So the start of a really cool year (well at least as far as dates are concerned anyway. eg 1/1/11, 11/1/11, 9/10/11, & 11/11/11). What about bike challenges for 2011.
I have made two cycling related New Year resolutions.
The first, as mentioned in I’m Bike posting every day in 2011! is obviously to write something for this blog everyday. At least at the moment I plan to be a bit organised and may even write some posts ahead of time. Anyone who knows me will recognise that plan won’t last long 🙂
The second, is supported by planning to continue the combination of my daily cycling habit and wherever possible cycling rather than driving for work. More specifically it is to lose a lot more weight. Since a horrifying peak in the summer as we moved house I have lost about 5 kg (despite gaining over 2kg during Christmas). My plan now is to lose another 15kg by the end of July. It sounds like a huge amount but in fact works out at 0.5 kg per week which is 1.1 lbs. That fits with what seems to be generally agreed i.e. a healthy and sustainable weight loss should be between 1 and 2 lbs per week.
Experience shows that for me a daily cycling habit and avoiding driving for work are great helps in losing weight (and feeling a lot more healthy). However, I will need to up the miles I do. I don’t think I am going to set daily targets for miles although I will try to make the daily minimum about 5 miles (that won’t actually change many days). I fitted a new simple bike computer to the Bullitt on 9th Nov 2010 and have left it on non stop. It now read 316 miles over 52 days i.e. just over 6 miles a day. Bear in mind that I have used other bikes as well in that time (I guess for about 100 miles). So I am riding at something over 50 miles per week at the moment. I would like to see that increase quite a lot during the next year.
So far I have pretty much kept to the plan to not cycle for work with the local Methodist Circuit where I am based (Leicester North Circuit). The only exception was on Christmas Eve when I had a service at Rothley at 4pm and another at Syston at 5pm, so I drove to Rothley. All other drives for work have been longer (Loughborough twice, Swanick once, Northampton three times).
What I will do is try to fit in more longer rides. I find that rides that last several hours have a really helpful and significant impact on my weight. I mostly do these as low to medium intensity as I am not trying to train for high speed races but to burn fat and enjoy myself. The ride last week in the New Forest was a good example (I could actually see that some of the Christmas weight gain had disappeared). I don’t think very many of the rides will be off road in that style. Partly that is because of convenience in getting to the rides (generally I don’t like driving somewhere to cycle), but it also reflects my feeling that off road rides are costly in terms of bike maintenance, equipment and time without my finding them hugely more enjoyable. I plan to write about that in the next day or so.
With the daily cycling habit to keep going, the riding for work and the longer rides I hope that I will be able to burn off enough calories that simply by eating reasonably sensibly (yeah I know I am not very good at that) I will be able to achieve the target weight loss of 15kg by end of July (which seems incredibly daunting at the moment). At the same time I hope to achieve a personal best in terms of miles cycled during the year although that is a a by product rather than a specific target.
As I am already feeling many benefits of having cycled more in the last 4 months than ever before (much fitter, far fewer colds, happier) I am very much looking forward to 2011.