My second full year of cycling produced many firsts along with a mix of highs and lows. A new bike, bigger solo rides, bigger group rides and several small crashes. A rise and fall and rise again of my cycling fitness along with the fall then rise of my body weight. All this compressed into 240 rides in 526 hours of riding.
Lynn Learns to Cycle
The most exciting occurrence to me this year has been Lynn’s progress in her goals to ride a bike. She has shed her elbow pads and her flat bar road bike for my old EMC 2.4 drop bar road bike. She has claimed the EMC with threats if anyone should suggest it gets taken from her! She has ridden almost 2,300 km in 2013. In the final month of 2013 she has become enthusiastic about trying to climb. I introduced her to a nice switchback climb of around 4% average for 3 km’s as her first and she has pushed herself to climb a couple of others finishing on the iconic Old Willunga Hill, brought to international acclaim in the Tour Down Under, an average 7.4% over 3 km’s lifting 222 meters with no respite. She has not stopped on any of these climbs. This is her limit right now. She has even said she doesn’t want to do Old Willunga Hill again but that will change once her fitness improves! She is not quick but she does get there in the end! Her story will continue in 2014 and I hope to report so many more goals achieved by her then.
Tour Down Under 2013 – BUPA Challenge
My year basically started with this ride. All was not clear sailing. It was indeed nice to ride this with David as farther and son. Unfortunately we crashed the same way, me tripping over a bike falling in front of me and causing me to somersault down the road and David, who was on my tail in a 35 kph pace-line, pile driving into me to go over the top. Fortunately, unlike some others in the accident, David and I were not badly hurt and were able to continue to finish the final 60 km’s of the ride.
David’s 1st Time Up Mount Lofty
In February David convinced me to climb to Mount Lofty with him. I had no doubt he would have little issue with this after all, he had just completed the BUPA challenge and is a reasonably strong climber. As expected he cruised while I slogged my guts out. At least he now knows where to go!
Enter Redline Cycling
The SSRC switched to a once a fortnight format leaving me an opposite weekend to do something different. I started riding the the Redliners from Glenelg to Outer Harbour and back one weekend and the SSRC the other weekend. I was riding on the P rides but would fall back to the L ride if they needed additional support.
New Verite Team S
March saw me ride with the SSRC Training rides on a Wednesday night to improve my speed and working with others. For strength I also started riding the SSRC Range Riders on a Tuesday morning. March also saw the arrival of my Verite Team S Full Carbon Shimano 105 equipped bike. This was our way of getting Lynn a drop bar road bike. Whatever happened it was going to cost a thousand dollars so when I had the chance at this bike at less than $1,000 Lynn jumped at it 🙂
April brought together all the hard work to ride with the Redliners on their Milano Classica, a planned 290 km ride from Adelaide, through the Adelaide hills to Tanunda in the Barossa and back. This did not go to plan! This was my first long ride on the new bike and what a way to get used to it! I looked at the planned 290 km and realized it would take a little 32 km’s extra to go the magical 200 miles! I drove to the start early and went for a 32 km warm-up before we stated the actual ride. We quickly discovered that some people on the ride were no where near up to the task. With several delays along the way the ride was cut to 230 km’s but fortunately with my extra it made 260 km’s for me. Not my goal but at least it extended my personal longest ride from 230 km’s to 260 km’s. See the link at the bottom for the full story.
Stuart O’Grady Bikeway
After plethora of challenges on Strava, and not being serious about any of them we came to August. I introduced Lynn to the Stuart O’Grady Bikeway which bumped Lynn into gear to ride some more. I have been riding a little longer in preparation for another big Solo ride.
200 Mile Solo Ride – un-supported
September the 22nd was my chosen date to attempt a solo 200 mile ride, Unsupported, although I would end up with a drop-in in the middle, still, no support! In my ongoing quest to help new riders improve I organised to meet Ben Sparks at Nuriootpa on my way out and drop him off on the way back. My whole intention to show how important to ride with the right heart rate allows people to ride far further than they would think was possible. Ben had only been riding for 12 weeks and he was going to complete 120 km’s for the first time. My chosen destination was Blanchtown, a future turning point for a bigger planned 400 km ride. For the record the ride went mostly to plan and I believe I completed my goal even if the GPS data says I was 100 meters short! That story can be read about in another post on this site so I will not go into details here. Please see the link at the bottom of the page for the full story.
Solo Fathers Day Ride – 242.5 km’s
September the 1st, Fathers day, I revisited my second longest ride, to Truro Bakery and back, a little extension via Semaphore making it my second longest Solo ride to date at 242.5 km’s. This time I found the coffee was much nicer than my previous visit but the doughnut was just as good 😉 This was my second biggest month of the year after completing 1,407.8 km’s, only beaten by December.
Leading a 200 km Group Ride
Sunday the 19th of October saw me invited to lead a slower, less experienced group of riders ride 200 km’s, for their first time, in one day. The route had been laid down by Richard Stevens taking us from La-Musette’s at Glenelg up Cross roads to the toll gates and up the Old Mount Barker road to Craffers, down through Aldgate and on to Meadows, through Asborn, Goolwa to Victor Harbor then back via Nettle Hill, Myponga and the coast to Glenelg. It can be seen on Strava at “Richard Stevens Glenelg to Victor Harbor and back – Nettle hill really sucks big time!” Full details can be access via the link at the bottom of the page.
November 3 saw Lynn and I ride in Amy’s ride. Lynn on the short ride and myself on the classic 100 km’s including the climb up Old Willunga road.
200 km Tour Du Sud
The 17th of November saw me ride another event with the Redliners, the Tour Du Sud or in English Tour of the South. A 200 km ride that would average around 28 kph on the round trip, taking us over Crafers once again. This ride would once again highlight my biggest weakness, climbing! I never run out of reminders that I am a slow climber. Checkout the post for this at https://runnernomore.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/redliners-tour-du-sud-tour-of-the-south-2013/
December became somewhat of an ant-climax with lots of climbing and a couple of longer rides including one to Nuriootpa to keep Ben company. In all, that was the year that was with many small individual moments, lots of challenge and plenty of small achievements.
Summing up the Year
Many long, fast rides with 13,038 km’s of riding, peddling for 526 hours, and climbing almost 111,000 meters in 240 rides. Longest ride 322 km with many rides over 200 km’s in a day. Not much else I can say without resorting to lots of detail. It’s been a good year on the bike and most of it has been done on 1 pair of tyres 😉
Now, lets bring on 2014!
- 200 miles/322 km’s in a day (runnernomore.wordpress.com)
- Glenelg to Victor Harbor and back in a day – Organised by Richard Stevens (runnernomore.wordpress.com)
- Milano Classica – 290 km’s in a day (runnernomore.wordpress.com)