New year, new challenges

2014 is almost upon us now and as the last few days whittle away I find myself wondering what’s going to happen next.

Through 2013 I have managed to get down to a weight that I’m reasonably happy with and keep that weight for the best part of 4months. I’ve built up my dream full suspension bike which is far more capable than I will ever be but at the same time gives me a helping hand in terms of building confidence and also getting me out of trouble (to a point).

So I’ve laid out some pretty simple plans in my head. I’d like to improve my riding fitness (think that’s just an excuse to ride more) which will hopefully lead me to entering a few races on a purely fun basis and as personal challenges to complete events. I’ve been very fortunate that my lovely wife bought me a skills day voucher for Christmas with UK bike skills so hopefully a skills improvement combined with better fitness will allow me to complete these challenges.

I’ve been looking around at where I ride and riding from the door i have access to some long stretches of riding but these aren’t particularly technical and mainly end up as mile munching to get to somewhere more interesting. So far my only trail centre visit has been to Haldon Forest which is a small trail centre but good fun all the same and as such I’d like to visit more different venues around the country as and when I can.

Coupled with the 10 things every MTBer should do list I have made my very own list of personal challenges/ride venues to attend through 2014 (well most of them hopefully).
– enter a race
– ride to the sea
– sleep next to your bike (bike packing)
– ride across a mountain range
– ride in another country

This leads to my list of venues to try and visit

– Quantocks
– Purbecks
– Cwmcarn
– Afan
– Bike park Wales
– Forest of Dean
– Cannock Chase
– Coed-y-Brenin
– Snowdon

To a lot of people these seem very easy and some will probably ridden all of and more than this but for me who only re-discovered my love of MTB about 15months ago it seems like a reasonably sensible starting point. The Purbecks and Quantocks will be my first targets as they are local to me so both easily achievable within a day.

I hope you’ve all had a good festive period and are also looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us all.

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2 thoughts on “New year, new challenges

  1. Hi, all the best for 2014! I am in a similar situation having rediscovered MTB fully in the summer. Did a few autumn challenges (you can read how they went on my blog), which are a good half-way house to a proper MTB race. You should add Gisburn Forest and Grizedale in the lakes to your list of places, they are excellent. Would like to try some of those other myself!

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