2015 was the year that I learnt no matter how much time, effort and care you put into training, racing and social cycling; injuries, illness and life will always derail the best laid plans.
My goal for 2015 was to enjoy cycling. I lost a little bit of my love for the bike towards the end of 2014. My failure to finish the Scott 24 Hour Solo in October was a huge hit to my confidence and the toll it took on my body would follow me late into 2015.
One major crash during the year
During a relaxed ride on the XTC during wet weather I lost traction and hit the ground hard. A hairline fracture in my collarbone followed and a few weeks off the bike was required.
Number of notable injuries in 2015
Injuries: Collarbone, torn glute
Number of new bikes in 2015
Number of events I raced in during 2015
The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2015
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2015
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2015
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2015
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2015
2014 was the year that I learnt that no matter how much time and effort you put into training and racing; life always has other plans.
The year started off with a single goal in mind. I was going to race in the Easter National Mountain Bike 24 Hour Solo Championships. I trained hard for this event and all looked good until the event was cancelled. I kept up my training, albeit, with less intensity; and continued to ride more each week than in 2013.
2014 was the year I travelled to France with Soldier On to race in the Trois Etapes Pro-Am and was the year my beautiful daughter Celeste was born.
My riding year was littered with a number of injuries, incredible highs, depressing lows and amazing opportunities.
.:1:. One major crash during the year During my first race of the year, the AMB 100, I crashed out thanks to a little shit who decided that cutting the course and getting in the way of other riders was a good idea.
.:3:. Number of notable injuries in 2014 Injuries: Snake bite, stitches to my left elbow and strained glute!
.:6:. The number of major events that I raced in during 2014 Every race was a challenge but I’ll never forget the 2014 Trois Etapes in France with Team Solider On!
.:98:. The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2014
.:132:. In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2014
.:287:. How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2014
.:349:. The amount of hours I spent riding in 2014 .:8,395:. In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2014
2013 was the year I decided I wanted to become a cyclist. Sure anyone can ride a bike; but I wanted to fully immerse myself in the technology, the science and the lifestyle.
My year started off with the simple aim of riding more. Commuting to work most days of the week and slowly building my fitness was the foundation for what would become a central part of my life in 2013.
I was extremely lucky to have the support of my Wife who allowed me time away from home and to buy new bikes; and to be surrounded by the fantastic bunch of people who comprise The Berm. At least once a week I would join other Bermers on a social ride at one of Canberra’s world-class mountain biking areas. Riding with others, most of whom are a lot more confident and capable on a bike enabled me to improve gradually throughout the year.
2013 – BY THE NUMBERS
.:1:. One major crash during the year During the final round of the 2012/2013 CORC XC Series at Mt Stromlo I had a heavy crash while attempting a jump near the end of the race. End result: A torn left pectoral muscle that would haunt me throughout the year.
The week after riding The Beast has been a quiet one. As with last year I didn’t actually start feeling any muscle soreness until 2 days after the race and to be honest I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit to get back in the saddle.
I spent Monday at home cleaning up after a big weekend of riding. My bike was filthy and sounded extremely second hand and needed a thorough clean and mini-service. The bike wasn’t the only thing in need of a going over; I finally trimmed my hobo beard right down and had my first haircut in almost 3 months.
.:The dirty bike post Beast:.
My Crank Brothers wheel-set has taken a beating these past few months and the rubber on them barely survived the Namadgi trails. So the tyres came off and went in the bin, while I scoured Canberra’s bike stores for a set of tubeless rubber. Alas the four shops I visited didn’t have the tyres I wanted so I resorted to buying a set on-line and placed my spare wheels and tubed tyres back on Kate the XTC for the interim.
My first ride for the week was a short pedal up and down Mt Stromlo that ended with me riding straight into a tree on the second half of Luge. While there was no real damage to person or bike it highlighted how in tune I had become with my XTC with tubeless setup that when I put on the stock wheels I was inches off my normal lines.
Not to be deterred I headed back out on Saturday afternoon on Zooey the Anthem. She is a great bike especially going downhill where her dual suspension absorbs much of rough riding Western Wedgetail, Skyline, Luge and Duffy’s Descent throws at you.
.:Zooey On top of Mt Stromlo:.
At the end of the week I only rode twice for a measly 23.9km in total.