24 December 2013

My 2013 in pictures

As it has been the tradition for the past couple of years, here are some of my favourite pictures in 2013. 

January. Snowstorm in Epping Forest. This could well be a regular day in most of Scandinavia right now. But on a very cold and snowy Saturday morning, Dan and I set off to ride the fresh snow of the Epping Forest, still within the M25 of London. Even though we did not have any winter tyres, the snow was soft enough to allow some pleasant miles. 

February. Lucy (in pink at the front) leads a team of machacas including two serious ironmen triathletes down to Brighton. It was a typically English February morning, temperatures not much above 0 degrees celsius, damp roads and leafless trees. I rode this following a tough 200 km audax the day before, and could barely keep up with the guys (and girl!)
March. Pico Gallinero in the Spanish Pyrinees. Spain has some really good mountains, and lots of snow in the winter, despite what lots of people in the UK might think. It does get cold up there at 2600 m! I managed to pack a weekend full of off-piste skiing following a snowstorm the day before. 

April. The road to Tregaron on the Yr Elenith audax. This has to be one of the finest rides one can do in the UK. A 300 km audax, held in April, and superbly oganised by John Hamilton. It traverses Shropshire and goes into Mid Wales and back. The weather was typically Welsh (i.e. wet, windy, and cold) but I had a blast and wish I could return to these roads every now and then. Hugh, on the picture, kept me company most of the way.
April (II). Setting up camp in sunny  Hushinish. One of our most favourite cycling trips, if not the most, was to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. We had sun 80% of the time. This picture was taken in the idyllic Hushinish beach, where we camped with a view of South Harris
May. Somewhere in Wales, with already 300 km under our legs, on the Bryan Chapman. This was my second ever 600 km ride, and the highlight of my audax season. The aim was to cross Wales South to North and back down within 40 hours and 8000 m of climbing in between. We had great weather, not a single drop of rain, and lots of sun on the second day. The company couldn´t have been better: Javier, a super-fit Spaniard also living in London, led the group on numerous occasions and put up with me for 38 hours.
June. Wearing a headnet on the A838 near Tongue. Scotland is known for its stunning landscapes, fjords and friendly people. But also for its midges. On a warm and calm summer day in Scotland, you get lots of flying tiny biting insects called midges. They can easily ruin your evening, as was the case. We ate on the go (literally!) and with headnets on. So yes, the photo was not taken on a Cambodian floating market, despite all looks!
July. The start of the London-Edinburgh-London. Having decided against riding this 1400 km audax, we did not hesitate to volunteer and give something back to the community that had worked hard for us in may of our audaxes. We registered riders from all over the globe, made baguettes and teas, cleaned, fixed bikes, and ultimately had a great time and met lots of interesting people. If you don´t ride next time, make sure you volunteer!
August. 5:30 am. The start of the Old 240 (miles) audax. A very wet, cold and windy hilly 400 km ride through the Yorkshire Dales. It took us almost 25 hours of real tough riding, where I very nearly bailed out had it been a bit easier to get back to the start. I completed my second ever super randonneur series, this time with lots of climbing points

September. Riding along the Schuylkill river in Philadelphia. Not all has to be long distances, rocky trails or touring. On a visit to Lucy´s family in Philly, we took on the trails alongside the river and simply had a good time.
October. 8 pm at sunset. A short overnight solo trip to Dunwich, on the Suffolk coast. Other than a very stiff headwind on the following day, and some heavy rain overnight, it was great

November. After the gales and rain, the sun finally shone. As a good-bye England weekend trip, Lucy and I visited the Peak District National Park, where we endured some heavy rain but still had a great time. In the off-season is a great destination to go cycle-camping from London

December. A crisp start to our climb to Puerto de la Fuenfría in Madrid. Back to my beloved Sierra de Madrid. Even though it was sunny and mildly warm initially, we encountered so much snow on the way up that we had to abandon our plans to climb to the Bola del Mundo at 2200 m. It will have to wait to warmer times, or spiky tyres.


  1. Replies
    1. Merry Christmas to you too, and a tailwind for all your 2014 rides ;)

  2. Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2014. Great photographs and memories. Looking forward to seeing you out on the road in the next 12 months.