Targets

The first month of the year takes its name from Janus the two-faced Roman god who looked back to the past and forward to the future all at the same time. I’ve already done some reflections on 2018 so it’s now, belatedly, time to look ahead to what this year has in store.

The big goal on the bike is Paris-Brest-Paris (known generally as PBP). The event dates back to 1891 when it was a professional race. It was then run every 10 years (with a gap for WWII) until 1951 when dwindling interest meant the race category was dropped and the brevet event for amateurs was all the remained. It’s been run in that format every four years since, with thousands of amateurs lining up to see if they can complete the 1200km route in less than 90 hours, including stops.

It’s a different challenge to the TCR and I’m confident I can do the distance, the only question will be my speed and that depends on how much sleep I need. The difficulty is getting a place. You can only apply if you’ve completed a super randonneur series of brevets: a certified 200km, 300km, 400km and 600km by June. Even then you may not get  a place as slots are over-subscribed with riders from all over the world wanting to ride. You can help your cause by doing a certified ride the year before but sadly the only audax I did wasn’t certified.

I’ve already done one 200km ride and I have two of every other distance booked into the calendar in case something goes wrong like illness, bad weather or an irreparable mechanical. In all that means over 3,000km of riding before potentially taking the start line but possibly all for nothing…

Otherwise on the bike, my existing plans should take me a long way towards doing a certified 200km ride every month which means I’ll be eligible for a Randonnée-Round-the-Year badge. So I may try to do that as everyone likes a badge. The plans are also likely to see me do quite a lot of miles so it’s quite possible I’ll hit a new record for a calendar year. We’ll see.

Otherwise, I am to have fun. I want to do more exploring, maybe some more bike-packing, definitely more gravel and I may even race.

Connected to the bike, I was overwhelmed by the response I got in fundraising terms from doing the TCR and it’s let me to reflect that me and many of my friends are in a very fortunate place financially and can all probably afford to give a bit more back. So through one of my exploits on the bike I will be looking to fundraise again. The tricky part is working out what to do as the TCR and London-Manchester-London the year before have raised the bar quite high. I’d been thinking about the UK 24-hour TT championship but sadly a cousin is getting married that day.

And what about thinks not related to the bike? My job will be about surviving Brexit and cycling will take up a lot of the rest so plans aren’t big. Cooking and eating well will continue to be important and having recently started making sourdough bread, I must keep that going. Otherwise I recently. had my 40th with an excellent party with friends coming from far and wide including a few people I haven’t seen for a while so it will be good to try and catch up with some of the less usual suspects.

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