s a significant increase on 2015.  Pleased with that.

Cycling Century Challenge (YCC)

I took part in the Cycling Century Challenge which started on the 1st Jan 16 and ran through the full course of the year.  Initially I targeted 50 tons but managed to finish with 82 tons finishing 11th overall from across the whole of the UK.  Again I’m pleased with that although a 100 would have been nice.  Something to target next year.

My prize for the most tons in August.

My prize for the most tons in August.

Bryan Chapman Audax

In the Spring I rode the Bryan Chapman 600km Audax, essentially its a lumpy Wales End to End and back.  I finished in a speedy time of 26.5hrs, thats total elapsed time, my fastest 600km to date.  Anything that’s the fastest you’ve ever done is always good.  Here’s my ride.

The Transcontinental Road Race

As we all know I successfully finished the Transcontinental Road Race, an unsupported race of 4,000kms across Europe finishing in 14 days 2hrs and placed 42nd in the GC.  Brilliant…here’s my ride.

Completed.

Completed.

Isle of Man tour

Two weeks after the Transcontinental Race I rode a tour of the Isle of Man with my good friend Martian Cioana, another long distance cyclist.  We thought it a good idea to ride up to Liverpool, jump a ferry to the Isle of Man, tour the island, head back to Liverpool then ride back home.  That was 485 miles over the course of a weekend with not too much sleep to tell you the truth.  A bus shelter came in handy on the return journey.  Martian comes up with these ideas, all good fun though.  Here’s my rides.

Martian...he's a cool dude.

Martian…he’s a cool dude.

Revolve 24

In September I was invited to ride in the Revolve 24 event, a team circuit race over 24 hours.  It was held on the Brands Hatch racing circuit.  I was part of an Isobar Compression Team.  Isobar Compression offer bespoke compression garments set to the pressure you need to improve circulation.  Therefore the main aim, as well as racing, was to raise awareness of the dangers of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms, the latter commonly known as the silent killer.  The team pulled together had all suffered with either condition in the past, myself a pulmonary embolism.  With a mixed team of four we finished 4th overall covering an amazing 513 miles in 24hrs on what is a hilly and challenging circuit.  Our team Captain, Jasmijn Muller (aka Duracell Bunny) went away with a car boot full of prizes.  It was a real buzz, great camaraderie with great team members…thanks for the invite and ride Jasmijn and also thanks to the Isobar Compress team for everything.  Results can be found HERE.  Maybe I’ll have a go at a solo effort next year?

As you can see I'm sweating a little bit.

As you can see I’m sweating a little bit.

That just about covers 2016, Its been hard and its been challenging, but my best year yet.  The new year needs to better this so I’ll be pushing my limits both in training and racing to see where it gets me!

Good luck everybody and have a great year.

Paul

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