Tuesday, 30 December 2014

One Year Time Trial: Steve Abraham's Attempt to Break Tommy Godwin's 1939 Annual Mileage Record (75,065 miles)

Jersey logo
Steve's jersey logo

2015 will see UK Audax legend Steven Abraham attempting to break Tommy Godwin's long-standing record of 75,065 miles cycled in one year. Steve has been planning and preparing this for the past two years.

I am not going to detail here (a) Steve's own record achievements; (b) the sheer magnitude of what this venture involves; (c) how he plans to do it; (d) all the ways people are supporting him, and/or (d) how he needs to finance it. It's all on his website -- just click the links on each topic. 

Do have a look. This is a challenge of epic proportions. Everyone who knows Steve personally and who have followed his cycling exploits believe, if anyone can do it, he can. I have not met him but I am fascinated by his plans, his focus and organisation and his mental aptitude for something like this. 

And he's not the only one having a go at breaking this record -- not one, but TWO, Americans are also apparently having a go in 2015: Kurt Searvoge aka "Tarzan" (another experienced endurance cyclist) and William "Ironox" Pruett (a successful triathlete). Ironox isn't giving much away about his plans but it looks like Tarzan intends to spend his winter months cycling in warm/dry places like Florida. 

Steve will not have such a luxury option here in the UK... and neither did Tommy Godwin. 

So... is this a good time to ask about YOUR cycling goals in 2015? ;-)

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Cycling Highlights 2014

I spend more of my time and energy looking ahead, not back. Cycling plans for 2015 are already shaping up nicely with tickets booked for two Cycle Shows and also TWO cycle tours! Happy days ahead. 

But while dreaming of next year's rides during these dark, cold winter hours, I am also indulging in reflections on the past year -- the rides, the bikes, the weather, the scenery, the people and even some philosophical musings on how cycling as an activity, a process and a lifestyle has changed how I see myself. More on the latter later!

In the meantime, my year awheel featured -- 

Thuds, Floods and Mud!

Serious bike portage required! Story here.

Followed by trail clearance (same story same link)

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Dance Like Nobody's Watching*

Have you ever been "caught out" going about your business, having no idea that anybody's watching? 

Adam caused a bit of a buzz this week -- amongst our friends at least. He was planning a route from St Pancras to my office, as he was meeting me after work to go see Once the Musical (great fun, by the way, but not a patch on the film), and found that a Google StreetView car had captured me on part of my commute. (This is not a route he normally would take so it was serendipitous that he was looking at Bayley Street at all.)

He posted a link to Google on Facebook. In response to all the mock-surprise comments from friends - yes, some cyclists do stop at red lights! And yes, some do indicate before turning! (I sometimes even do it when there's no one behind me!) 

Here are my 10 seconds of "Fame", doing nothing more extraordinary than crossing Tottenham Court Road from Bayley Street into Percy Street at about 9am on an ordinary work day in July 2014. 

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Mountain and A Ferry to Paradise (#ScotTour Day 8)

Today was sad: our last day on Skye and so it felt the "beginning of the end" of our cycling holiday. However, today's itinerary would see us cover nearly the full length of the Misty Isle and see a corner of it that's well off the beaten track. Lots still to look forward to, then!

We were really fortunate with our B&B in Portree, where the landlady was very happy to let us keep our bicycles looked in the rear 'service' yard, out of sight from the street (behind the blue gate). Adam fixed that gate the day we arrived so we were in her "good books" right from the start! 

Last minute fettling before leaving Portree

Setting off from our B&B: starting with a steep bit!
Be careful not to go flying over that wall into the harbour below!

As on Day 5 of our tour when we visited the Talisker Distillery, we left Portree southbound on the A87. Although our bikes were fully loaded this time, again I found this hill not to be the hardship I had originally expected it to be.

A pause to look back towards Portree and the Trotternish Ridge
- the Old Man of Storr on the right

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