Saturday, 3 January 2015

That was the Year that was 2014

The year was interesting for many reasons, not the least being seeing how I'd recover after my hip replacement. Cath wouldn't let me even get on the turbo until I'd seen the surgeon at six weeks post-op. Fortunately he was fine with me getting on the turbo trainer, as it happened the roads were a bit icy anyway so it gave me a chance to get some fitness back before I returned to the road.

I think that I was generally unhappy/nervous of riding in a group so I didn't really do many rides with either of the clubs I'm a member of, more than likely worrying about any potential impacts on my hip. Despite my concerns I managed to ride over 10,500km during the year and averaged a ride a day. This was a mixture of road, commuting, touring and mountain biking. Even avoiding group riding I managed four crashes, two when commuting and two on (err, off) the MTB, fortunately none of these caused any serious damage to my hip or any other part of my body - the MTB incidents were more slides on mud and had me laughing as much as anything.

After much deliberating I bought myself a new mountain bike, I'd been looking at getting a hardtail to ease getting in to and out from remote hills particularly in Scotland. In the event I spent (quite a bit) more than I'd originally intended and didn't really use it for the purpose I'd got it for but did bike to the summits of four Lakeland fells which felt quite novel - the descents were certainly very knee friendly! Of the year's distance over 1500Km were on this new bike, it feels like it's become my "go to" bike and I almost have to find excuses to ride the others. I'm down to just eight Wainwrights BTW, will have to get them finished off this year.

We had a week cycling round Orkney and Shetland, I'd been to Orkney before when climbing the Old Man of Hoy but had never been to Shetland, Cath had been to neither. I don't think I wrote about this trip but we visited sites ranging from the prehistoric to the cold war (the prehistoric were far more interesting).

Obviously with all that time on the bike my hip isn't giving me any problem now, I still get an occasional twinge but it's muscular and likely related to old nerve endings around the incision firing rather than the joint itself.

So what of the coming year? Well we've already got holidays and events booked for the year ahead, the first of which is the Tour of Flanders at Easter, also I've put my name down for the Dales 300, a long distance Individual Time Trial around the Yorkshire Dales so I'll need to get both fit and sort kit and strategy out for that. Regarding fitness, I think I'll have to be a bit more rigorous and planned in my training - that's gonna hurt! I think this year will be different :-)

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