Friday, 21 December 2018

Cycling Highlights of 2018

The blogs this year have been few and far between for a variety of reasons, but I’m hoping to be a little more active in 2019, so watch this space.

As 2018 draws to a close I decided to have a look back at the cycling year and put together my top ten rides of the year. Old favorites; new challenges; bikes old and new, all with one thing in common. The main ingredient being the simple pleasure derived from riding perhaps man’s finest ever invention, the humble bicycle.

10 – Revolve24 – One team, eight men, and 24hrs spent riding round one of the world’s most famous motor racing circuits, Brands Hatch.  We never threatened the leaderboard, but it was a great experience all round.

9 – RAW2018 – No year would be complete without a Real Ale Wobble. This year’s edition was another eventful ride, just don’t mention the crash within sight of the finishing line……

8 – Welsh Lakes Loop – A warm up for a ride later in the year, but such an Epic route it’s made the cut. The Horseshoe Pass, Lakes Bala and Vyrnwy, climbs a plenty, all wrapped up in a 250km loop.

7 – Telford Toothpaste – Another old favourite, but so special it’s guaranteed to be a highlight of any cycling year. It’s a permanent fixture in the SCS calendar.

6 – South Downs Way – The size of our underestimation of this challenge, was matched only by the amount of improvisation required to bring this one off. This is one that we may need to re-visit…..

5 – The Drum&Monkey – A legendary climb nestled deep in the Shropshire Hills; this one’s a brute. It starts steep, and just gets worse, a real leg breaker. I’m glad I’ve done it, but I’m not sure I’ll be rushing back anytime soon.

4 – Birmingham Canal Loop – A fabulous loop round Birmingham’s extensive network including the truly terrifying Netherton tunnel. A wonderful way of experiencing the 2nd cities industrial heritage, and we even managed to drop into The Vine to sample the Bathams.

3 – TdF Tour 2018 – Our own mini tour to watch the Grand Boucle. Seeing the peloton thundering across the cobbles was a real standout point of the year. And to top the trip off we even managed to haul ourselves up the fearsome Koppenberg.

2 – Shifnal Scouting Cycle Challenge – Our first charity fundraiser for the local scout group. 91 riders on the day, two great routes, and we managed to raise over £1500 as well. So successful, that we’re doing it all again on Sunday 12th May 2019. Entries are open now!

1 – Ed’s Epic – An unorthodox coast to coast route across 2 countries to mark a significant milestone for Ed. Starting at 5am on the welsh coast, this ride had the lot, plenty of highs and lows along the way, but all was forgotten as we rolled into Boston as the light faded. 345kms done, I think the beer was the hardest earned of the year!

Another fantastic year on the bike, and 2019 is already looking good.

Merry Christmas all,

Vive la Velo