It is fair to say that in terms of cycling, 2016 has been a bit of a struggle so far for me! The most amount of miles I have got on the bike has been my 15 mile daily commute to work, and the occasional Saturday or Sunday quick (1 hour) morning ride. Maybe the effects of the Christmas holidays are lingering. Whatever the reason, it is time for change. So, today I kick started my cycling for 2016 back into life. It may have been blowing a gale, driving rain and generally unpleasant when I woke up, but after a hearty breakfast, I got dressed in my cycling gear and braved the elements! And I'm so glad I did. I survived and came away with a renewed energy and focus. My body is back to life after a month of chilling out a little too much!
The ride today took me to areas I haven't cycled for a while and all the views reminded me of what a beautiful island Jersey is to explore by bicycle. The weather suddenly changed after leaving home; the wind wasn't going anywhere, but the rain drifted away, leaving me me with gorgeous blue skies and sunshine. I may have only covered 30 miles, but it gave me that great buzz you get from exercise and left me wanting to cover more miles. If I hadn't had other commitments, I would have been out all day.
Today was also a day to dust down the touring bicycle and getting me ready for my 2016 year of cycle touring. Until today I had been only riding my single speed bicycle (by the way the bike is fuchsia red and not pink - many people make this mistake!). This bicycle is great for winter riding, as it keeps maintenance levels low and really helps keep your fitness in check, especially when not doing as many miles as normal. Pedaling this up some of the hills on my way home make me want to cry!
I loved riding my touring bicycle today - the memories of previous cycle tours and the ideas of where to go next that makes me smile! With a cycle tour rapidly approaching in late March, I'll now continue riding this bicycle to get me into cycle touring mode.
After today, I'm feeling much happier. I have a cycling purpose again, rather than just existing between home and work. My mind is now thinking cycle touring and is eager to get out there and explore. It is time to get planning more cycle tours and weekends away :-)
What am I up to this year?
Well, so far, I have two trips booked up. Both of which are listed on cyclingtouring.org. The first has been submitted by a cyclingtouring.org member. Simon is riding from London to the Sahara at the end of March. I'm going to join his tour in Northern France and ride all the way down to Spain, where I'll turn round and head back up towards Jersey. There is still one place left, so maybe you fancy coming along? http://www.cyclingtouring.org/touring-events/join-a-cycling-tour/event/0/91-endurance-adventure/56-london-to-the-sahara
The other cycle tour is my own tour from Poole, UK to Clitheroe, Lancashire. I'm heading up to the Cycle Touring Festival an thought it would be rude not to cycle there! There are a few places left if you like the idea of this one? http://www.cyclingtouring.org/touring-events/join-a-cycling-tour/event/0/90-touring-holiday/81-poole-to-cycle-touring-festival
That is it for now. After all this cycling, I need some sleep!
I hope this post helps anyone out who has been struggling me to get out on your bicycle in 2016. Do try to break the cycle (excuse the pun!) and just get out there. Forget about the weather. Maybe visit somewhere new. Go with some friends. And above all, smile and remember all the good times you have had cycling!
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