Solo, with strangers, with friends, on new trails and old routes, from the front door and abroad, to work and back again, on a road bike, mountain bike, Dutch bike, quick spins and epic rides, in sunshine, rain, hail, snow, ice and plenty of mud, these have been my rides this year, which is my third year of Project Snail – trying to have more fun on my bikes and in particular to increase my skill, confidence and fitness through mountain biking.
I’ve definitely ridden a lot this year, regularly commuting and then getting out most weeks on the mountain bike as well. Our regular weekly evening rides have been a god send, demonstrating how you can fit riding into a busy work/ life balance arrangement and it has kept me riding with people who are much better than me. Their encouragement has meant that I think I am slowly improving. It’s really hard to tell as confidence and perceived lack of skill remain rather large issues for me, but judging by how I ride some of the sections locally I definitely think things are on the up. I must remember that it apparently takes 10,000 hours before you become a master so I’ve got a bit of work to do yet.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed some of my trips to North Wales this year, #MTBMeetUP was a great weekend ,I’ve I returned to ride Llandegla a few times and we’ve had some great weekends crashing in bunkhouses and doing Penmachmo, Marin etc. Getting round these as well as some of the more challenging local riding has definitely helped and I look forward to more in 2016. One day I’ll find the flow.
As well as riding it’s been good to take in the Tour of Yorkshire and the Nationals in Lincoln and I launched the Leeds Bicycle Film Club showing monthly bike related films and documentaries that has been good fun and has sold out every event so it would appear that I’m not the only one who likes a beer and a bike related film. I’ve got a good programme lined up for 2016 so grab yourself a ticket and come along.
For me more than anything though I love the social side of riding and I’ve ridden with some ace people this year, my heartfelt thanks goes out to all of you, look forward to more pedals out across the New Year. Cheers.