Funny how things happen in life. This time last year, I had some plans for the following twelve months. Sadly, they came nowhere near fruition...
No point really on getting too deep and introspective about it. Work was super-busy and a bit painful, both my teenage girls had a very busy year (academically & sporting) which took up a lot of my focus and energy. Bottom line though is that I pretty much lost my cycling mojo. I did just enough to remember how to actually ride a bike, but I wasn't really enjoying myself too much - it seemed more like a chore...
But that has all changed - and I'm excited!!
Funny how things happen, how a bolt out of the blue can ignite a fire that you didn't even realise was ready to off.
In late October of this year, I got an email. It was about the L'Etape du Tour event that had been slated to be run in Australia in 2016. Well - it was on!! It's being held in December 2016, based in Jindabyne, NSW, and will be 160+ km in the Snowy Mountains around Perisher and Thredbo ski resorts.
I didn't expect it, but as I read the (scant) early details in that email, my mojo welled up inside of me. I was genuinely excited, for the first time in a loooong time!! I resolved then and there that this would be my target, and I would be ready for it!!
A Simple Plan
I decided to start straight away with a simple plan - a couple of months of base training in November and December 2015 to get the body ready for some big mileage next year.
I have never ridden 600km in a month before, so I figured that I would get serious and make that my goal. I decided that would test me - was I really back? Did I really want this? Was I just momentarily excited or was my motivation back for real?
November came and went, and - 653km!! The best part about it was, even though it eclipsed my previous highest monthly mileage, and was almost double my previous best for the year, is that it was so easy. No ride was ever a chore. Every pedal stroke, even on the days I was tired or sore, felt like it was another pedal stroke closer to my goal.
All on track...!! :-)
Now here we are in December. Not even halfway through the month yet, but more than halfway to 600km again. It feels so good to feel this good, both physically and mentally... :-)
More than a quarter of my 2015 mileage was done in the last 6 weeks!
Not planning too far ahead just yet. I just want to enjoy this mojo and motivation - it's been so long since I felt this way on the bike, so I'm not taking it for granted.
I have though had a bit of a look ahead at the Gran Fondo & Charity Ride calendar for next year, and pencilled in one each month for February to June. I'd like to do one each month - they are great for exploring new roads and routes, remembering how to ride in a group, and testing my distance limits in a supported environment.
I'm also keen to find a cycling social group again. All my riding so far this year has been pretty much solo or with my wife and kids. While I think that will always be the majority of my riding (which is great because I enjoy that!), I'd also like to reconnect in with a wider social group of cyclists. Luckily I live in a city (Brisbane) where there are plenty of options for me to try...
Thanks for reading! More updates, plans, and reviews to come... :-)