I set myself some targets when I first got the Carrera TDF, which I’ve now met:
- End of 2012 – complete the Southend Bikeathon (27 miles)
I thought 27 miles would be difficult, but by September 2012 I was regularly going further so the distance would not be a problem. It was my first cycling event.
- End of 2013 – complete a half century (50 miles)
My initial plan had been to take part in the London-Southend 2013 ride which is around 52 miles. After getting a place on RideLondon I did a half century whilst training.
- End of 2014 – complete a century (100 miles)
I thought I’d be up to doing a century by the end of 2014, but ended up doing two in 2013 – the Wiggle Essex Explorer and RideLondon.
- End of 2015 – complete three centuries
I only managed one century in 2015 due to injury – I seemed to get one niggly injury after another.
- End of 2016 – get back on the bike!
I suffered a hernia injury towards the end of 2015 which made cycling too painful to do for extended periods, so I spent most of the year waiting for surgery and recovering.
- End of 2017 – get fit!
This didn’t really happen for various reasons – I was always getting injured and had sore calf muscles. This has finally been rectified.
- End of 2018 – complete RideLondon-Surrey 100
I managed to complete the ride without any problems but couldn’t beat my target time of 6 hours due to the weather – it was very wet and windy!
- End of 2021 – complete London-Southend
At this point I was actually in relatively good shape, having conquered Ben Nevis and completed a 37km walk around Rochford, but my cycling legs were missing something. However, I completed London-Southend with no major issues.
- End of 2022 – complete RideLondon-Essex 100
I took part in the inaugural RideLondon-Essex. Obviously the parcours is a lot flatter but I hadn’t expected to beat any times. However, as it was I would have beaten 6 hours if not for an enforced half hour stoppage due to an incident. I was very pleased with this time!
- Complete a triathlon
My aim was to do this before I was 40, but life and Covid-19 got in the way. It’s still on my to-do list, I just need to sort out my calf muscles which don’t seem to like me running.
- Get fit again
The always-moving target. I’m probably the fittest I’ve ever been, if not specifically on a bike. I still enjoy riding but want to be able to run.