It’s a year ago tomorrow since I picked up my first new bike in two decades. It’s also six months today since my last post, so time for an update!

Things have gone well, weight loss picked up when I started the 5:2 diet in January and stabilised when I got back on the bike in earnest in April.

My mileage for the last 12 months comes in at 1050 miles, 91 hours in the saddle and over 13km of climbing.  681 of those miles are from 2013, of which the vast majority in the last 10 weeks since the beginning of April.  The bug has finally bitten me, hard!

  • In January I cycled 81 miles
  • In February I cycled 11 miles
  • In March I cycled 30 miles
  • In April I cycled 151 miles
  • In May I cycled 204 miles
  • In June (to date) I have cycled 217 miles

In that time I’ve had two custom wheels built, Mavic CXP33’s with 36h for the rear and 34h for the front (my problem with spokes and truing didn’t go away), both on Shimano 105 hubs.  These have been running on the GT like a dream for over 600 miles now and were a sound investment.

My longest single ride is 63 miles, which was the 100km Nightrider challenge around London. I started at 11pm and finished around 6am after five-and-a-half hours of riding, 45 minutes of break stops and 45 minutes at traffic lights!

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My largest climb is almost 1200 feet after I took my bike to the Alps at the end of May.

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I am now commuting over 30 miles a day from my parents house in Orpington to Battersea (there’s still no way I could do the 60 mile round trip from my little country house and the daily 6,000 feet of climbing that would entail) which is a big target knocked off the list for me.

One of the key decisions I took recently was to get better at hills, something I believe can only be accomplished by riding up more of them.  There are a few killer hills (All at least a Cat 4) within a few miles of my house, Ide Hill, Toys Hill, Crockham Hill, Titsey Hill and Westerham Hill and I’ve deliberately gone at them.  Crystal Palace now also forms part of my commute and it’s a beast.  I’m not a climber yet, but it’s been a while since I put a foot down on a climb and my speed uphill has doubled (still in single digits for the most part though!)

Most importantly I’m enjoying it, enjoying the ride and the achievements. Especially as time at home has grown more precious with ever longer and further duration work travel to the USA and Japan becoming depressingly regular.

As the cycle to work scheme is an annual contract I have also been lucky enough to get a new bike, a Felt z85 2013, which is forged from pure sex and awesome. I’ve had it for 4 days now and covered 60 miles, which will be 90 after tomorrow’s commute.  I intend to commute on the GT more, but couldn’t resist trying to beat some Strava PRs on it on my commute whilst the weather seems good.  Critically, this bike is also supplied with a decent set of wheels, Mavic CXP 22’s, as standard.

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Importantly this means that my boy can now accompany me on some rides, he even managed to stay awake this time.

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I still weigh over 130 kg, but my fitness is through the roof and it’s a matter of time until more weight comes off.