Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005 Roundup

Before we jump head long into a whole heap of 2006 rides I thought it'd be cool to review 2005 before it all becomes a distant memory. You know the kinda thang; achievements/goals, highlights, lowlights, etc. Here's my contribution and please feel free to add your own...
  • 5Spot : One of my top highlights has got to be acquiring a new bike along with loads of sparkly new bits and building a steed from the boxes up - another 1st. Sourcing these items from abroad saved me a few bob rather than coughing up Taxes, which was gratifying.
  • Afan : A wkend riding the fabulous Welsh trails at Afan (new to me) with a fine posse of riders and cabin "loungers" making it even more special. The awesome weather helped too.
  • Marin : A serious low was hearing that Brumster had lost his Marin complete with a PUSH'd rear shock and spankin' Pace carbon fork. Neither of which were tried in anger before some half wit turned his pad upside down.
  • Chipmunk : Acquired a new steed over the summer (hurrah, something else for me to "fettle") and I've since seen her confidence and enthusiasm grow ride after ride, truely heart warming.
  • Ridgeway : This lengthy ride was a mixture of success at having ridden so far (way further than before) but also regret at not completing the whole route and abandoning Drudus-maxi-pedalus. Though I was still able to walk afterwards which I mightn't had I continued.
  • Cannock : A thoroughly wet ride around the Chase brought more low's than any other '05 ride, literally - as I struggled to stay upright. Which seemed to be a catalyst for lots more "offs" over the following few weeks. "Chicks dig scars" right ? I still enjoyed the ride though.
  • Posse : Riding pals often make an average ride much more enjoyable and this year I've been lucky enough to almost now be able to loose the "Billy no mates" tag. I've seen Brumster take the reigns of my trusty ol'Marin and watching his enthusiasm for our sport grow has warmed my cockles. Meeting and riding with the colourful Westoning crew, now means that I don't always ride my laocal, gnarly trails on my own. Watching (albeit from afar) Roger and his little'uns gain an interested in the sport. Meeting and riding with Uphilla (another 5Spot owner) and his little posse has been...entertaining ;-) Lastly and by no means least, my foreign 5Spot purchase introduced to me Chaybo (a MTB nut over in Montana) who is a top bloke and now someday deserves to see just how badly I ride.
  • Fitness : Has steadily improved throughout the year which is no doubt attributed to a longer commute since Feb'05. I also came very close to accumulating 3k miles cranking (combined recreation + commute) which is a grand result after a slack 2004 (when I only managed 1/3rd of the '05 miles).
At the start of '05 I set out to improve my riding (as I try to year on year) and I'm happy to report that I now find myself riding much knarlier terrain than before. I'm also fitter, able to ride further and harder whilst still enjoying the trails.

There's still room for improvement though, which is why 2006 is going to be so much fun...


uphilla said...

It is good to read your reflections on last year, on the whole it seems like good progress. Have appreciated your help and company on rides during 2005.

Mine would be:

Riding: Afan, Shropshire, Cannock (Quite a bit),Woburn, Devon, Oxforshire, but mostly local roads.
Bikes: S-Works HT (Mostly); S-Works FSR; 5-Spot replaced latter late in Year.
Fitness: variable, but certainly better than 2004
Skill Level: no major change, but feeling more confident off road on the 5-Spot which is why I bought it.

2006? Hope to try some new trails and improve off road skills