Monday, 31 May 2010

One Year Anniversary

Today represents my one year anniversary of getting into cycling, following a 23 year break! Like many cyclists who are re-discovering the wonders of being out on two wheels, my initial motivation was to get fitter and lose some weight.

Looking back, in May last year when I did the Manchester to Liverpool bike ride, 30 miles seemed an astonishing distance, something to train for. Here I am today, considering that a basic training ride. I looked at some ride stats earlier, and was surprised to see that I have covered 1,821 miles since beginning to log my rides in August 2009. 1,242 of those have been between January and May this year (avg. 250 p/m), 982 of those in the last three months (avg. 327 p/m). Clearly, I'm getting fitter and stronger.

I got my first road bike in August last year, prior to that I had a hybrid. Now I'm lucky enough to own a top of the range road bike. I've learned a lot, in the past 9 months particularly, so I want to share my top learnings. These are the major things that have had an impact on turning cycling from something that - initially - was just a quick charity ride, into a really brilliant new hobby (in no particular order).

  1. Committing to do a charity ride. Where it all starts. Gets you out on the bike, turning the pedals and motivated to do something.
  2. Losing weight. As you cycle more, you realise what a positive effect it can have on your wellbeing.
  3. Joining a cycling club. I joined Warrington cycling club - North Cheshire Clarion. This club is brilliant as it caters for new riders and is not an elite club.
  4. Getting a heart rate and cadence monitor. Aswell as monitoring speed, this helped me to understand how to ride faster and within my personal capability.
  5. Completing my first 100 mile Sportive. That was a big motivator as it made me realise that I could do the distance. Main target now is to improve the time.
  6. Logging my rides. This is important so that you can really see how you are progressing. I used mycyclinglog in the early days.
  7. Getting a bike fitting/body scan measurement. Made an instant impact to my comfort, set-up and power transfer on the bike.
  8. Buying a turbo trainer. During the poor weather, it allowed me to still put miles in the legs.
  9. Doing lots of Sportives. By having lots of rides in the diary, it helps keep you motivated and getting out, even when you don't fancy it.
  10. Writing this blog. I'm glad I did as I can see it's helped lots of other people - I've had around 6000 visitors since sending it live and I'm encouraged that the visits keep getting stronger.

So, in conclusion. I'm really glad I did that first ride, I'm really glad I joined a club, I'm really glad I stuck at it and I'm really glad to have met so many great people both on and off-line. Thanks for reading everyone.

1 comment:

  1. #2 There is a biggie, especially once you realise you can move from "Losing Weight" to "eating whatever you want, pretty much without too much worry."

    If there were to be a #11, it should be to take off the computer, HRM &c once in a while, and just ride for the hell of it. I love that bikes shrink distances to the point that you can take a leisurely ride somewhere really nice and just *enjoy*. Here's to your next year, anyways, all the best.