A multi-bike year - and the year ahead.

This year on two wheels has been fantastic.  It's been seriously fantastic fun and I've had a real blast doing it.  It's had everything so to cover it all in a few words is going to be difficult.  For a sample of some of the many highlights:

  • Winter training with rides between the midlands and the North West, riding up and over every climb possible, while eating pies and pasties to keep me warm.
  • Riding Nottingham to Manchester and back just for dinner.
  • Repeating the Northern Leg Breaker and finding The Man With The Hammer on Holm Moss on the second ascent on the way home.
  • 2 days later riding the tandem with Mrs Stav over Holm Moss again for fantastic pies at The Church.
  • Riding up a 1 in 5 gradient on a knackered MTB while eating a pasty with one hand the day before The Fred Whitton.
  • Doing the Fred and then throwing up over the bars on Winter Fell as a fever  kicks in and destroys your epic ride which included a fantastic turn on the front and being on for possibly fastest every Fred time.
  • Riding with the kids, with tag-a-longs, muddy puddles and ice-creams.
  • Doing training on the tandem with Mrs Stav and going for pies in Melton all fro training.
  • Riding the Notts One Hundred with Mrs Stav and my brother, chatting to other tandem crews and coming home to the finish line to be met by the kids.
  • Pushing to a double imperial century, triple metric century by riding to Skegness and back in around 11 hours ride time.
  • Setting out on fast solo Saturday night ride and smashing 32km/hr on a 100km loop.
  • Early morning race to the start of the London Surrey 100 to complete in 4 hrs 32 mins.  If it wasn't for an ambulance, I could have smashed sub-4.5hrs!  Then riding the next 30 miles around old haunts of Essex before heading for the car.
  • The epic Rise Above Sportive on the tandem with Mrs Stav.  While everyone else did the shorter route, team Stav double tapped nearly every climb.  Our image, notoriety and camaraderie on the road carrying on through Tweets and photos for days to weeks after.
  • Riding to work the day after the Rise Above and feeling very lonely without my stoker.
  • Riding through every weather, rain or shine, early or late, hot or cold and seeing the most amazing sight, meeting thousands of smiles and sharing stories as we've gone.
  • Starting the Edinburgh-London adventure with Lynsey Wilson of Loughborough University and the initial test sessions.
  • Finding a working Zwift system and learning about how to improve my training with more targeted training.
As it's the end of the year, light is short and temperatures are low, however I'm still excited just to turn cranks.  My year is ending with form below what I'd hoped (thank's kids for the virus), but still strong.  I have possibly one ride left and as Mrs Stav has bought me a Brooks Swallow for Christmas my last ride(s) of the year aren't going to be high speed dashes but solid rides re-visiting some of my favourite roads.  The Concorde maybe going on a weight restriction diet but the Genesis is developing into the year round Rule #5 machine for every event.  If all goes to plan, I should hit 7,500 miles (Garmin/Strava tells me I've already hit the 12,000 km self target) by the end of the year.

For 2016, I'm really looking forwards to finding new roads, meeting more people, sharing more roads and riding solo, tandem, teams, with Anna, in sportives and audaxes.  I have techno tweaks I want to develop, training plans I want to execute and a Strava year to date to rebuild.  Mrs Stav will be getting a new bike and doing her first solo 100 miles with me and the kids will ride further and faster with every year.

I hope everyone else is excited as I am and looking forwards to 2016 being bigger and better than 2015 no matter what level of activity you do.

Dr Stav.

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