When the annual Audax riding calendar is released I sit down quietly and mark out the rides that I plan to do. My goals for the year ending 31 October were modest.
1. Ride at least one 200km or better randonée each month
2. Complete a Super Randonneur Series before end of June
3. Complete the 1000km Western District Wanderer
4. Complete Perth -Albany- Perth randonée (1000km + 200km)
5. Improve flexibility (from a low base I must add)
6. Improve core strength (again from a low base)
Although the year has not finished it is wise to progressively check how you are going in relation to your goals. Well that is what all the management gurus tell you and who am I to disagree.
Lets have a look at them:
1. I can honestly say that this goal is firmly on track. The Audax year is eleven months on and I have managed to ride at least one brevet in each month. There have been the odd month when I have had to complete a ride on the last day of the month. As an example: In January we had planned to ride a permanent out of Bright. We felt that the weather was too hot to attempt a 200km ride and as a result the only ride left on the calendar was Buckley’s Ride on the 31st. The weather on this day was hot and windy. I had no choice but to ride if I wanted that Year Round Randonneur award. To cut a long story short, I suffered through the day and made it home a little worse for wear.
Lesson: Plan to do a ride early in the month.
2. At this stage I have not yet completed a Super Series. This is unusual for me. I try to get this done as early as possible. I still require a 400km brevet ride to satisfy the requirements. The first 400km attempt ended when due to torrential rain in Lancefield, I decide that conditions were too dangerous to continue after 300km. It was a hard call, but riding at night is dangerous enough without adding heavy rain.
The second attempt in September saw me complete 300km when due to a $7 spring breaking in the Campagnolo freewheel I was unable to continue.
I have one more opportunity. 30th October, last day of the Audax Year.
3. The Western District Wanderer was a disaster for me. I was feeling good and riding well after having climbed over Lavers Hill. Despite thos There was a problem the cleat on my riding shoe was sliding and there was noting I could do to tighten it. At Dunkeld (around 400km) I reassessed the situation. Knowing that there was still some serious climbing through the Otways on the way home, I did not want to risk any injury, I made a sensible decision to live to fight another day.
4. PAP is being held next week. I feel I have a reasonable about of kilometers in my legs and enough randonneuring experience to complete this ride. At the end of it I will have completed the requirements for a Woodrup Award. This is the Australian equivalent to the Randonneur 5000 described in the glossary. The award is named after Graham Woodrup a well known racing cyclist and Audax member who held many Australian long distance records and the world 24 hour tandem record. He also established the Murray to Moyne 24 hour ride to raise funds for local hospitals and charities.
5 & 6 . These two are closely related, so I will deal with them together. When I was positioned on my bike Steve Hogg told me that my flexibility “sucked”. Unfortunately, after two years it still does. I completed 3 months of Yoga early in the year. I then hurt my Achilles and have not been back. I also do not stretch enough.
These goals that need to be at the top of my agenda.
I do not profess to be an expert. But over the years, both professionally and in my cycling, I have learnt that it is better to plan and fail, than not to plan.
If you have any doubts have a read of David Rowe’s Book “The Ride of Your Life. I provided a review of here .