I like cars. As a child I grew up watching TopGear and dreaming of owning a a supercar; as an adult I still have that dream. If money was no object of course I'd love an Aston Martin One-77, or the biggest, fattest Range Rover in the world. But what's all this got to do with cycling?
Lanterne Rouge; the competitor in last position in the Tour De France. Also the fitting title for my trip this summer. A trip not about going fast, but going far and enjoying new roads and views every day. It's a trip where going slow is probably going to be much more fun than going fast.
January 1st rolls around and the Strava statistics tick back down to zero. It's an odd time of year where you look back on the last twelve months with a mixture of happiness and sadness.
I've completed the Festive 500 for the last couple of years but firmly believe Christmas is about spending time with friends and family. It's okay to ride for a little while on Christmas Day but you've got to keep it short and sweet and spend the majority of the time being festive.
Unlike previous years, completing the Festive 500 was harder this year owing to some poor planning on my part but also the wide range of horrible winter weather we encountered here in Yorkshire.
New Years Eve 2016. I'm sat, or more accurately wedged into the sofa. Christmas has past and I've completed the Festive 500 and my mileage goal for that year. I hadn't set any goals for 2017 and was looking for something different to target other than riding as far as possible. Almost simultaneously an article from Red Bull pops up on my Facebook timeline and someone sends me a link. Titled "Seven incredible stats on Strava" it starts with a piece about someone that rode a million feet of elevation in a year. Immediately I knew I had my goal.
It's that time of year where a single snowflake in London causes chaos whilst up in the cold, dark north people still think it's not quite cold enough to put the central heating on yet. Up and down the country we've seen plenty of ice and a reasonable amount of snow in most places. This sort of weather can be a cyclists worst nightmare, but it doesn't have to be...
Now, if you're all expecting to me slope off and chat about how we should stick to the indoors and get racing around the fantasy island that is Watopia, then you've probably come to the wrong place.
Getting into the Festive period can be an interesting time as a cyclist and it got me thinking of some of the things cyclists think over the festive season. Pig in blanket anyone?
When you're get back from a club ride, or a sportive, and sometimes even a race, one of the first bits of grumbling that normally appear on any forum or Facebook page relate to the standard of group riding on that particular occasion. The ride or race might have been great but if someone didn't feel safe in the group they will probably mention it when they get home and so ensues the lengthy discussion on how to improve the standard of riding in the peleton of riders out each week.
The off-season; a mysterious time of year to a lot of amateur cyclists and a time of much needed rest for the pros, but which kind of off-season do you have?