...and your assistance is required. Please read on.
How are we all doing? Well? I have had a bit of a hiatus not just from this blog, but from cycling in general. I am not sure whether actual endurance athletes get a kind of 'post event low' but I haven't had the same enthusiasm to jump back on the bike over the last 4-6 weeks. Whether that coincides with the day job being all consuming and generally running low on energy I am not sure, but I am both literally and metaphorically kicking myself out of it and getting my balance back. I shouldn't be in an office for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week (with weekend work), that is not healthy...for not just me, for anyone, so fresh air (and it is pretty fresh/bracing), open roads, greenery and exploration will feature quite heavily in my new year. So December is all about training and planning, both intrinsically linked as the challenges I have planned over the next 2 years are definitely going to be that - challenging, so building core fitness will be key to balance the endurance with the adventure.
So what is 'Project 48' I hear you ask? A great question. The logo I created above might give you a hint of to what it may entail, but this challenge is not all just about me planning, this is going to call on you to help with local knowledge, anywhere and everywhere in the UK. The idea when born whilst looking at the Strava map. Those with a Strava subscription, when creating a route, can switch from 'Global Heatmap' to 'Personal Heatmap', effectively showing everywhere you have been...or, and where the brain kicked in, everywhere you haven't. Apart from my LEJOG trip, my activity primarily concentrates in and around London, with several trips across Wiltshire and the Mendips - I mean, makes sense as I live there, but there is so much to explore, and so many adventures to have. If the last 18 months has taught us anything, that is live for the day, enjoy everything life has to offer, and get out and explore before that door is closed.
Look at all that space, all those unridden roads and country lanes yet to be explored, so I had the idea of effectively 'colouring in the map'. There are 48 counties in the UK, thus the 48 in Project 48, and I want to visit them all in the next 2 years...but not just visit. I am looking to spend one long weekend in each county, riding a minimum of 400km in each (size dependent), which is where your local knowledge and expertise come into the mix. What amazing rides do you know of close to where you live? What cities, towns or villages should be on the to-do list in your area? What hill needs to be climbed, what vista needs to be seen, what road/lane needs to be experienced? All questions that you will know the answer to, so I am asking for your help in route planning some amazing rides around any and all counties in the UK.
I will be launching this little project in January 2022, there are other challenges and targets I am going to achieve in that time frame, but am starting with this one - it is going to be exciting!!
Sleep now for tomorrow I ride.