“I would rather live my life on the brink of failure than in the comfort of assured success” – Anna McNuff
I’ve never really been one for making New Year’s resolutions such as ‘no eating chocolate’, but I do like making goals for the year. Which I guess you could argue is similar, just less totalitarian.
Whilst reflecting on my highlights of 2016, a certain theme of being outdoors appeared. Some were big adventures such as walking across the Swiss Alps, others were on the smaller scale such as paddleboarding around Oxford. Unfortunately I can’t take 2 weeks off work every month, so I’m setting these 7 goals to push me to get a little bit of regular adventure. This will be including my first wild camp, whenever I get a) a tent/bivvy and b) rid of the voice in my head that says there are serial killers behind every tree at night.
Walk 1000 miles
This is part of Country Walking’s #walk1000miles challenge – to walk a cumulative total of 1000 miles in 2017. This is an average of 2.74 miles per day, which doesn’t sound much, but seeing as I cycle to work, will be a challenge to fit in. There is the option of only counting ‘boots on’ walks – i.e. not just wandering around the shops.
Cycle 1000 miles
I have already done this in 2016, but I want to see if I can do it again, without the walking cutting into the cycling!
Summit highest peaks in UK national parks (that I haven’t already done)
There are 15 national parks in Britain; 2 in Scotland, 3 in Wales, 10 in England. This might be slightly too ambitious to fit all of them in one year along with my other goals, so I figure I’ll cheat slightly and not count the ones I’ve already been to (Pen Y Fan, Scafell Pike, Kinder Scout, Snowdon and Whernside). This leaves 10 to do:
|National Park name||Highest point (metres)||Summited?|
|Brecon Beacons||Pen y Fan – 886||Yes|
|Broads||Strumpshaw Hill – 38|
|Cairngorms||Ben Macdui – 1309|
|Dartmoor||High Willhays – 621|
|Exmoor||Dunkery Beacon – 519|
|Lake District||Scafell Pike – 978m||Yes|
|Loch Lomond and the Trossachs||Ben More – 1174|
|New Forest||Telegraph Hill – 140|
|Northumberland||The Cheviot – 815|
|North York Moors||Urra Moor – 454|
|Peak District||Kinder Scout – 636||Yes|
|Pembrokeshire Coast||Foel Cwmcerwyn – 536|
|Snowdonia||Snowdon – 1085||Yes|
|South Downs||Blackdown – 280|
|Yorkshire Dales||Whernside – 736||Yes|
Info taken from the National Parks website. I don’t have a car so get to mountains for walks via public transport or cajoling friends with cars to join me. Some of these places are rather remote and with no nearby train stations, so might need some creativity on how to reach them! I made a custom map on google maps:
This will also provide some motivation for the walking 1000 miles challenge!
Sub 30 min TT
I’m not going to be shelling out for a time trial bike (no matter how pretty they are), but I’m fairly confident if I put enough training in I can get my solo 10 mile time trial time down to under 30 minutes. I got pretty close in 2016 (best ‘official’ time was 30:13) so I just need to put the effort in on the watt-bike at the gym, and race enough TTs. A sub/sister-goal of this is to make the Condor women’s team for Silverstone – an 11 mile team time trial round the F1 race track that was a great experience in 2016.
Spend more time in the workshop
This refers to my local DIY co-op bike workshop Broken Spoke, where I volunteer as a bike mechanic and as part of Team Beryl – a group working to facilitate more women and trans folk in the bike mechanical world. Tinkering with tubes and fiddling with forks is the antithesis to my 9-5 sat at a desk, but life often gets in the way and I didn’t get down to the workshop as much as I would have liked in 2016. And if I haven’t been for a while, then a negative feedback loop starts where I fear I’ll have forgotten anything useful and put off going.
Prepare for the Te Araroa 2018
I’m planning on hiking the South Island of New Zealand in ~2 months starting January 2018. The Te Araroa isn’t like the big trails we’re used to in Europe or North America – this isn’t going be a nice stroll along a landscaped path. I need to test and improve my navigation skills, get comfortable wild camping solo, learn how to safely cross rivers and acquire all the kit (and money!) needed. It might be an odd goal to just ‘get ready’ but it’s going to take time to plan this trip properly!
Say yes more
Good things happen when you say yes, right? Every time I battle with my duvet in the morning when it would be so easy to turn off the alarm and hide in bed, but I get outside instead, I never regret. Netflix will still be there when I get back. I can have a lie in another day.
I may not succeed in any of these goals, but I’ll refer back to the quote at the top of this page, and give it a go!