2013: New Year Resolutions

I’m not much of one for new year resolutions, but admittedly it’s a convenient point to take stock and lay out plans for the near to mid term. I’m going to turn 30 this year and with the onset of old age it seems more important than usual to achieve… something!

On the basis that I’m more likely to stick to anything I make public, here are a few things I mean to prioritise in 2013:

Go touring

It’s looking increasingly like our previous (non-biking) expedition plan might fall through this year, leaving the possibility of going touring, something I haven’t done in earnest since my teenage years.

Sweden
Sweden by idleformat, on Flickr

Current front-runner is Sweden, to combine with a social visit. Alas, Google suggests that riding to the Nordcap might be a little far (1500 miles each way!) but we’d like to see the midnight sun.

The Swedes don’t allow bikes on trains, apparently. Thinking caps on!

AAA SR Series

In the 18 months following Paris-Brest-Paris I’ll have done just one brevet (the 200km Erit Lass last autumn). Luckily that ride reminded me what I was missing out on!

Having found a bike that whets my appetite for the miles, I’ve picked out events in 2013 to make up my second Super Randonneur series- 1500km over four rides of 200/300/400/600km.

Everest and Nuptse
Everest and Nuptse by travellertheworld, on Flickr

To keep things challenging I’m going for an AAA series this time – that is, all four rides have to be hilly enough to qualify for the Audax Altitude Award. In this case I’ll be racking up 23.25 points by climbing 23,250m (2.6x the height of Everest from sea level) in just four rides.

If anyone’s interested you’ll see me on:

  • More Passes than Mastermind (200km)
  • The Snow Roads (300km)
  • The Old 240 (400km) – unless someone organises a domestic equivalent
  • The Deeside Lass (600km)

(Another) New bike

I committed to buying another recumbent late last year (with the sale of my trusted Raptobike lowracer), providing me with a serious long distance bike again.

I’ve narrowed the field down to two possibilities, and while it’s fair to say that one is already the clear leader, an early priority is to nail that choice down, and start putting in some miles.

8224000991_45cabdf827_o

Either way it will allow me to complete my long-awaited “700c recumbent roundup” into the bargain…

Get the weight down

This morning I weighed 77kg (169lbs – a hair over 12 stone). That’s not appalling but on the other hand using the 2lbs / inch rule of thumb, it’s more than 10kg extra that a professional climber wouldn’t have.

Notwithstanding the unattractive scrawniness of most professional riders, I think I can be realistic and strike a happy medium ;). A couple of years ago I was half a stone lighter, so I expect I could go a little further to 11 stone flat, if I put my mind to it.

Cakes!
Cakes! by Vanessa (EY), on Flickr

As well as cutting down on crap food, this will probably require me to start running to work (in fairness, the challenging part of that is consequently needing to take the bus home).

Write more

I’ve written a fair amount this year: 95 articles, or just under two each week.

However, I constantly seem to come up with ideas at a faster rate than I can produce them (the backlog of drafts is > 25 articles now, and rising!)

A bit of discipline and a bit less Netflix and I could get through a lot more. In particular I’d like to do better at the politics side of things (I still haven’t written about the redesign of Leith Walk) and also writing about the myriad bits of kit that I have loved and hated.

Anyway… the irony of spending time writing about what I’d like to make time for isn’t lost on me – so that’s all I’ve got to say about that!

Happy new year, whatever you ride! :)

9 Comments

  1. Bengt Karlsson

    Swedish trains are slowly changing their policy about taking bikes along. You can certainly go from Copenhagen to my hometown of Gothenburg with your bike ( Danish Öresundståg). The trouble is that many private companies run the traffic on Swedish rails so their policies may vary. Most local trains around the bigger cities allow bikes, though, to encourage commuting by them.
    In the 80s and 90s I used to take my MTB on a lot of train rides to reach new trails and I was never turned down when I wheeled it into the luggage compartment (given the train had one) and also unloaded it myself, although this wasn’t officially allowed. So I wouldn’t allow the trains to be a hindrance but embrace the long days and midnight sun (if you get that far north)!
    Best Regards,
    Raptomondrian.

  2. H

    Thanks for the great blog!

    Your reviews are useful and I especially liked your posts on “What makes audax different?” and the “Paris-Brest-Paris: Kitlist”

  3. Yes, some trains allow bikes. Also, I’ve never had any major problem brining my highracer on board normal trains, if you just remove wheels+seat and pack it a large bag. Admittedly it’s a stick bike (Volae Team – i was over-cautious first and disassembled it until fitting in a ski case) but I think it will work with normal ‘bents also. The ski racks, if availibe, fit somewhat-folded bikes fine.

    Just feel free to drop me a line if you need any sweden-specific information. Trains or not …
    I’m on warmshowers.org, too.

    Otherwise, see you at LEL perhaps?

  4. Dave

    Hi Per, (and Raptomondrian)

    Thanks for the info – I may well be in touch!

    We would be visiting friends in Malmo, but I think we’d both like a self-supported wilderness style camping tour which probably means going way north? (Midnight sun not really essential, although I think it would be cool!)

    I’ll be crewing on LEL at the Edinburgh control, so I hope to see you there. Say hi!

    D.

  5. Simon

    Can I ask what bikes you’re considering ?

  6. Dave

    Hi Simon,

    There’s a Metabike and an Optima High Baron at Laid-Back-Bikes just now. Provisionally I’m inclined towards the Optima: superior handling, lower ride height (and potential to be more reclined) plus aesthetics make for a compelling package.

    Unfortunately it’s winter and so difficult to get enough time on the road to qualify the subjective with some longer distance riding and PowerTap…

  7. Simon

    Thanks for the feedback. I look forward to your reviews…..all the best.

  8. Simon

    ………bought that new recumbent yet ?

  9. Dave

    I’m down for the More Passes than Mastermind 200k in early April… grand unveiling to follow :)

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