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New Year, New Start by HowieJ

by Adam Tranter's regular blogger HowieJ has sent in this entry as he looks forward to the 2010 season.

New Year, New Start

By Howard Johnson

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, and hope you find your legs and you're riding form, at the right time for your events.

So how is life in the Johnson household, well it has been very high and very low, but the focus is now on the future.
Since riding part of the Exmoor Beast, and finally drying out the bike and my kit, I have not been on or near my bike since the first weekend in November, for many reasons. Weather for a start, it has been horrendous and then the snow has not helped. Coupled with a very busy time at work which must come first, my energies and motivation have been seriously depleted.

The Christmas and New Year festivities were quite stressful culminating with the end of my 4 year relationship with "my beloved". All I want now is to get on the bike and go for a serious blast, scream and shout in the lanes and get some fresh air into the lungs and ride the woman out of my life! But instead I am almost housebound.

Therefore time to plan for 2010 season. Get the credit card out, plan the events for next season. Trawl through the options for events, log onto websites, enter details over and over again, and to my amazement, find the Dragon Ride is sold out already!!! What is going on here??? 6000 places gone in a few days! You will have to start booking now for 2011 I think. It's great that sportives are becoming so popular, but this is crazy! So time to rethink the season's events and contact some more organisers me thinks.

I have decided to keep some old favourite rides in the 2010 calendar, and drop some that I have done twice, and really don't need to be done again, as some include long walks up 1 in 3 hills!

The season will kick off with the Jodrell Bank ride, a little leg loosener followed by the Milton Keynes Codebreaker. April has only one ride so far, the Essex Roads Spring Lambs event and then it will be time to focus on my first cycling trip abroad to Majorca with my CC GIRO club mates at the start of May. This will exclude me from one of my favourite events, the Forest of Dean Classic, but I will be attending the Midland Monster as helper again, and will look to Ride the Horns with my chum Mark Webber later in the year. The end of May will see me ride the Pearson 150, so I hope to have a good tan and some form by then.

June so far is blank, thanks to the Dragon Ride being full, so I need to investigate a couple of rides for June. July will see me down south at the 1066 ride followed a week later by the Bike Radar event at Brands Hatch, pushing myself there with two rides back to back.
And that is it so far, I will hope to be riding my other "classics" the Tour of the Black Mountains, and the New Forest Rattler. The season should end with a ride in October, if the Autumn Epic is still being run and the season finale will be the Exmoor Beast. I have to ride this as it has twice beaten me, and I can not look Mr Marcus Di-Vincenzo in the eye if I fail to complete three times.

All I need to do know is get a new bike. Well most of it will be new. I a going back to my good chums at Racescene for a bike fitting and will be investing this year in a new white carbon fibre Casati frame, looking for some white wheels, which I may have decided on, not sure, and of course white walled tyres. White is the new black. There is nothing like retail therapy to clear the blues away.

So time is of the essence, I need to get the credit card out again, book some more events. Hope the weather clears up and get out in the lanes to lose my copious excess weight gained since November. How much have I gained, I don't know. I dare not get on the scales, so I will have a weigh in at the end of February. If I weigh myself now, I know I will get very depressed, so best not knowing for the time being, get on the bike and worry about the weight in 6 weeks time.

Onwards and upwards.

Howie J