12 From 2018 – Life of Adventure – In Search of Up

Another year comes to a close — months of memories and miles found. I began the year with very few objectives, ideas or motivations; but finished with a ride log that surpasses any of my expectations. Here is a look back at the last twelve months — 12 photos to commemorate another great year in the saddle.

Year End Statistics

Numbers are certainly not everything, but they can tell a story. Below are my figures for 2018, as well as a break-down of the bike types ridden. 

My personal record broken this year was for elevation gained – 400,000 metres is the equivalent of climbing to the top of Mount Everest from sea level, more than 45 times — dedication to the #insearchofup motto.

Distance
25,185 kilometres (15,649 miles)

Time
1039 hours 55 minutes

Elevation Gain
403,693 metres (1,324,452 feet)

2018 Bike Distances
9448 km – Gravel/CX Bikes (3T Exploro / Kona P. Jake)
9070 km – Road Bikes (Neil Pryde Bura SL & others)
3870 km – Touring Bikes (Kona Rove Ti)
1593 km – Mountain Bikes (Pivot Les 29er & others)
1205 km – Single Speed Bikes (Peugeot & Quella)
0 km – Indoor Trainer



Photo Archive

A memory captured from each month of the year.

January – One of the best times of the year to ride at home on the Isle of Wight. The weather between the storms is crisp and clear; with empty roads and beautiful low sunlight. A month of easy spinning to begin the year.



February – Fresh snow arrives on the Isle of Wight. The cyclocross bike keeps me riding. Two trips to Mallorca with work are enough to add some sunshine to the equation; that said, I still encounter snow on the top of Puig Major on one such 'warm weather' break...



March – The #BlackForest400 – 400 miles non-stop from Arras in the north of France to the German Black Forest. The temperature falls to minus four degrees Celsius as I ride through the Ardennes and Luxembourg in the middle of the night. Thank goodness for good winter kit.




April – Finally spring weather arrives on the Isle of Wight. Early morning rides on long awaited dry trails are accompanied by incredible sunrises. Island hopping continues — two more escapes to Mallorca help to kick-start the summer tan.



May – The H12 Mountain Bike Race in Denmark is my first race of 2019, and the first time riding a mountain bike in nine months. It goes surprisingly well – I hold first place in the Solo Men's category for ten hours, before unfortunately slipping to second after a series of crashes. Great fun in the Danish dust.



June – The racing seasons continues in Switzerland, with the TorTour Cyclocross Stage Race in Lucerne. Three days of Swiss gravel on the newly christened 3T Exploro. Incredible riding in the mountains, on a superb bike.



July – Trails are exchanged for tarmac once again, as I return to UK soil for my second ride of the Trafalgar Way event – 500 kilometres non-stop from Falmouth to London. The ride takes me 19 hours and 40 minutes — arriving at the finish line outside The Admiralty in Westminster as the fastest rider.



August – The 'Big Tour' of 2018 comes in the form of the #RoadsFromRome – 2408 kilometres over 12 days of riding: from the Vatican City through Tuscany, the Italian Lakes, the Dolomites, Austrian Alps, Black Forest, and then onwards to the Netherlands, and finally back home across the width of the UK. An incredible ride of diversity and challenge, visiting friends and family along the route.



September – As the summer comes to a close, I make a fleeting trip to the West Coast of Sweden for a photoshoot with GripGrab. The stunning fjords and secluded little islands are unlike anywhere I have ridden before, and make me want to return to the area with a touring bike sometime soon. Watch this space.



October – No season feels complete now without a trip to the Dolomites. Yet, the #XPDTN3Dolomites was an exploration of a new kind in the Italian mountains... GRAVEL! Pushing the boundaries of what you can do on a 40c Gravel bike, we undertake a three day exploration to remote alpine huts in the high peaks. XPDTN3 article here.



November – I am clinging onto sunshine. My fifth trip of the year to the Balearic Island of Mallorca provides a few days of beautiful warmth, and climbs on familiar mountains; both accompanied by great friends from the GripGrab cycling team — their new team kit looks super sharp.



December In Flanders Fields the poppies blow...  In the cold winter winds, I make a pilgrimage to the fields and cobbled climbs of Flanders. It is a challenging one hundred miles on the hills around Oudenaarde; commemorating the one hundred year Armistice Day celebration.



Bike of the Year

The Wilier Cento10Pro that I rode in the Algarve in November is my bike of the year.

It is partly because it was completely unexpected that I would be riding a bike of this calibre in Portugal; but, it was also outstanding in both looks and performance. The SRAM eTap group set was superb with its hydraulic disc brakes, then everything from the Astute saddle to the Elite Cycling water bottles helped to make this a stunning Italian stallion.



It has been a great year. I hope you have enjoyed reading the stories on Life In The Saddle, and following the imagery captured from the journey on Instagram (@tim_wiggins1).

In perhaps a predictable, or perhaps a pre-meditated plan, I again have very few plans for next year. I am looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings, and what challenges and adventures will unfold.

Thanks for reading. 

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