I feel that it’s important for me to set some targets for my mountain biking each year. I may well add further targets later in the year but you may be wondering what happened to the targets I set for 2022.
At the start of the year I only set 2 targets. One was to ride a greater climb than the height of Britain’s highest mountain in a single ride. I beat the 4,406 feet target with 4,587 feet in 40.17 miles. It was a long ride from home around local hills but at no time did I feel that it was beyond my capabilities or fitness.
I was determined to recapture a Strava King of the Mountains title which had been taken from me by another rider in the previous year or so. I was way slower than the 13 minutes 57 seconds needed with a best, after 2 concerted efforts, of 15 minutes 10. I was very disappointed and realised that I simply wasn’t as fit over this kind of circuit and distance as I had been during the preceding couple of years. Having a target worked for me in a sense because I’ve made sure I trained better since this failure.
I added an extra target in the summer which was again to recapture a King if the Mountains title, this time on a fast, twisty downhill. My previous time of 55 seconds was beaten in September 2021 by a single second and I very much enjoyed establishing a new and still unbeaten time of 50 seconds.
For this year I want to repeat the big ride, climbing around 4,500 feet. This will help to focus my mind and my training on a longer ride, helping to maintain my ability over a longer distance. Recently I’ve ridden multiple laps of a purpose built MTB circuit on my nearest hill, Healey Nab. During the year I’d like to build up to a 10 lap ride when I usually limit my riding to 5 laps. My aim will be to ride at a consistent pace and not slow down later in the ride. I also intend to target one or more enduro style downhill segments to improve my time as much as possible.
I hope these challenges will help me to maintain a good level of fitness on the bike. My other sporting aim for the year is to build a new pedal powered boat. My first boat achieved its aims but my own wants have changed after sailing over 50 times. I’m happy to be starting my sporting year excited by the possibilities.