How a year can change, huh!? Since my last update on my goals here back in December 2019, things have changed for all of us, so I thought it was a good time to review and refresh my plans and keep my mind on the bigger picture.

With the country in lockdown, like many my event calendar has changed dramatically. This year was the start of my journey towards Race Across America in 2022. With events being postponed and cancelled left, right and centre I’ve been looking at what events and challenges I can do to ensure I’m continuing to grow and develop as an ultra-distance cyclist.

So here’s how this year is panning out;

The calendar of events

  • RED January
    • RED means Run Every Day, but the focus of this challenge is not just on running but committing to being active for the 31 days of January. The event raises money for Mind, the mental healthy charity, and is why I’ve signed up for my second year running.
    • Find out more and sign up here – https://redtogether.co.uk/
  • 4 January – The Poor Student – 205km Audax

I completed this early season challenge and you can find out more in my blog about the event here.

  • 3-4 April – TransEngland – 280km self supported race
    • CANCELLED – Hopefully this will be back for 2021!
  • NEW – 2 May – Knights of Sufferlandria challenge
    • A late addition as a result of lockdown, this challenge was to complete 10 Sufferfest indoor cycling workouts, back to back in one day. I completed the challenge and raised an amazing £500 for The Trussell Trust, you can find out more about it in the blog I wrote for my sponsors, VeloSkin, here.
  • NEW – 24-30 May – Tour de RGT
    • Another lockdown addition, this challenge is to explore the RGT cycling app and to put some pressure on the body, getting used to day on day hard efforts and practising recovery.
    • The Tour takes on 3 races (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) with a recovery day (Thursday) before an unofficial vEveresting of Passo Dello Stelvio (Friday) to finish.
  • NEW – 16 June – VRAW – 1488km Virtual Race Across the West
    • A 1488km (925 mile) virtual event powered by FulGaz, an indoor cycling app. This is the worlds first and biggest ultra-cycling event staged between 16-28 June 2020.
  • 8 July – London – Land’s End – London – 1026km Audax
    • A 1026km cycling event starting from Raynes Park, Wimbledon organised by the Kingston Wheelers which I’ll be aiming to complete within the 75hr window. 
    • CANCELLED – This event has been cancelled, along with all Audax events, until further notice. However, I’m hopeful of still being able to take on the challenge as a DIY Solo effort. This will obviously depend on the Government guidance and whether hotels will be open (as I’d already booked accommodation for the second evening) or to wild camp.
  • 23 August – The Irish Ultra
    • A 1100km ultra-endurance, solo cycling race to be completed within a 68hr time limit.
    • CANCELLED – I was seriously excited for this event and will definitely be entering for 2021 but am likely to enter for full Race Around Ireland instead (2,150km) as I will be building towards RAAM 2022.
  • 29-30 August – Wessex 24 – 330m Sportive
    • This sportive, a new addition to the Tour of Wessex, is a single stage 328 mile sportive over the byways and lanes of the South West.
    • POSTPONED – The event was due to take place over the weekend of 23 May, but has postponed to the provisional new date in August.
  • October – Redbull Time Laps, Windsor (Solo)
    • (Date TBC) – cycling for 24hours (well actually 25hrs, as the event is held over the end of Daylight Savings) over a 6.6km circuit.

What’s changed?

2020 and beyond

So, as you can see lots has changed but I’m trying to keep put the miles and the effort in. The ‘A Events’ may have changed and are more virtual now, that doesn’t make them any less challenging or exciting.

Pain aside, I’m confident in my training so far – thanks for Pav and all the team at Spokes – and I know with their help and guidance I’ll get to the start line of these events in good shape, physically and mentally. At the time of writing, I’m taking on my little Tour de RGT and preparing for the mental challenge of the virtual Everesting (8 times up Stelvio) – but I feel good at the moment. Physically my legs are good, my FTP is creaping back up after dipping down earlier in the year, and mentally I feel strong and am starting to believe more in myself and my ability.

Looking ahead to 2021, I’ve got London-Edinburgh-London a 1500km self-supported ride across the UK in August 2021 confirmed and will need to take on Revolve 24 in September, as this will be my qualifying event from RAAM in 2022.

Share your own goals

I’d love to hear what you guys have got planned for next year and beyond. What events are you training for or have signed up to, what has changed or maybe you’ve got an idea for a DIY challenge of your own.

Get in touch or comment below!

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