November and December Cycling – Don’t count the Miles

The last week of the year is proving to be a bit of a damp squib. A few slow rides over Christmas. A couple of days taken off due to wet weather, and another day off to recover from the shock of running 250 metres. But, despite a relatively lighter week – November and December 2012 have been the biggest block of cycling miles I’ve ever done in my life. Nearly 2,300 miles for the last two months of the year. I’ve never done that amount of cycling, even when the sun was shining and the temperature was in double figure. They say ‘make hay while the sun shines’. But, for some reason, I choose the darkest and wettest months on record to spend the most time ever on a bike. The crazy thing is that in summer, when its actually nice to ride, I probably won’t get close.

Yorkshire winter miles don’t really count double, but they are also hard fought. I won’t forget slogging for nearly five hours to get 60 miles on the clock on boxing day. There are definitely easier ways to cycle 60 miles than going to Arncliffe on a winter hack bike, in the middle of winter.

The strange thing is that I don’t really feel like I’ve been training in the past two months. That could probably sound a bit irritating if you’ve just taken the last four weeks off the bike due to ill health or bad weather. (it’s probably as irritating as those who say the go out for a three hour ‘recovery’ i.e at 18mph. Some recovery!)

But, it doesn’t feel like training because it has lacked any real structure. There has been no race specific training. There has been no pushing it to the limits. It’s rather nice to cycle up a hill, and if you don’t feel like going too hard, you can just slip down a gear. It’s only December after all.

More than anything the plan for November and December was to do as much cycling as I enjoyed doing. With a general plan being that if you cycle more, I’ll hopefully be in a better state to start training in 2013. A few observations about winter riding.

  • If you take care with the right winter riding gear, you can do a lot to mitigate the bad weather.
  • It may not be the most beautiful time of the year, but there is still very nice to get out in the countryside, even when it is bare.
  • It’s nice to be free to cycle without too much concern about peaking for some upcoming event.


Not that I’m counting the miles or anything. But, winter training so far.



on target for 7,000km for the end of February.

Weekly Miles


3 Responses to November and December Cycling – Don’t count the Miles

  1. jonty pritchard March 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    we have had one of the wettest summers on record i
    dont know if we made the news in great britain but brisbane
    gold coast ( WHERE I LIVE ) northern queensland absolute devastation
    people doing it real tough and its still raining day and night relentlessly
    so not as much riding until the brisbane to bay 100 klm at the end of march
    must get myself a pair of rollers jonty

  2. sheldon January 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    That’s a lot of cycling, well done. Despite being off work over Christmas my miles have dried up. I am blaming the wet weather and the strong winds. I have been out the last couple of days and only averaged 13MPH that’s what I call slow, but I have come back home cream crackered. It will be a long road back to fitness – roll on the spring. I agree with your point about Yorkshire miles are long and hard.
    Cheers Tejvan from your Otley CC fan club.

    • tejvan January 4, 2013 at 7:58 am #

      Cheers Sheldon. I was averaging 14mph. So not too different!

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