26 December 2013

My top five magic moments on a bike in 2013

2013 has been a great year for me and cycling. I audaxed less, but deepened my involvement in the audax community. I couldn't travel abroad, but cycled in the UK more than ever before. I did less intentional 'training' than I had hoped, but found myself stronger than I ever have been. As has become my tradition, here are the most magical moments I've spent on a bike in 2013.

#1. Winding my way through the mountains on the west coast of Harris: Our tour of the Outer Hebrides in April was basically magical every moment. Harris' west coast was so beautiful, we rode it twice (in order to circumnavigate that island).

#2. Pedalling against the patriarchy on the hottest day of the year: As part of Rapha's Women's 100, some friends and I planned a Feminist 100km ride in East Anglia. I had so much fun cycling with only women, and being solely responsible for navigating was a great challenge that increased my confidence.

#3. Volunteering at the Loughton control of LEL: Ok, so I wasn't technically on a bike when we helped out at the start and end of LEL, but we did use our bikes to get there. Audax is a truly inspiring community, and LEL epitomises everything that is great about it. It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.

#4. Rolling into Oxford after completing the Poor Student Perm: I haven't audaxed much this year, and in fact approached the last month of the Audax season without a single completed ride. It felt good to complete an audax, but even better to finish feeling like I had ridden just at the limit of my ability, but not outside of it.

#5. Rolling along the A93 through Cairngorms National Park: On our second tour in Scotland this year, we crossed the Cairngorms one on of the best stretches of road we've ever been on -- the A93, a day and a half of pure cycling bliss. We enjoyed gorgeous weather, quiet roads, and the company of our good friend Mateo. 

2013 was our last year of cycling in the UK for quite some time. Although I am so excited for our next adventure, I'll really cherish these moments, and many others, of our time there.

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