Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Gauntlet

I'm shit at long-term goals. Really shit. I'm sort of demonstrating this right now with my design project deadline being in 10 days and I've not really physically started it yet. Long-term deadlines always seem really really far away until suddenly they're extremely close and it's really difficult to actually get shit finished in time.


Still, what's life if you don't set slightly crazy and potentially very unmeetable targets? So I've decided that in the next 12 months I'm going to cycle from Cambridge to Oxford and back, using a fairly awesome route that's already been thoroughly researched and published in detail on squarewheels.org for anyone to use. I've also mapped it out on Runkeeper.

The route is a fairly large 84 miles (or 135km for people on the continent), which is a pretty fucking long way in comparison to any distance I've ever cycled before in a single trip(around 25 miles max). Plus it's just one-way, meaning that I'd also have to cycle back, though the current plan is to at least spend a day in between as a tourist in Oxford (a city I don't think I've ever been to before).

This 84 miles isn't flat either. It's hardly filled with the likes of Mont Ventoux, but it's still pretty damn hilly, and not just for Cambridge standards either. My initial long-term cycling goal was a 30-mile cyclic route from my house going up Parbold hill and Ashurst beacon, the latter being around 170m (570ft) in height. Aside from the fact that 84 is a considerably larger number than 30, this route goes pretty close to 170m on four separate occasions, going below 80m between each time as well.

My personal Mont Ventoux goal is still a 42-mile route from my house over Winter Hill and back. This route goes up to 335m (just over 1000 feet) at the pinnacle, and goes over Parbold hill there and back, but it's still only half the distance of the Cambridge-Oxford route, and it's mostly just one really big climb instead of several lesser ones, so I'm fairly sure it'd be a slightly easier route. For the record, Mont Ventoux is 1912m, over 6000 feet, but I'm not a professional cyclist and there aren't any Alps near where I live, so fuck that shit.

I reckon I'm going to need a fair bit of training for this, and hopefully in 12 months' time I'll have made the trip, and probably completed the Ashurst and Winter Hill routes in the meantime as well. I probably won't start training that much for a while on account of the weather, which will be a bit of a pain, but I'll definitely have to put some effort in because there's no way I can just rock up and ride 80 miles twice in three days and not die horribly in the process.

I'll be doing it with Peter Saunders, probably, and if anyone else is keen on cycling to Oxford with us then they're welcome to join us, because I'd certainly consider it to be a case of 'the more, the merrier' for a venture like this. The only real requirement would be not slowing us down too much, which probably wouldn't be too difficult to pass, because being fitter than me isn't particularly hard.

Also, because I know she reads this and I felt Facebook and Orbital comments were lame, Happy Birthday Kylie. May you be liberated from Utah soon ;)
Plus obligatory lol 18 and legal and stuff.

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