New Year, New Challenges. Life will throw its usual curved balls our way.
Previous experience suggests that setting cycling challenges and goals is as good a remedy as anything or simply a positive distraction.
I don’t have a crystal ball but I do have the Strava.com Route Planner and it foretells 2017 will not lack for cycling:
- 5 -7 May. The 1st Bicycle Moaning Collective Brecon Beacons Climbing Weekender, with over 4000m climbing in just over 200km of cycling through the most scenic mountains this side of the English Channel and South of the Border (and not including the Lake District or Snowdonia). Whether it’s a first time face to face with a real live mountain or fine tuning before heading to the Alps later in the Summer, if the weather is kind there aren’t many better places to round off Spring-cycling / welcome Summer-cycling.
- 19 – 20 May. Kew Riverside Primary are the first school through the (playground) gate participating in the BMC’s Sponsored Rides for Schools 2017 Programme, heading from Kew to Bruges to raise money for a new Eco-Garden for the school children. Supported by BMC riders and road crew, over 20 of the school’s parents will be cycling to the coast (the Port of Dover to be exact) to catch a ferry to Calais before heading up the coast of Belgium to Bruges for copious well-earned Moules Frites, Belgium Beer and a fair chunk of Bruges’s finest chocolate.
- 01 – 04 June. The Big One. The annual BMC 300 miles in 3 days, the 9th edition (just 1 off the even bigger 1 next year). Just outside of the 300 mile target lies Luxembourg, the destination for nearly 40 cyclists and crew. The route down to Dover will be familiar but after that Belgium will no doubt spring up its own surprises (Cobbles?) before descending into the Grund for the best Guinness Luxembourg can offer in Scott’s Pub (getting back out again could be a problem).
- 16 -17 June. The turn of Thompson House Primary to hit the road. This time the destination is Amsterdam. The road on the Dutch side is familiar from a BMC 300/3 ride to Amsterdam but the London to Harwich route will be new (an excuse for a training ride recce?) the route promises to be fast and flat, with some of the THP Team already out training the BMC Support Riders may have their work cut out keeping up. Hopefully there will still be some gas in the tank for the party at the end of the ride.
- 23 – 24 June. No time to rest. This time its Henley to Paris with Henley Trinity Primary. However hard we try we can’t get the route from Henley to Newhaven below 145km. It’s going to be a tough 1st day. It gets tougher, as this is the ride where we crash on the floor of the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry and start riding again at 5am (or is it 4am?) I Either-way the clock is ticking on making it to the Eiffel Tower by the afternoon. 2 hard days riding but the routes are exceptional and worth the pain!
- 19 – 23 July. There’s only 1 Tour de France but this will be the 5th BMC Chasing the Tour. The definition of pleasure and pain. With Col du Telegraph, Col d’Iseran, Col de la Croix de Fer, Lacets de Montvernier and Col du Grand Colombier all in the sights (plus a few optional extra ‘little bumps’ thrown in for good measure) this year’s edition promises to bring the BMC’s touring season to a close on a high.
(the small print: All subject to requisite ‘cycling-passes’ being authorised by home management)
On top of all of the above are the training and club rides which means an annual distance target of 7500km and elevation gain of 50,000m should be achievable.
More importantly a combined target of £50k raised by the BMC Sponsored Rides for Schools Programme would be an even more laudable achievement in 2017.