One of the biggest changes to my life in 2017 was that I took up running. I built up from running 2-3km to regularly running a 5k two-or-three times a week. Running culminated in finishing the rather hilly Hardwick 10k in one hour and 41 seconds. Sadly, after the race my motivation waned and I gradually ran less often until I picked up an injury in October after trying too hard to get back on track. That injury was followed by unrelated health issues and a crunch period at work, so the running year ended at a low point.

Over the year I managed to run 387km across 84 runs.

Running aims for 2018 are to beat my 10k time in a race and to run a further total distance than I did in 2017.


Cycling highlight of 2017 was without a doubt riding North over the Humber bridge and then home via the trans-pennine trail. At 177km (109 miles) it’s by far the longest ride I’ve made. It took over nine hours plus breaks and was a fairly even split between quiet roads and trail. For the first 70 miles I felt pretty good but started going downhill from then, by the end I felt like death, particularly when I got the only puncture of the day about 5km from home. Still it was a fantastic ride and an achievement I’m pretty proud of.

Most of my other rides were riding the same local routes as usual, though I did manage to get on a couple of good rides with Sara – Carsington to Parsley Hay on the Tissington Trail returning via the High Peak Trail and a rainy, muddy lap around Derwent and Howden reservoirs.

Hugo was getting a bit big for the child seat, so I rented a bike at Center Parcs with a Burley Piccolo tag-a-long. It essentially turns your bike into a tandem. After getting home, I quickly bought one and so we’ve had lots of adventures cycling along together, both for leisure and as a way of transport. We’ve not used it since the end of Autumn but he’s raring to get on it again.

I’ve also just got a turbo trainer for christmas so hopefully I’ll be in better condition come this summer.

Mountain biking

While at Center Parcs I visited Whinlatter to do some mountain biking. Other than the short and tame “adventure cycling” track at Wiliamthorpe Ponds and the blue route at Sherwood Pines my mountain bike experience was rather limited.

First we rode the blue-rated Quercus route, which was tonnes of fun – fast flowing swoopy bits, berms and board walks. There was some hard climbing but it was enjoyable and the downhill bits made it worthwhile. I felt confident and had some of the most fun I’ve had on two wheels.

After that we rode the south portion of the red-rated Altura route. This was a long steep climb on a hot sunny day, ascending over 200m, my longest climb yet. The route down had some adverse cambered rocky features which were out of my comfort zone but also some fast table-top jumps which I did enjoy.

The hard work to get to the top of the South Altura route and the bits I didn’t enjoy meant I rode the blue route again while the others went to ride the even tougher North Altura route.

My last ride of 2017 was a wet boxing day ride on the red-rated Kitchener trail at Sherwood Pines. This was ok but nowhere near as good as either of the Whinlatter routes, it felt like most of the reason for the red-rating was because of the rooty and rocky surface rather than because of fun berms and other features. I didn’t really relax into it as I did at Whinlatter and it was very puddly.

I enjoyed the odd bit of mountain biking and loved Whinlatter but not enough to take it up regularly or get my own mountain bike. That said I’ll hopefully try the Kitchener route at Sherwood Pines again in drier weather.


In total I managed to ride 1775km, climbing 24660 metres over 390 rides as well as several virtual km on the turbo trainer.

For 2017 I aimed to:

  1. Do more non-commute riding
    • I don’t really feel like I did this – I did more km but over fewer rides I think.
  2. Do more kilometres total than I did in 2016
    • Did this by 90km
  3. Have a 100km ride
    • Smashed this by 77km

Aims for 2018 are:

  1. Do more non-commute riding
  2. Do more kilometres total in 2018 than I did in 2017
  3. Complete another 100 mile-ish ride

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