This photo pretty much summed up that day’s riding, even though it was taken just as we were setting off.
This photo also pretty much sums up why I now won’t set off riding when it’s raining.
I’ve written about that day before, and I’ve talked about that day even more. You know, the Bristol day. The day we started off wet, got wetter, and never dried out.
My boss believes that I’m a glass half empty kind of guy… which maybe I am, but the liquid in the glass is rain… and I don’t like it. That day was the worst. It was terrible. It was out and out “the worst day of riding I ever did do.”
Now I’m more than willing to accept that maybe we didn’t set off with the most positive of attitudes towards the day ahead. Look at us there in the photo; heads down, trudging next to our bikes through puddles. And my brainbox has undoubtedly distorted my memories of that days riding into something that’s far more awful than it actually was. Now not only can I not get past it, I don’t think I want to. If it starts raining when I’m out I’ll get my head down and up my pace, trying to get home and out of it as quickly as I can. Which is probably another reason why I won’t set off in it. I ride to have fun, mostly, but getting my head down and trying to get around as quickly as I can doesn’t really sound like fun. It sounds like exercise.  It sounds like the gym…


With a ride today of 33 miles, bringing my weekly total to 66 miles, my yearly total now sits at 1,831 miles. So, with just 183 miles left to ride in 2 months, the 2,014 miles target is definitely achievable. With this mind I think then that it’s about time to say out loud next years target… thus making it real.

I’ve written before that it bugged me that I’d failed miserably of last years goal to ride 2,013 miles, so I’m going to make that up. Adding last years target of 2,013, to this years of 2,014, and adding 2,015 for next year will give me a 3 year goal of 6,042 miles. As of today, that would put me at 3245/6042. Or, to put it another way, behind… but I’m really looking forward to clawing those miles back.


A few new snaps up on Flickr;


Click here for more.


I’ve a feeling that maybe, just maybe, riding 2,014 miles this year is a distinct possibility. I’ve certainly beaten last years not so grand total of 1,414 miles. Having said that, I’m now not going to get to ride for the next 2 weeks as I’m off on holiday to Turkey. I have set myself a weekly target to adhere to though, which for the most part I’ve achieved. Where I’ve missed it one week I’ve then made sure to make it up the next. I’m pretty positive too that I’ve decided upon a goal for next year, which won’t just be 2,015 miles…


Little did I know at the start of last year that I was going to find myself with a distinct lack of time to ride. Well, a distinct lack of free time to do anything really. But it was the pitiful amount of time to ride that I was most disappointed by, especially considering the reason behind that lack of time.

I thought that I didn’t have anywhere near enough free time when I managed the garage. I’d work long hours, and occasionally work 6 days weeks. However the first year of managing a business that was in essence just starting out, I had to put in a lot more time. Every week was a 6 day week. Every day was an early start. I, to be fair, could end up with time in the evenings to ride but was generally too tired to go out. All of which was made worse by the fact that I was spending my working days setting people up with their new dream rides.

I had set out last year to ride 2,013 miles over the course of the year. Despite the fact that I had only ridden once in February, by the time I last wrote a post about it on the 3rd of April, I had ridden 364 miles. I was at that point riding more and pushing myself using Strava, everything was heading in the right direction. I then started at Ubyk 2 weeks later and the riding suffered, my target became harder and harder to reach. Looking back now at the rides I can’t honestly tell you why in October and November I went out just twice. Twice. Even John, who only started riding in February was putting in more miles than I was. In the end I stopped checking the total mileage. By the end of the year I had ridden just 1,417 miles. 596 miles short. 249 miles short of the year before, where I wasn’t even trying.

I didn’t set a target for this year. With the realisation that I didn’t have enough free time to dedicate the time to ride, I didn’t really see the point. By the end of April I had ridden just 11 times and knocked up just 269 miles. But then, however, I had some great news. By June my hours would drop so that I would be working 5 days a week. Spurred on by this I then went out and rode almost as many miles in May than I had in the previous four months put together. My current total for the year, as of now, is 1,321 miles. Now, I’ve got no idea as to if I can get close to riding 2,014 miles this year… but I’m going to give it a go.

I’m not the only one.

I had a text from a friend earlier in the week. A friend who sadly I don’t see anywhere near as much as I should. Anyway, this was the text;

“I just called someone a Gifford at work and they refused that it was an insult….

I went for a wee and when I came back David called me over as he had googled it and found it was interesting that he found an article that mentioned Banbury…

So I went round to his computer and he read it out then they laughed saying it was probably me that wrote it….

Just as I was walking off he scrolled up and your picture was there….. I said thats Richard.”

I had a comment on that very same post earlier in the year from someone called Gary who was writing a Best Man speech for someone who used to use Gifford as an insult too. Unfortunately all he could find on the use of the word Gifford in that way was my post.

Both of my sisters will text whenever they’ve heard that word/name as if it’s only me that finds it funny. I can’t be, can I? Is just that I’m the only person to ever write it down? It’s not as if it’s an insult that I use regularly…
It does make me laugh though whenever I come across the name. Such as in this article… now this boy is well and truly a Gifford.


ломо 383 - Fuji + Sulgrave Stores.

A well deserved long weekend has meant that I’ve finally been able to put in some good miles on the bike, and begin to try and catch up on my target. Despite the unseasonal weather I’ve tried to push myself as much as I can and have managed to achieve my most successful Strava Segment ride to date, and my first KOM… albeit, for a relatively short downhill section, and shared with four other riders… but still. I’m going to have to get out more, and I will definitely be commuting more. Well, not more often but longer distances when I start my new job in a couple of weeks time at Ubyk in Oxford. More on this soon, but for more info on the Ubyk Oxford Store visit Ubyk on Facebook.