My ‘Cycle Fit For 50’ Milestone Quilt
I love my bike and I love cycling. I’m not very good at it but I love it all the same!
In my opinion the feeling you get from the feel-good hormones tearing through your body after you finish a ride are the same whether you are in the fresh air riding along pretty country lanes or indoors trying to beat your personal record on the indoor trainer. The sense of accomplishment is hard to beat.
The day this photo was taken was one of my 2020 highlights, it was a wet, muddy day and we were plagued by midges, but I felt on top of the world (even if my hair was caked in mud). I’d completed a ride that a year previously I tried and was unable to finish.
Total Transparency: I’ve neglected my fitness for years and now middle age has crept up on me, the realisation in recent months of how my body (and fitness) has declined has been a bitter pill to swallow.
My next big milestone birthday is fast approaching (I’ll hit 50 in December 2021) and I’ve decided enough is enough, I have to start looking after myself if I want to live a long and healthy life. It’s because of this that I’m committing myself to getting fit for 50, I need the motivation and a deadline to aim for, this is where my ‘Cycle Fit For 50’ Milestone Quilt comes in - an accountability tool. I don’t have a precise tangible goal of what ‘Cycle Fit For 50’ means for me, there is no mileage or FTP (Functional Threshold Power) target, I just want to reach 50 knowing that I’m considerably fitter and healthier than I was on 1st April 2021.
Early in 2020 I saw Kitty Wilkin @nightquilter was embarking on her #my2020milesquilt the idea was so inspirational I knew then that I wanted to have my own milestone quilt, but life got in the way. 2020 threw so many curve balls it just wasn’t possible for me to start, fast forward 15 months and I’m finally in a place where I can commit to getting started. I’ll be following the same format as Kitty’s original quilt and quite blatantly using her ideas and manipulating them to fit into my own quilt. Here is my plan.
My ‘Cycle Fit For 50’ quilt will chart the number of miles I ride each day on my bike from 1st April – 31st December 2021.
Each mile or increment of miles is allocated a colour – I’ll be using a range of beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics’ Pure Solids. I’d originally chosen colours intensifying in value as the number of miles increased, but after sewing together the first few blocks last week and looking at it for a few days, I just didn’t like how the colours worked together. So, I changed the colour selection to ones that I love, they don’t necessarily run in colour order now but I’m much happier with the new colours.
Because I will be riding both on the indoor trainer and outdoors the mile span is going to be quite large. For example, a half hour indoor training session could only be 5 miles depending on terrain, whereas a full day family bike ride is more than likely to be upwards of 25 miles.
There will be no rounding up of miles, so if I ride 6.7 miles one day, that day’s block will be a 6 mile block not a 7 mile block.
The majority of rides are going to be on the indoor trainer. My bike and smart trainer are set up in our dining room where I can easily hop on for a quick training session before prepping dinner. I use Zwift for my indoor sessions, riding around Zwift’s virtual world, Watopia. Each session is then automatically uploaded to my Strava account. When my fitness improves, I plan on making use of more of Zwift’s features, i.e. the training programmes and virtual group rides.
Getting into the nitty gritty detail and musings
- I’m aiming on riding 4/5 days per week
- My rest days will be narrower blocks in white
- I’ll be using Strava to track my mileage (Strava is linked to Zwift so works for both indoor and outdoor rides)
- I want to record any other exercise I do e.g. yoga, walking, strength training. I haven’t decided yet how exactly these sessions will be recorded on the quilt
- I will include mile achievement markers for every 100 miles rode. It’s going to be interesting to see how often these markers appear as the year goes on. I would like to record this as a FPP bike block (the equivalent to Kitty’s little Runner), but I’m struggling to find a good bike FPP pattern
- I’ll record Month Markers at the start of every month
- I don’t want to track my weight or my average Wattage output per ride
- I do want to highlight when I ride outdoors, this will probably be marked by a little tree block just like Kitty did in her original quilt
- My block sizes are going to be the same as Kitty’s as well, and each row will be approx. 70”
- My longest ride to date was 34 miles in May 2020 and I would love to improve on that this year, hence why I’ve a range up to 45+ miles
- In 2021 I was hoping to join my local cycling club for some beginner road transition rides which would allow me to join the Club’s weekend group rides, which would equal more training and longer rides. But Covid has put a stop to this as the Club are not taking any new members this year. This means that any longer outdoor rides will be limited to family day out bike rides, on the plus side, we are a ‘cycling family’ and we hope to get out as often as possible this summer
I love the idea of how a milestone quilt can be a record of a time in your life and if all goes well, who knows what goals I could set myself for 2022, think of the 'Quilt Your Life' possibilities.
I’ll be posting my progress monthly here, on the blog and also on my Instagram feed if you want to keep track. I’m @duckeggthreads on Instagram this is where you can also follow my #cyclefitfor50 hashtag.
I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you.