“Oh to be 50 again – get out as much as you can…“
That’s what ‘brendaintheboro” has commented on the first post of 2019 on CyclingEurope.org. She has a point. Sir David – in the previous post – would, without doubt, agree.
But just how much should I ‘get out‘? I’ve seen, again, a few people on Twitter setting targets in terms of cycling a particular distance in the calendar year 2019. 3,000km. 4,000 miles. 10,000 km… I’m not scornful of their aspiration. Indeed it would be somewhat hypocritical of me to even hint at being so as back in September I set myself the target of cycling, and subsequently achieving, 300 miles in aid of Cancer UK. But should I leave such targets to others?
I’m tempted top say ‘yes‘. It’s not really my style. I did enjoy the challenge of 300 miles in September thing but towards the end of the month it was beginning to play on my mind. I think Brenda, however, could have the solution to my January desire to set virtuous aspirations. That said, she does seem to like targets herself. This is what she says in her own first post of 2019 on her website ‘Cycling In The Sixth Decade‘:
Just a brief report to record that in the Christmas week , we did get out and cycle and amassed another 86.95 miles. Nothing special just local rides of various short lengths but it adds up.
In 2017 I had a revised target of 3250 miles and so set myself a target to get 4000 miles ridden during 2018 and I am pleased to report that my actual total ended at 4253.6 miles. I have a big smile on my face. Hopefully I can achieve the same in 2019.
Brenda has a well-deserved smile on her face and she’s correct, the small rides do start to add up. Cycling 8,000 km from Spain to Norway in 2015 was an almost unimaginable distance when I set off but by knocking off 60,70,80 km a day over nearly 100 days I got there in the end.
But I do like the simplicity of her encouragement to simply ‘get out as much as you can‘. The lack of a definitive numerical target means that there’s no nagging voice in your head constantly making you feel bad about what you haven’t done rather than congratulating you on what you have.
It’s also a target that doesn’t specifically mention cycling. Cycling is great. It’s fun, it gets the heart racing, it makes you feel good. It’s what this website is all about for goodness sake. But walking is also fun, gets the heart racing and makes you feel good. (And this sister website also extols its virtues…) So is and does swimming. Running too. Heading off to the gym. Camping even!
So to answer my own question, no, I won’t be setting a cycling target for 2019. But I will be keeping in mind the wise words of ‘Brenda in the Boro’ and simply aim to get out more, both on and off the bike.
How about you?
What do you think?