Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Welcome to Rovember

Posted by Matt | November 1, 2018 | 11 comments so far

Orange Five in Updown Woods, 2011
OK, so I have definitely been here before. Three times in fact.

On each occasion, the success of the endeavor has been debateable but I’ll get to that in a minute. the first thing to ask is, ‘what the hell is Rovember??!’

Well, it’s basically my idea, and MarkJ’s name for it. I’ve written up some basic ‘rules’ below.

The idea of course, is to attempt to ride every day during the course of November, with the object of avoiding the slow end of year decline toward head colds, over-eating and general lethargy. The clocks have gone back, the days are getting shorter and speaking personally, I need an excuse to keep the wheels turning.

My default mode at this time of year tends to be more time spent indoors and a lot more time eating. It’s like I have a hibernation setting and the main thing on my mind is eating. I normally eat enough that by the time Christmas is passed, I have a three or four pound weight increase and spend the rest of the year getting rid of it!

Now, I like eating. So I don’t plan to restrict myself too much. But my thinking is, if I can keep moving more I can mitigate the effects and maybe naturally eat less because I’m not indoors as much looking at the biscuit tin. And let’s be honest, sitting indoors as the evenings get longer is pretty depressing.

In the past, I have tried this basic idea during the course of December and as I said, it’s not been terribly successful. Partly because if you ride everyday it necessarily means you ride Christmas and Boxing day and over the holiday period. I normally try to do that anyway, but having this rigid requirement can put a strain on family celebrations. Focusing on November avoids that issue.

On the first occasion I tried this I did really well – 500 miles (mostly off-road) during December 2011, but then January ended up being almost nothing because I’d burned myself out.

The second time, in December 2013 ended in real failure, with a hip injury that if I’m honest still troubles me. Too much torque pulling away on a singlespeed and something seemed to happen to the stabilising muscles round my right hip. Then November(!) 2015, which was another failure.

So not a high bar to beat this time round…

The Rovember rules

I’m throwing the Rovember project out to anyone who wants to have a go. MarkJ is going to (since he came up with the name) and Gordo likes the idea too. The rules are:

  1. You must ride every day of the month
  2. The minimum distance is 5 miles each day
  3. You can use any bike you like
  4. You can ride any type of surface – road, off-road, gravel(!), whatever
  5. For the avoidance of doubt, static bikes and turbo trainers don’t count – you’ve got to be in the Real World
  6. Your daily mileage does not have to be in one single ride
  7. It goes without saying you are responsible for your own safety
  8. If you miss a day, so what?? It’s still riding, but it’s not Rovember
  9. There are no prizes for this! Just get out and ride

Good luck to anyone who fancies a go at this. You’ll thank me when you are sporting summer fitness as we near the end of the year!

Filed under Mutterings in November 2018


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 11 comments on ‘Welcome to Rovember’

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  1. Ross Burton says:

    Sounds like a good challenge, but I’m definitely adding a house rule: *average* of at least 5 miles per day. Skipping a ride if there’s an actual hurricane outside should be allowed as long as the miles are made up later!

  2. Dandy says:

    Recovering and not allowed to ride for another week, so that’s my excuse sorted !

    Good luck, Matt

    • Matt says:

      My wife damaged her hamstring this summer quite badly. It’s taken several months to mend and although it seems OK now she’s been told to be careful with running etc.

      In that context, much as I want to have a chuckle and make some comment about how 5 miles would be ambitious for you at the best of times, I am sending you ‘get well soon’ thoughts Andy!

  3. Gordo says:

    I really should stop reading your stuff.
    Recently I read a comment from you about a train to Avignon and riding Ventoux. Now I have a detailed plan for a trip for next summer (including changing trains in Paris on the way home for the ceremonial stage up the Champs Elysees!). Yesterday I learned about Rovember, and have just dragged my wife out for a needless >5mile ride!

    Oh heavens, I wonder where next.

  4. Tony says:

    Sounds like a great idea. However I’ve way too much business travel (I’ve alreadt missed the 1st and 2nd) and I’m away tomorrow until Friday. I need to sort out my cycling vs work balance!!

  5. Jemster says:

    Can I use a motorbike? You said “riding a bike every day”! I could manage that!

  6. Related: Ride report: Sunday 4 November - A morning round Holmbury and Pitch | Rides | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

  7. Related: Rovember - how did it go? | Mutterings | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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