On New New Starts, and trying again, a lot

So - I have decided to do a thing again. Wrong time of year. Not the same time as everyone else - but none the less a thing: 30 days or riding #30daysofriding. The reason is a simple one. Habit forming. It does not have to be far, fast, high, whatever, but it does have to be every day... even if it is around the block. I will document this, along with a photograph. To what ends you might ask... well riding a bike is a strong part of my personal identity - it keeps my demons at bay - and my weight under control. Oh, and apparently, I used to enjoy it. A lot.

So why now, why here, and why bother writing about it? At work, I sit next to a nice guy who is quietly making his way through a life-changing loss of weight. This morning, in one of those "does my bum look big in this" kind of lose-lose conversation I found myself pointing out that he had lost sufficient weight that his jeans didn't hang right at the front - it was all a bit "I made these". However at 4 to 5 lb in the last week, kudos to the man... especially as I seem to be endeavouring to head up the other way to meet him in the middle of late.

Now the thing is, unsurprisingly, this is not his first attempt.

In fact, it is fair to say that he has been on a diet pretty much every other month since I have known him which must have been about eight years or so now.

So what changed?


Sure - the manner of the diet changed.

But apart from that - nothing changed. He is still him. He sits, works, talks, laughs the same. In the same way as those pesky keys you lost are "always in the last place you looked" the reality is the persistence, the willingness to try, the one last one last go is the key here.

Through one thing or another, I have let riding go. It is okay for now. However, before too long there will be the lingering glances at passing cyclists and "I used to do that". The loss was slow at first, but gathering momentum to the point we are here. Finding things hard that were once easy in many ways is a harder kick in the ego than not ever having been able to from where I stand now. Cycling is linked to a lot of negative things, and to failure. It's time to try and do something about that. Bring the fun back.

So - today, despite running late, I got on my bike, rode the short distance into work (<4 miles). Showered, sat down at my desk, and made a decision to commit. So here I am. Fessing up. Vomiting it all up on the page.

How the hell did I get here - well :

- Loss;

- Best years of riding achievement in my life;

- Loss;

- Cracked shoulder socket;

- Serious changes to personal circumstances;

- Diagnosis with AF;

- Joyless riding, being waited for, not being able to keep up.

I am going to be pencilling in here ... "a new new start" - 30 days of riding. and the mantra of "I have found those keys" .. now to go find the joy again - or at least get into the habit of looking.

BEHOLD my success or failure... and pulled post.

Please do comment if you have words of wisdom or encouragement.... it is time. Again.


Thirty Days

Week One

1. Mon 22nd January 2018

Commute to work - overdressed - far too warm (who knew after a weekend of hail and sleet at 1C) - in a rush. Knackered on arrival. 3.4 miles, 115ft climbed, 106kcal, 13 mins.

Commute home - still a tad cosy - but glad to be out. 10.64 miles and 436ft climbed. Slowly slowly catchy monkey. 48 minutes

2 Tue 23rd January 2018

Oh. My legs have registered I have been on a bike. Interesting. 4 miles, 118ft climbed. 16 minutes.

Home. Places to go, peoples to see, rush rush. 3.54 miles, 17 minutes, 232ft climbed. Feeling it in my legs now. How the (in no way) mighty has fallen.

Stopped to take pics of bike lamps on the way home as I am fed up with seeing people unlit out there. Grrr.


4 Thu 25th January 2018

Into work. 3.37 miles it says 12 minutes 29, however, I find that hard to believe. 125ft climbed. There was rushing. Much of the rushing. Lateness. Here? Me? Got there in plenty of time as it was apparently so quick. Wrong glasses - dog having eaten them. FFS.

Why winter - why?! Bike is always a mess:

Home. Actually quite enjoyed this - just about the right temperature too. Cold. But no balls, brass, or monkey involved. Garmin funky. Confused it. Live track looked like a spider web. Bless. 10 mile, 46 minutes - really was in no rush what so ever. Feeling a little more at home on the bike again.

5 Fri 26th January 2018

Nice morning. Not out too late either. Stopped to take a picture just before I got to the business park. Good morning St Asaph... I have missed taking it all in to be honest:

Took 15:50 mins to get in the long way - I assume it didn't include me stopping to take this (no usual pocket camera with me) 4.08 miles, 115ft of climbing. Felt warm - just base layer and jacket really. Transpires it was give or take 2C. Toasty. 3.6 miles home.


6. 28th January

- 12 miles

- 14 miles


7. 31st January

- 3.5 miles

- 3.5 miles




8. 1st February

- 4.1 miles

- 10.6 miles


9. 2nd February

- 4.1 miles

- 10.6 miles


10. 6th February

- 4.1 miles

- 10.7 miles


11. 7th February

- 4.1 miles

- 10.6 miles


12.  11th February

- 29 miles


13. 15th February

- 4.1 miles

- 13 miles


14. 16th February

- 3.8 miles

- 10.7 miles




15. 18th February

- 36.2 miles


16. 19th February

- 3.8 miles

- 10.7 miles


17. 20th February

- 4 miles

- 21 miles

So yeah - glad you noticed. It was around 6C to start with and dropping down to 1C. I thought I would push out the ride home if I could get away with it. The first part of this is very uphill - adding essentially 1000ft of climbing and an extra 10 miles (climbing in 6 of that I should think).

What you really notice coming back to riding is that time - it takes a long 'time' to get anywhere. You are thinking very much in terms of "I am only here" and "I have x to get past before y". You forget. Hugely.

There is a bit of joy and enough curiosity to have me leaving work and turning AWAY from a homeward direction now. The darkness is lifting, and the horizon is starting to look like every other chromed font from the 80's with graduated oranges and so on. Nice.

A week of warmer is now giving away to repeated clear skies and the temperature dropping, and "feels like" being absolutely BRUTAL.

I have changed how I am doing this.

There will be 30 days logged as opposed to 30 consecutive days. Life.... well life gets in the way quite often.

I am feeling a difference at 17 days. My want, my need, my curiosity is back. It just needs to be nurtured as opposed to crushed by souls of a similar ability. Oh... and what is this... a Sunday... mobilized club agnostic types. This COULD be the nudge in the right direction I am looking for.

18. Thu 22nd February

19. Fri 23rd February

20. Sun 25th February

21. Mon 26th February


















3 Responses to “On New New Starts, and trying again, a lot

  • Go! Go! Go!

  • anthony
    6 years ago

    “Beginning is underrated
    Merely beginning.

    With inadequate preparation, because you will never be fully prepared.

    With imperfect odds of success, because the odds are never perfect.

    Begin. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.” — SETH GODIN


  • 8 miles a day, 40 miles a week, 2000 miles a year, small always grows. ?

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