The tough thing about writing a blog is deciding who you are writing for. This started as something I wrote just for myself and nearest family and has ended up with a wider audience than expected. Looking back over the entries for the past few months I see that I have shifted the tone from irreverent to reflective. Or to be more accurate, it’s not as funny when I am just recalling stuff I have done, rather than writing about it in the moment. I have also cut out the swearing and piss taking that I do in real life, clearly worried about offending people. I started writing an end of year piece about failing to hit my year end goals, but being happy because I completed the Festive 500 again. But frankly it all sounded a bit self congratulatory and was boring me while I wrote it. Bollocks to all of that.
In short, at the start of the year I had set myself three big goals: complete the Coast to Coast in a day challenge, ride in L’Etape du Tour and complete 10,000km on the bike. I did none of these things but it doesn’t bloody matter. I rode in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, I went to Mallorca on a club tour. I went to Girona with a mate for a cycling weekend and best of all I rode from Hamburg to Home with my son Michael. How far I rode or how fast I did them doesn’t matter. I had a brilliant year on the bike when you consider I am actually employed full time, have bills to pay, am married, am in my fifties, permanently overweight and out of shape. I even found time to start a podcast so that I could talk to people with more interesting stories than my own.
The end of year tends to brings a combination of reflective thinking and planning for the future. But in truth I have never been one for looking back. I tend to live in the now and near future. I have plans for this year but none of them will happen unless I get my arse on a bike and train and just as importantly, I commit to working on my core and upper body conditioning to help compensate for my balsa wood spine.
I could share these goals, but what’s the point right now? You are mostly likely thinking about your own. Frankly it doesn’t matter what your goals are. Or indeed whether you have any or not. I may have cared about which sportive I was going to ride in or how fast my TT time was or if I could beat a Strava segment time in the past, but it’s not why I ride today. I do ride for a sense of achievement, but really;
I ride for my physical and mental wellbeing.
I ride for a sense of self that isn’t about my job.
I ride to spend time with friends and family.
I ride for a sense of adventure and to discover new places.
But mostly I ride because I love it.
I love everything from a 2km ride into a work meeting on a Boris Bike to Sunday Club ride, to a ride out for coffee with my wife, to a multi-day trip across Europe. Nothing else matches the sense of joy and freedom you can get on a bike.
My 2020 goal is therefore to do more of the same.