Monday, 2 January 2012

The Challenge

The statement "I'm planning to ride 100 hills in 2012" is normally met with looks of confusion from those who don't know me well. As challenges go, it's not the most original - I remember reading about someone who was fund-raising in memory of his son, and Simon Warren must have been up and down a few times in researching his mini-tome (more details here). But for the satisfaction of being able to say I've 'done' what the UK has to offer in cycling terms (cue arguments about all those hills in Norfolk that mysteriously didn't quite make it) as well as being a good way of structuring a few rides with friends, I will be documenting the trials and tribulations of my almost-completely-pointless endeavours as this almost-completely-devoid-of-sports year passes by.

So, less than 24 hours since the NYE carnage at Chateau Grunwerg and the planning has begun...
A sensible evening's planning

A hungover and very wet trip into Central London on New Year's Day resulted in £8 left behind in Stanfords, and a large wall map showing the physical relief of the UK being strategically placed in my flat - I have a hunch that the inspiration is going to be much needed to get organised for all of these trips. Nothing says planning quite like WWII-style map pins sticking purposely out of an over-sized map - now all I need are some mini battleships and one of those roulette rake things and I'll be able to recreate the D-Day landings.
That's a lot of pins
The planning has also taken shape online. While many slept off their festive food comas by hibernating in front of the Christmas TV and a roaring fire, I chose to use those calories mapping out all of the climbs in the book on one convenient Google map. Boring, tedious and long-winded, the Christmas viewing schedule bares many similarities with the process of finding on a map unnamed climbs on tiny roads in the middle of Dartmoor. However that process is now over and I can share this map with you - you'll still want to get hold of the book if you want to ride these without me as it's got a good amount of detail in, but when someone says "I climbed Fleet Moss" at least you'll know where that is...

View 100 climbs in a larger map
I've also been shopping - new blinging wheels for the nice bike, and panniers for the tourer/CX bike mean that I literally have zero excuse not to ride. Bring on 2012!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. [Comment now updated with a picture of the best dog in the world]
    Good luck Nathan - I see you're subscribing to the 'throw cash at the problem' philosophy in relation to the purchase of the new wheels! Join the rest of us cyclists with all the gear and no idea. Look forward to joining you on some of your rides, I need all the training I can get - I have subscribed to the Jan Ullrich philosophy of 'yes, another pie will be good for me' this Christmas ... but the pies were a bad idea.

  3. Thanks Clive, and just in case you were thinking of investing in some more cycling equipment, here is a truly informed article setting out everything the author knows about road bikes (which is very little):