Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Cycling goals for 2009 (part 1)

December is here, so I've started to think about what cycling goals I want to set myself for next year. First up is total mileage. It looks as though I'm going to manage 3,000 miles this year, so the question is how much further I should aim for. Originally I wanted to choose a nice round number, but 4,000 seems too ambitious. My family is very tolerant of me disappearing off on the bike regularly, but unless things slow down dramatically at work, I just can't afford that much time.

And then it occurred to me that there is no real reason why I should choose a round number. So 3,249 miles it is. 

That's the age I will reach next year, multiplied by itself. I suppose it's what you might call a square number, rather than a round one; and it sets a tougher goal than this year, without seeming too ambitious.

To encourage myself to undertake longer rides, I've already decided to try and take my Eddington number up to 40 from it's current 30. That means that I need to do a couple of dozen rides of more than 40 miles, compared to the 17 that I've done this year. Also, I still haven't ridden 100km in one day yet, never mind 100 miles, so some kind of century is on the cards.

I have found this year that it encourages me to ride further and more frequently if my outings have a purpose, over and above just covering a distance. Filling gaps in the Open Street Map encourages me to explore new roads. So did covering the whole of the Round Berkshire Cycle Route, as did seeking out the nearest of the outstanding English churches picked by Simon Jenkins. Destinations and routes also give me something to report here, other than just numbers.

But I've not taken any decisions yet about suitable destinations and routes for next year, so suggestions would be welcome. What goals are others setting (if any), or is it still too early to be thinking about it?


town mouse said...

Well, if Santa comes up trumps and I get a GPS system, my goal will be to get mapping up here

Trevor said...

The Chiltern 100 race is on May 31st.
There are 3 routes all starting at Great Missenden at 50 miles, 100k and 107 miles. The website is here http://www.chiltern-hundred.org.uk/
When it gets a bit warmer will probably start practicing on the the 50 mile route, with the aim of completing the 100k route. Some of the gradient are mean looking.