2022 Cycling Highlights
2022 Cycling Highlights

2022 Cycling Highlights

I had a few targets in 2022. I’d decided not to set any overall annual mileage targets though, but more qualitative goals. Here are the goals I set myself at various times during the year…

  • Win a Zwift race
  • Finish off 12 consecutive monthly mileage records
  • Get the Tron Bike in Zwift (50km of climbing)
  • Try a Cyclocross race
  • Do some more of the “100 climbs” series
  • Set a new 10 mile TT PB

The only one that was distance related was to continue the full year of “12 consecutive monthly mileage records” which I started in June 2021. I managed to complete that, which meant avoiding having a sustained period of time out of the saddle for a full year. Thereafter I wasn’t focussed on maximising mileage at all.

As it happens, I did set a new overall distance for the year record in excess of 8,000 miles, but that was a side-effect of enjoying my riding, not the main goal.

Win a Zwift Race

I did my first Zwift race in December 2021. It was a Crit City 8 lapper and I came 8th in C. I hadn’t really got much of a clue what I was doing and didn’t know any racecraft or have any drafting skills. I didn’t really do much racing for the next couple of months apart from a private GC series with some Cyclechat mates. Being a bit “challenged” at the longer duration end, I picked out the shortest race I could find – LaGuardia Loop 1 lap – 4km and had a go at that on 1st March. That was my first podium – silver.

First few race results

After a few more goes, I found a 10km race in early April and managed to win that. YAY! Overall I managed to win 6 golds in 2022 – most of them were short punchy climbs, but I did manage to win a 20km race on Stage 3 of Race Like a Champ in October…

First win over 20km

Overall I did 88 races in 2022. 6 golds, 7 silver, 7 bronze. I think the result I’m most pleased with is probably the bronze on Roule Ma Poule from November 8th in our EMEAW W division 1 ZRL race. That one ended with an intense climb up the reverse Petit KoM in which I crossed the line 4th, but the guy in front of me was disqualified. First podium in ZRL – a landmark result.

3rd place in ZRL EMEAW W division 1

Finish off 12 consecutive monthly mileage records

I managed this one and then backed off the focus on mileage. June-Dec 2021 in green. Jan-May 2022 in black. I deliberately didn’t exceed June 2021’s total this year as I wanted to stop, having completed the goal.

June 2021 to May 2022 beating monthly record for each month

Get the Tron Bike in Zwift (50km of climbing)

The Tron bike in Zwift is a reward for 50km of climbing. I originally thought it might be achievable in about 4-5 months but it took a little longer. I managed to get it in early June just before signing off Zwift for the summer. The reason it’s worth having is that it is a good all-round bike for flat/rolling courses (that’s why you see a lot of them in ZRL races). It’s regarded as the best “all-rounder” in the game, so useful to have.

Try a Cyclocross Race

In July and August I did 4 summer cyclocross races at Milton Keynes Bowl. Intense like you can’t imagine. Essentially it feels like a 40-minute VO2max ride. Lots of fun and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t bother with any of the Autumn/Winter season because I got well into Zwift racing and you can’t do it all.

First Cx race at MK Bowl

Do Some More of the “100 Climbs” Series

In June I did a few trips to ride some of the “100 Climbs” and “Another 100 Climbs”. Also did three on a May trip to the Lake District. At year-end 2022 we’re sitting at 19 of “the 100” and 10 of the “another 100” ridden.

100-climbs status at end 2022

Honister Pass on the Lake District trip and several of the climbs I did with Rory in Wales were real standout efforts. But I think the highlight had to be the 10 hour, 105 mile, 3131m hilly ton in 30°C. Rhiwr road was an utter bastard both climbing and descending, but the Rhigos descent with motorbikes unable to catch us, was a pure joy.

Elevation profile of the 105.65 mile 3131m ride in Wales

That was a big day. For a rest the next day we did Constitution Hill in Swansea, followed by the Bwlch…

Set a New 10 mile TT PB

I only did one time trial this year. I targeted the best weather slot and happened to hit my peak fitness for the year as well. All the planets aligned and I managed 26:05 at Weston-on-the-Green (previous best 26:27). Also set a new outdoor 20-minute power record on that ride of 236W. I decided to leave it there and focus on the hills, trips and Cx races after that for the rest of the summer season.

The Goal that Wasn’t a Goal

Despite not setting a mileage target for the year, by focussing on “enjoying my cycling” I have exceeded my previous annual mileage record with 8155 miles. Previous best last year was 7484.

I haven’t set any targets for 2023 yet except the one overwelmingly important one “to enjoy my cycling”. No doubt, as the year progresses I will identify some targets and try to achieve them.

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