MID LIFE CYCLING - 2020 BLOG

MID LIFE CYCLING 2020 - THE COVID YEAR!

This is the second year of the Mid Life Cycling Blog and what a year 2020 has been with the covid-19 global pandemic. The year started off normally in the UK but by February things were starting to deteriorate as infections rose and lockdowns loomed. In early March I made the decision to work from home full time which was about a week before the office was officially closed. Living with someone who is high risk and shielding has been very challenging and scary at times but somehow we have survived 2020 without catching covid. Working from home had its advantage of being able to cycle more  after work . At first, for about 4 to 5 weeks I didn't take the risk on my bike, it just didn't feel right, but eventually I ventured out locally on 10th April. Whilst I had set a goal of 1500 miles for the year this was not achieved due to weather, work limitations and just trying to be sensible in a pandemic. Below are my stats for the year.

Total No of Rides = 33 (up 5 on 2019)

Total mileage = 1155 miles at 16.1mph average (up 100 miles on 2019)

I managed 12 rides at the start of the summer on the Trek Madone as I was still preparing the Emonda for the summer. Apart from bottle cages, spare tubes, pump, 11-32 cassette etc added to the bike I also wanted to try waxing the chain requiring pots, wax and a slow cooker to be purchased. The first ride on the Emonda finally happened with a Frodsham loop at the end of May and all I can say is WOW! The 54cm frame is spot on for me, the bike is light and very responsive and I really enjoy the double groupset with no issues on the climbs yet. A top spec bike which was a total steal! The problem now is that the this has now highlighted the issues with the 2007 Madone i.e. the triple 9 speed groupset (aahh!), 56cm frame too big, old geometry and handlebars and the links to Lance with the discovery team colours.

A new project I started during my rides in 2020 to break the boredom of riding the same roads was to photograph the bike next to post boxes. You will be amazed how many boxes there are especially dotted around the back lanes and small villages. This year I have captured 45 post boxes so far and i will try and continue this in coming years as abit of an adventure and to break up the rides. A few new routes were added including Walton and then Delph Lane climb which I managed to eventually get into the top 50 leader board and hope to improve on. I also varied my return back into Lymm via Knutsford and Tatton when I could but these can be busy roads with some close passes occuring. As the summer came to a close I put the emonda to bed and got back on the Madone and suffered a muddy puncture on my final ride.

In other bike related matters, I sold the MTB as it was not being used and i am not keen on cycling in the mud and wet during the winter. I managed to purchase a new cycle jersey from 'share the damn road' which is based on giving 1.5m clearance. I only wore it a couple of times and I didn't notice a huge difference. I experienced a few close passes this year and this was mainly on the road between Comberbach and Great Budworth for some reason. I am going to start riding with a gopro in 2021, mainly so that I can upload these drivers and they can be dealt with by the police. Attitudes on the UK roads need to change for the better. It was great to see alot of families out on bikes on the lanes after the first lockdown but it didn't last as councils chickened out of improving cycle infrastructure permanently. At the end of December 2091, I joined North Cheshire Clarion cycling club but with the pandemic I was unable to undertake my introduction rides or go on any club runs.

The final project for 2020 and into 2021 is the new shed/workshop/bike store in the garden. The old shed has been replaced with a 14x9' apex workshop from Omlpian Garden Buildings which is being fitted out to be a secure bike store, workshop and mini gym and indoor training area. The challenge for 2021 will be to get my hands on a wahoo kickr and start some early training and climbs to help shed those kgs!

Lets hope 2021 is a better with more miles, hills, post boxes and maybe even a Clarion ride!