So, our commonly agreed calendar says we’ve swapped years – 2019 begats 2020. It seems a suitable time – as always – to look back at what was achieved in 2019.
Strava makes this all rather easy but I thought I’d drill down a little. My annual mileage was 3402 miles which is more than I’ve ever managed. However, some previous years were predominantly MTB whereas the past two years have seen my weighting change toward road commuting. I estimate I’ve managed about 1500 MTB miles versus 1900 road miles.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with that but I hope to get a more even split next year in my aim to ride 4000 miles. It’s not a silly distance (at about 76 miles a week), but it is a lot more than this year. We shall see.
At the end of 2019 the running totals on each of my bikes were:
|Bike||2019 Mileage||Frame total|
|Bike:Cannondale Topstone 105SE||2019 Mileage:1590.40||Frame total:1590.40|
|Bike:YT Jeffsy AL||2019 Mileage:809.97||Frame total:2292.20|
|Bike:Bird Zero AM||2019 Mileage:692.20||Frame total:692.20|
|Bike:Trek District||2019 Mileage:77.37||Frame total:1150.00|
|Bike:Specialized Secteur Elite||2019 Mileage:232.46||Frame total:12726.00|
Of all my riding last year, my favourite ride was a close run thing between our Molestice ride and a pleasant Sunday in August riding the South Downs from Lewes to Alfriston with a few of our Mole regulars (with an excellent lunch thrown in). I felt like I’d had a holiday by the time I’d got home!
Talking of which, I had some lovely rides around the tiny village of Moire just to the east of Lyon on the gravel bike. 75°F, with 3,000 feet of climbing for every 25 miles suited me perfectly; I miss those long endless days for sure!
Both of these activities are ones I’d like to repeat in some form or other during 2020. I have a family holiday to Snowdonia in August, so I expect to hit up several trail centres but I really feel I need a fix of hot French roads at some point too.
Another stat worth recording at this time of year is my weight. Yes, really. I’m currently 11st 2lbs, which is 156lbs, which is 70.76kgs. I’m pleased to say that this figure has been pretty static over the years, although it’s quite likely that the proportion of body fat has crept up! I’d really like to change that but it is hard when you are stuck behind a desk for a good part of each day.
At least this year I haven’t put on weight over Christmas; in the past it’s taken me until mid-Spring or even longer to shift unnecessary weight in a healthy way, and I’m glad that at this point I don’t need to do that.
In general terms I hate any concept of special diets or eating plans – the whole idea of denying myself something I like (i.e. food!) makes no sense to me. It can work, especially if you have weight to lose you need to get your calorie intake quickly below your calorie burn, but beyond that I find it a negative approach to health. It forces an obsessive attention on the one thing you’re trying to reduce.
My advice, for what it’s worth, is get your intake/expenditure balanced (harder than it sounds but a really important step), then cut out 100 calories of food (e.g. a bag of crisps) and increase your activity level by 100 calories (e.g. a 15 minute walk), day in, day out. Both of these are negligible actions but together make a difference over time. They both have a chance of becoming habitual, and together are positive actions.
On the subject of reducing body fat – I have much less to offer. I think cutting fat from the diet can be a mistake (generally manufacturers do this and replace it with sugar i.e. calories). Plus a lot of the time, fat in food fills you up for longer and carries vitamins, so it’s not clear cut. I understand the ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ fat thing though.
If I find a way to get leaner without losing body mass, I’ll let you know!