The tables below hold a record of my cycling mileage from 2009 to the present day. I was going well in 2011 and was looking to top 7000 miles in 2012 when unfortunately I got a bout of rheumatic arthritis which set me back a lot and I didn’t even make half that distance.
I got good medical care though and built up the mileage to 5000 over the next two years but then I required an operation for a new knee at the very end of 2014. This once again set my mileage back a bit. The new knee works well so I am pedalling away quite happily but I have to be careful with it so my mileage has reduced again.
I am trying to add a little bit each year and was hoping for 4200 miles in 2018 but ailments, injury and bad weather set me back significantly. Some good summer weather got me back on track but I had no reserve yet against bad winter conditions. I got slightly ahead of the game by the end of September and then bad weather and a pulled muscle ruined the end of October and the whole of November. Luckily an unusually mild December let me creep over the 4000 mile mark before the end of the year.
I started slowly this year. We got surprisingly good weather in February. Unfortunately my feet started to trouble me in March and it took me a long time to get cycling again. I had some good summer and early autumn months but cold weather in November brought things to a bit of a halt as I was determined not to fall off on an icy patch. December didn’t improve things, being either icy or windy for a lot of the time.
I am plagued by the infirmities of age but at least I got some cycling in during January and started this year better than four of the five previous ones. February had the wettest weather on record but was followed by a dry March and April so I got caught up a bit. The lockdown got me into a cycling and walking routine and I was able to keep up a steady mileage in the summer months. The lockdown continued and I continued to mix cycling and walking so my mileage ended up not too bad in the end.
The first five months of the year were in lockdown so there was very little variety in my outings, and I did a lot of short rides. Very cold weather in January started me off slowly and it was still unusually cold until well into May so I was pleased to get some steady miles in, including one ride of eighty miles. The weather was pretty dry over the summer and I was able to do some good miles including an hundred mile outing in June. Early autumn was quite kind and November and December, in spite of severe storm at the end of November, allowed me to add some miles without having to cycle in bad weather as they remained pretty well frost free.
2017 – 2020
Bikes: I purchased an Avanti Blade with belt drive at the end of 2012. It is noticeable that I have never had to clean and oil its belt or buy a new chain and cassette since.
This is my ordinary road bike. It a Giant SCR with 30 gears. I use mudguards because I don’t like getting a dirty stripe up my back on wet days. I have done well over 14000 miles on this one and find it pretty comfortable for long rides. It has been very reliable apart from the odd puncture.
This is Mrs Tootlepedal’s town bike suitable for riding with a skirt on. This is her most used bike as she goes to work on it as well as visiting shops and going about her general business in the town. It is a Dawes and a very comfortable and manoeuvrable machine.
This is the bike Mrs Tootlepedal takes on our long rides. She has done over 7000 miles on this. It is also a Dawes and for the money it was a wonderful buy. It has been utterly reliable, very comfortable and a good workhorse with equipment for a back rack and two rear panniers.
We have done three longish trips on these bikes. First on 2006 we went to see Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother in Marlow in the south of England and that was just about 400 miles and took us a week. Next in 2007 we went to see her sister in the south of France and that took us 700 miles in two weeks from St Malo to near Toulouse. Then in 2008 we did the Land’s End to John O’ Groats, which was 970 miles and took us nineteen and a half days.
Later tours were shorter and less demanding.
Because lugging bikes about had become a bit of a trial for us old people we turned to hire bikes for our next foreign tours. In 2010 we went to North Holland and did a leisurely 200 miles in a week. enjoying the tulip fields and canals. In 2012 we managed 200 miles in the south of France some of it along the Canal du Midi. In 2013 we enjoyed a 150 mile five day tour with Cycling Languedoc based round Nimes in southern France.
Pictures of some of our end-to-end guests