Review and Renew

For my first post of the year I thought I’d follow an old routine and put 2010 to bed before waking up 2011 with a bucket of cold water and a strong slap around the chops.


So, how did I do?  Well, I registered one substantive Fail: the Great Manchester Run, which I didn’t do.  Running and me have decided that we don’t really get on, so we’ve parted company.  So I won’t be joining the triathletes among you.  Maybe I’ll do a duathlon one day if the swimming isn’t too bad (and if I get another bike).

On the plus side, there was much Win.  I completed the Manchester to Blackpool ride and was very happy with my (very mediocre) time.  This helped me to hit the 100 miles in that month’s challenge, which spurred me on to other months too.  Many of you joined me trying to amass 100 miles each month until the end of the year.  With your help (and I can’t say how much you helped me, you really did) I rode 628 miles last year.  My furthest ever, mostly to Littleborough and Hebden Bridge.

Raising £500 through the year for Springhill Hospice was fantastic.  To those of you who helped, I’m more grateful than you will ever know.  My Mum will be smiling on us from whichever afterlife you prefer to imagine – or if you don’t believe, then those who are spending time in that wonderful hospice will be grateful for the dignity and care that you’ve helped to support.

I’ve also made my life linger and happier with the fitness you’ve motivated me to maintain.  For this I am thankful, too.


Once again, I’m keeping my goals SMART* this year.  I’m focusing on a small number of them, as I have difficulty concentrating on more than one thing at a time.  I am a man and I make no excuses.

This year I shall try to:

  • Cycle 1,000 miles
  • Raise another £500.00 for Springhill Hospice

If you can help me achieve either of these, then I love you. But not in that way.

You can definitely help by joining our January 100 Mile Challenge and simply getting on your bike.  I will keep the link always on the right of this blog, in the little brown box.

* SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed.

So What?

I realise that this post is mostly in the first person.  That’s because it’s about me.  But I hope you can identify with what’s happening, especially at this time of year.  Please join me on the challenges.  Please divert what money you can into a worthy charity for the sake of others.

Please have a fantastic year and lots of cheesy grins like this when you get home:

2011 - A Year For Grinning.

Chilly and Cheerful, 2011 The Year Of The Grin

I know: scary, but I’m having a great time.  Will you this year?

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12 comments on “Review and Renew

  1. Lost

    Sod the ‘fail’. Life is all about doing. So what if you didn’t get to do the running malarkey. You DID get to ride a lot more than you used to. You DID raise money for a wonderful cause. You DID make your mum proud in doing so.

    I may not have been in the challenges at the end of the year, and I can’t be in them until spring/summer cos of the mechano but even though I’m not in it physically, I’m in it mentally willing you on. And you’re definitely getting a lot of people spurred on into getting their asses into gear.

    So, yeah, 2011 is all about the cheesy, maniacal grin 🙂

  2. Phill

    It’s all about the grin 🙂

    Can’t wait for you to be good as new and riding Lost, look after yourself. Appreciate the support lots.

  3. Lost

    I’m taking things real easy and slow while trying to get my full ROM and strength back in my shoulder. But I will be back. And I’ll want to whoop ass when I am 😉

  4. PhilR

    I think Lost hit it the nail on the head, I don’t see any fail there and not only have you got yourself riding and enjoying more you’ve got others joining in too.
    I missed some riding due to my bad back in August and haven’t been out much since but I did way more miles than I would have done doing it by myself. And I feel the motivation for this year already, wanting to hit 1,000 miles, and I can’t wait till things ease off at work and I can get out, just too bloody knackered at the minute 😀

  5. Phill

    Cheers Phil, time is the biggest issue. I’m trying to stick a regular Tuesday night Autopilot loop of 11ish miles, then a longer ride every 2 weeks at the weekend but it’s going to be tough to put the miles in. Fingers crossed for holiday miles, eh?

    I should think that once the nights get lighter it’ll start being a lot more fun, too.

  6. PhilR

    Yeah, I’m hoping to get out on a Sunday, not really having days off at the moment and working 10 hour days cos of the amount of people on the sick 🙁

    Not so much the lighter nights as such but bloody warmer would be nice 😀

  7. Toby Field

    Thank you Phill. You’ve definitely achieved more than you set out to. Your monthly mileage challenge convinced my wife to start riding and she even completed 100 miles one month.

    I find completing the challenges difficult at this time of year as I have no one to ride with and after commuting 100 miles to work each week, I can’t think of anything more boring than riding more miles by myself. Once the weather gets better I’m sure I’ll meet your challenges again regularly.

    Thanks Phill.

  8. @phillconnell

    Phil, I can cope with the cold, it’s the wet that bugs me. Hope the hours ease up soon so you can get out some more.

    Toby, I don’t honestly expect to get the 100 this month either (but I’ll try). I do love the leisure miles but I know I don’t commute so for me, all miles are fun miles. Thankfully I have a lovely loop from my house. I’m just chuffed that people join in, it helps me loads.

    Cheers mate.

  9. gary walder

    Great, inspiring blog Phil and I’ve just added myself to your subscription list.

    It’s partly through seeing this blog (and others like massive mountainbiker), and seeing an ad for the Mental Health Foundation in MBR magazine that prompted me to write my own blog.

    It’s about coping with depression and using mountain biking to help. Whether we’re suffering from depression, diabetes or obesity, we have to set challenges to overcome them. I’ve set myself a massive challenge for this year which I’ll write about on my blog.

    I’m new to the world of blogging (so forgive me if I’ve broken some kind of protocol) but perhaps you could give my blog a plug or maybe link with it. I’ve just added a link to your site.

    Keep it up and happy cycling!


  10. Phill

    It’s always brilliant when a reader pops up and says something nice, and you’re not just talking nicely, you’re getting out there and doing something about it. Top marks, sir! I’m adding your blog to the links here and I’ll be keeping abreast of your ambitious plans. All the very best! 🙂

  11. gary walder

    Hi Phil,

    This is a belated response to your Christmas goodies post. I noticed the light you got and by coincidence, mine just arrived this morning. I went for the helmet light and handlebar option. I’ve never been night riding before so I can’t wait to spark these babies up and get out in the forest where I live. Could be a fantastic experience, or it could scare the bejesus out of me. Won’t know till I get out there!

  12. @phillconnell

    I’d go for the 2nd option: “scare the bejesus”. 🙂 I do mainly towpath riding and my light’s brilliant (bwahaha) for that, but I’d be a bit nervous in the forest.

    Having said that, it sounds like loads of fun!

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