If you’ve been following my blog(s) for a year or more then you’ll know that I set myself several challenges for 2014.  The biggest one of these being ‘to ride the length of the Tour de France’.  I also had two supplementary challenges, which were things I’d like to do.  So how did it go?

Let’s start with the distance challenge, shall we?  This was somewhat blown out of the water by my purchase of a road bike.  My total distance from the previous year was 3341 km when aiming for a 3000 km target.  The 2014 Tour de France distance was 3656 km (preliminary distance) and so that became my new target, with 4000 km in mind as an unofficial higher aim.  However, all of this was based on riding my mountain bike and mostly off-road.

This year I have actually managed a grand total of…

…5412 km.

The distance I've ridden

The distance I’ve ridden

Hmm, as you can see ‘blown out of the water’ but then approx 3800 km of this was done on the road bike I didn’t expect to get!  Which means I only did 1560 km on my mtb, but then I’d have spent more time on my mtb and therefore more distance if I’d not had the roadie.  So I’m going to put that challenge down as completed anyway!

So what about the other spot challenges?  Well, I pulled them from a list of 10 things every mtb’er should do.  See last year’s preview for more info on these.

The first I chose was to sleep with my bike; I think turning my bike into a shelter using a £3 tarp from B&Q and sleeping under it for two nights in the North York Moors counts as success in this respect!  That was a trip to remember and one I really would like to repeat.

Sleeping with my bike

Sleeping with my bike

The second one was to ride a trail centre in the dark; this one I kind of forgot about and therefore didn’t succeed at.  Strange really because it should have been the easiest to achieve too.  So I have to put that down as a failure, it can roll over to this year though and I’m sure I can knock it off the list sometime soon.

Then the unexpected one that I didn’t have on my list but was on the list of things all mtb’ers should do was to ride down to the sea.  This I actually did as part of my North York Moors trip on day 1 by riding from our start point in Cropton across the moors to Whitby.  The first thing we did when we entered Whitby was to pick up Fish & Chips and ride down to the sea.  So I’m going to strike that off the list too; even though it was somewhat less epic looking than in the video.

Can you see the sea?

Can you see the sea?

Of course my year of cycling wasn’t all about challenges.  There was plenty of other riding and some memorable rides.  I cycled to Cambridge to watch the start of stage 3 of the Tour de France.  I conquered several hills from the UK 100 greatest climbs list, including Holme Moss (both ways), Buttertubs Pass, Lamps Moss, and Winnats Pass just to name a few.  I took on the lake district on my mountain bike for the first time and I returned to the North York Moors for a proper explore in a 3 day epic.

I don’t plan on doing a cumulative challenge for 2015 like I have done the last two years but I will carry on cycling and I like to have some aims.  So if you have any suggestions then the comments at the bottom of this post are open!