So here it is, 2019 is finally coming to a close and its a chance for me to look back upon some great moments in the year. It’s been a good year for mileage, a record year in fact, but the real measure is how much enjoyment I have had in the saddle. For pretty much every one of the photos below I can take my mind back to where I was, who was on the ride and where we went and every single one of them has fond memories.
Some highlights for me, in no particular order, are:
The Wiltshire Ride as we have become to call it. A ride down to Wilton brings one of the best country roads for village hopping you could hope for and it really is a special ride on a hot day. Great little cafe, wonderful landscape and always a good bunch that save themselves for the day.
The Gloucester Loop was special too. A long ride north through the county until crossing over the Severn in Gloucester before heading back for some of the most beautiful roads around. This year finished with a closed road at Tintern that meant we had to climb the barrier but it was worth it for the solo use of those roads afterwards.
The South Coast Ride didn’t disappoint again as we took the cars down to Compton Abbas airport before setting off on a long ride round to the coast. The arrival in Lulworth Cove was amazing, as was the climb back out and along the coast. I’ve never had such a good view of Corfe Castle either.
Weston super Mare was a great ride as we found a perfect pocket of weather and a small group of myself, Douglas, Graham and Archie all hit the same pace at the same time and road solid for several hours. The route, the weather and the banter just worked the whole way and it was a good day’s work on the bike for all.
The big cycling event of the year was the trip to Italy to take on the mighty Stelvio. There are so many words that can be used to describe this and the neighbouring Gavia so I will just leave it to the photos. A great trip and one that certainly needed some training for but it was well worth it. If you want to watch the video, this link may work: https://youtu.be/lb6btPs7BgA
This was followed up on my return by the Cotswold Sportive, an event I had to be talked into a little bit. I’m glad I was. An OK day for weather, but with mine and Graham’s legs in top form we hit the first 40 miles at an average of 20mph and it was a good indication of how we were feeling on the bike that day. Probably the sweet spot of my year for fitness and it showed not only in the first half of the ride, but the second when the hills came out to finally test us. To finish with a BBQ at Phil’s place was the perfect day.
I had also never been through Wells and that turned into a great ride. A good sized group sat on the lawn of Wells Cathedral tucking into Cornish pasties and burgers from the market and it was one of those rides were everything came together.
The Cotswold Stow Loop. On a very sunny day, setting off from a car-park in Malmsbury we headed off on a route planned by Graham into new places on a mystery ride. And what a day it was. It was boiling, the roads were kind, the scenery some of the most picturesque in the South of England and it was simply a great day.
Tuesday night rides. Some of those blasts that took place on a Tuesday night were some of the best I had. With a 6.15pm meet it was simply a case of ride as fast and far as we could within the two hours allocated and we sure did cover some speeds and mileage. These helped my fitness a significant amount and pretty much always finished up in the Catherine wheel for a bucket of pork scratchings and a pint (or more for the others!).
So, there we have it. 2019 summed up as much as I can. I could have gone on and added the ride into Usk, the several trips down to Clevedon or the time we rode hard up Cheddar Gorge. There were multiple trips across the Severn Bridge and it never gets boring riding through the Longleat Estate either. All deserve a place on this list so instead I will save that for the gallery.
For a link to the main gallery see here: https://dadonabike.com/2019/12/23/2019-cycling-gallery/
For a video slideshow watch the video below:
See you next year!