Thursday, 2 January 2014

Highlights of 2013

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Contemplating

I’ve just logged the details of my final couple of rides of 2013 and it seems like the perfect time to reflect on what’s been a quite incredible cycling year.
From a personal viewpoint the most pleasing aspect of 2013 is the way that our society has grown. We’ve picked up a number of riders as the year’s passed, and collectively we’ve completed hundreds of rides and many tens of thousands of kilometres.

Testament to how great a year it’s been is how hard it’s been to pick a couple of highlights to share. A trip to Le Tour in Alps, as well as a day in the Pyrenees are just two of the experiences which have both missed the cut. Time Trial PBs, crashes, a first ever double imperial century, and the quite unique Telford Toothpaste are also left lying on the cutting room floor. I just hope you enjoy reading about the two that made it.

My first highlight was from earlier in the year, and was a very personal experience. It featured a solo, two day, near 400km ride from our current base, to my hometown of Margate.  A vicious head wind was my companion for what seemed like the entire two days, but it was the snow that so very nearly broke my will. However, the Golden Arches came to my rescue(and not for the first time), and thankfully the snow flurries passed. Riding into and out of London was a highpoint of the ride, especially with the knowledge of having started out northwest of Birmingham. As I rode along the promenade in Margate I can safely say I’ve never been so pleased to see its old Victorian clock tower. An epic in every sense of the word.
The second highlight was also an A2B ride, and was an experience I’ll never forget. London to Paris, a ride that I cannot recommend highly enough. Three days of pure unadulterated cycling pleasure. It was all @ASL191’s idea as a way of marking a significant birthday which she celebrated in 2013. Five of us undertook the challenge, and my role was one of chief mechanic and the logistics & route planner, as well as being a general source of encouragement along the way. Highpoints along the ride are too numerous to detail, but an abiding memory is from day 2, as we enjoyed mile after mile of lightly traffic’ed French countryside. As the French would say, Chapeau!

What’s for certain is that 2014 has much to live up to!
Vive la Velo

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