2011... Thats A Wrap

What a year. We saw Gilbert dominate the spring classics in a way that was just off the dial, witnessed a very deserved and honourable tour de France victory (well every fibre of being believes it was a true performance... I hope dearly it was). One of my fave moments personally, being the soppy romantic I am, was seeing the reunion of Van Summeren and his lady at the finish line where he proposed in true style (and with a massive rock too!). 
2011 pro cycling had it all - the textbook perfect year for the Manx Missile - a WC title, TDF sprint domination & even a little nipper on the way. It was a great year for British cycling with some heavyweight performances, such as Froomey at the Vuelta and Brads Dauphiné victory. 
So 2011 was a cool year for cycling. Personally.... I spent a good portion of 2011 travelling and living on the road due to being posted out to the field to work as a photo editor for the year. 
I saw some amazing thinngs, including the Tour Finale, I spent 2 months posted out to New Zealand where I indulged in some pretty epic riding, and of course I took part in a wicked 24 hour race challenge with an awesome bunch of lads deep in the forest-laden hinterland of Germany. 
The year also saw challenges for me, in that I put on a little weight and lost fitnss due to an erratic work schedule that negated any chance whatsoever of regular and structured riding... It became a little bit of a case of 'grab the bike' whenever I had the chance. This past month has seen me rectify this with a work diary that's given me back a daily 75 minute commute, and im no longer eating out on the road 3 times a day. 
Diet and riding structure has been nailed down and im seeing results already. Not to mention I took up running. Fear not as I hear you gasp aloud in shock! with a charity half-marathon on the way in March its just a nice excuse to supplement the riding and fitness with a little bit of cross training over the winter that's going to pay some well deserved benefits (or at least I hope it will - otherwise I may cry!).
Im really digging the social side of riding this past year, with a mention got to be thrown the way of instagram. If you have an iphone I implore you to get the free app downloaded, its a wicked way to connect to some really cool people and share an insight into their daily life. Look me up, username gematkinson. I also dipped my feet into the world of Tumblr, and found some really cool blogs out there.
Late April I took delivery of my lovely Acciaio from Condor. It has become my go-to bike for pretty much everything. I had a go at racing a crit on it (which I hated - im def not a racer!), I took it to 60mph on a decent and have never felt so secure! Im really looking forwrad to putting some special miles on it for the forthcoming year, its made a big difference to how much I enjoy my riding these days.
I decided that racing wasnt for me - maybe thats because I was a tad out of shape in 2011 (indulgence on the road is a killer! and no regular base mileage is hard to compensate for some the summer when everyone is flying). I also tried a hillclimb, but didnt do too great. My sensei Konrad has urged me to bother to warm uop for more than 40 seconds next time! 
Iv met some super-cool people this year too, have to throw out a big shout to some really awesome people doing some cool things, these guys are worth following > Fabrica Della Bici, I Get Cross, Out of Leftfield, Vicious Velo, In The Saddle, Gage & DeSoto, WMP, Tracko Rex, Bike Tart, and so many more I have forgot to mention... Theres a wicked online cycling community growing and spreading ideas and events, and its been cool to be a part of this last year. Hopefully 2012 will see me being able to dedicate a bit more time and put something back into the scene thats helped me roll along nicely the past few years. 

So for 2012, make some big goals and work hard towards them.... I have a good feeling about it! All the best & big love to all! Gemx    


Anonymous said...

Nice overview! You don't know me Gem. I'm just a guy from The Netherlands who likes reading your blog. Keep up the good work and a happy new cycling year to you!
Best, Ad Vermaas

Unknown said...

And I am a guy from Canada (Montreal) who also enjoys your blog and following your adventures on Instagram (with Flipboard!).

Good luck with the running, Gem. I actually came into cycling from running. I sprained an Achilles tendon while doing some hill training in the winter of 2010, so I turned to some cycling to compensate. I ended up qualifying for the Boston Marathon 2 months later (and running it this past April). My challenge now is that cycling added 7-8 pounds of muscle in my thighs that are not required for running ... Oh well.

Happy New Year to Gem and all her readers!

Jeff Barkema said...

Like the first poster said nice overview. Really enjoy reading your blog - your entries about getting up early for winter pre-work rides are especially motivational. Keep up the good work.

On another note which wheelset did you end up putting on your Acciaio?

All the best in 2012.

CJ Boom said...

And I am the girl from souf London. Happy New Years

mroli said...

And I from Souf (West) London - Happy New Year Gem - the Acciao looks sweet in that photo above.

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