Goal Achieved

So, sometime last year I decided to get back into cycling ... or at the very least start using my bike again in some meaningful way. To this end I decided to set myself a little target to strive for; given I have been doing 9 mile rides fairly regularly earlier in the year, I set my sights on a ~20mile ride to from near my house to Chichester Marina (and back I.e. 10 miles there 10 miles back again).

Unfortunately, having gotten pretty close near the end of 2013, I then got side tracked; allowing cold and wet weather to close in and I failed to achieve the goal during 2013.
When some sunshine (more accurately lack of rain) finally appeared this year, I got back on the bike and started working towards the goal again.

In the early morning hours of the 5th April I made my first proper attempt, but due to a time limitation and failure to properly check a map (the original route turned out to need me to travel down a public footpath which I decided against when I actually arrived at that leg of the journey); I ended up getting the distance in, but not reaching Chichester Marina … so the challenge was still on.

Finally on the 13th April I headed out again, with a new route (increasing the distance to ~24miles). Heading out at midday turned out to be a bit of a problem, not really for me, but some drivers in the centre of Chichester didn't appreciate my presence, but I peddled on regardless. Long story short, I still took a wrong turn (adding ~3 miles to the route) but I reached my goal!!!

Using this trip as an opportunity to play with a camera attached to the bike, I decided to compile a time lapse video as a memento.

Moving forward I have set a few more goals (not really worth mentioning at this point) and to that end I should be swapping my mountain bike for a road bike in the near future (although still keeping the mountain bike as I am considering a few off-road challenges).

My final thought is around getting one of these Fly6 (rear facing video camera and light), given some of the hate thrown in my direction it seems like a good safety option … otherwise I will have to do something crazy like cycling with other people … which is just madness.


Congratulations big fella. That's a great achievement! Were the ole legs burning at the end of it? Did you get saddle sore?

This is a time lapse video of the ride, it was recorded at one frame per minute played back at 30 frame per second (that is right, I am not really cycling THAT fast).

Really? I call SHINANIGANS!

brainwipe's picture

Legs, just a bit, saddle sore, no comment, Really, yes, SHINANIGANS, never!

Bigger Rob's picture

Great work! There is a big intimidation factor in doing a ride that would normally be considered a car journey for the first time. Looking at the video you kept a good consistent pace as well.

If you want some specific suggestions with management and mitigation of saddle sore, feel free to ask. In the short term, Sudocream is probably the best general purpose treatment.

Regarding car drivers, unfortunately video cameras don't really deter them. I would say that the majority of close calls are more ignorance on the part of the driver, rather than active malice (though they exist as well). Hold your line, and force them to move out...if you dive for the gutter, they will assume it's OK to pass within an inch of you.

Keep going! You've done great work getting to this point, and (assuming the weather keeps getting better) you'll hopefully have a few months of being able to get out and really enjoy the countryside!

babychaos's picture

Thanks for the words of encouragement; I have high hopes for my general fitness this year and I am hoping to keep cycling at the core of it for a while.

I am really hoping the bulk of the rain is now out of the way and we have some very sunny weekends to look forward to, at least for a few months; if it does, I am sure I can work up to something a bit more adventurous.

To keep drivers happy and to make better use of my free time, I am probably going to try and do more things in early mornings (when typically I just sleep) rather than at the busiest times of day, although I make no promises.

Bigger Rob's picture

There are a few tools to help you find more cycle-friendly routes...with the explosion on online training tools (Strava, Garmin Connect, MapMyRide, TrainingPeaks etc) these companies have got plenty of data on where people like to ride.

There is this little gizmo - Route Genius - which will take a start point and a distance, and plot out a ride using preferred cycling routes in the vicinity (using MapMyRides cycling heatmap).

Of course, if you're looking for a challenge, then there are always organised sportives to go on. These are not races (both from an organisational standpoint, and a legal one), but rather a planned course, with rest/food stops, and some handy support options. They tend to cater for everyone (different length routes), and you'll get all sorts doing them, from families and mountain bikes, to club riders.

babychaos's picture

Thanks again.

Looking at the sportives link the event on the first page looked promising (The Wiggle Mega Meon Sportive) being fairly close to home ... then I spotted the shortest route was 44 Miles!!!

I better get training.

Bigger Rob's picture

I am currently mulling over this sportive given the starting point is only 2 miles from my house:

The Long One

I might just see if I can make the standard route and see what happens; it is just typical that the longer route is the longest of the year, I don't think I have any chance of making that in a day (yet).

Bigger Rob's picture

I'm in Mallorca then, otherwise I'd join you and give you some motivation.

I say go for it, you'll love it!

babychaos's picture

I appreciate the thought and hope you enjoy Mallorca!

You are right, and a after a few quick mouse clicks there is no more getting out of it:

1 x Wiggle Super Series Wiggle The Long One Sportive STD 2014 81 Miles Standard
1 x Wiggle Super Series Wiggle Mega Meon Sportive Epic 2014 102 Miles Epic

What is the worst that could happen?

Bigger Rob's picture

In my experience the worst that will happen is you'll start spending an inordinate amount on bikes...

babychaos's picture

As I'm not going to be around on Saturday, or next week...you still on for the Sportive this weekend Rob? Looks like great weather, which is always a good thing.

babychaos's picture