Well, it is now one year since I got back on the bike after more than 15 years without regular exercise. I started the year very unfit and obese. I don’t recall being particularly happy at the time and really felt like making some major changes in my life. I guess my impending 40th birthday played a big part in the changes I have made and my return to cycling could be considered my ‘mid life crisis’.
I started the year with a pretty basic goal, to ride the 9km to work and back every day. I was lucky to have a working circa 1990 Repco Superlite in the shed which I have owned for more than 15 years. A service and a new tyre later and I was off. What suprised me was how much fun I found cycling. I really enjoyed my rides to and from work. The feeling of cycling is pretty hard to describe.
I had joined the Australian Cycling Forums (ACF) to find out which bike shops might be good for a bike service. After reading the forums for a while I became inspired to try an Audax ride and soon set myself some challenges: after 4 weeks of riding to ride 100km, after 8 weeks to ride 35km off road and after 12 weeks to ride 200km.
My first 12 week challenge went well and I completed all of my goals. After that I just kept challenging myself more and more. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the year:
* completed my first ever 100km ride on 8/3/09
* completed my first ever 200km ride on 16/5/09
* completed my first ever 300km ride on 16/6/09
* rode a total of 6212.6km
* rode 937.54km in one month (May 2009)
* completed 14 100km+ rides
* completed 4 200km rides
* completed 1 300km ride
* completed 20 Audax rides
* bought a new bike
More importantly, I have been able to explore some beautiful and spectacular places in and around Perth that I have never seen before, meet some amazing and inspirational people and regain some of my fitness.
I finished the year not a lot lighter but a lot thinner. I have almost dropped a trouser size.
Not so fun was breaking my knee on the Dawn ’til Dusk – Winter ride, developing shin splints which meant some weeks off the bike and developing a shoulder injury which also meant some time off the bike.
I would like to thank Audax Australia (and Audax riders), members of ACF, my fellow Tweeps on Twitter and my co-workers for their encouragement and support. Without you I would not have been inspired, challenged and encouraged to push myself to my limits and to achieve things that one year ago I would have thought impossible.
I am planning an even bigger year this year! My goals this year are to:
* complete my first ever 400km ride
* complete my first ever 600km ride
* ride 12,000km in the 2010 calendar year
* my biggest goal ever: to complete the 1200km Perth Albany Perth ride in 90 hours.