With 2012 at an end, and 2013 begun, it’s time to look back at how my cycling/game spending hybrid challenge went. Surprisingly well, as it turned out.
My original plan was to cycle 900 miles in the year, to cover my expected game expenditure at a rate of one pound for every mile cycled. Hence the name “Pound-a-Mile”. I hit this early, and extended the target to 1000 miles, and then again to 1250. As of the 31st December, I’d managed a total of 1258.16 miles – just over that target. Phew!
On the spending side of things, despite buying a Wii U last year, I still didn’t come close to wiping out my “credits” – with £423.68 left in the bikebank. I’m pleased with that!
In fact, it could have been even further. It wasn’t lack of drive that stopped me cycling a good few hundred more miles, but a number of things. Firstly, I had a bout of labyrinthitis around Easter time, which took me out for the best part of a month. Cycling when dizzy would not be a clever plan. Later in the year I got a chest infection, which dragged on and on and on (and I got some excellent hallucinations from the tablets for it) for over a month, meaning I couldn’t cycle as I simply couldn’t breathe.
There were two months of almost solid rain, which hampered going out a bit. Not so much the rain itself (I’d cycle in drizzle), but more the state of the roads for days after so much rain – they were literally flooded, with mud. I stupidly went out on my road bike too soon after a few days rain, and slipped in the mud. My first crash, and my leg was shredded like the road had been sandpaper. I had to go back to my old Apollo Highway for a few months until everywhere dried off. Months later, I still have scars and keep picking bits of grit out of my calf.
Importantly though, I’m still really enjoying cycling. A bit less so when I have to use my old bike, but riding round the countryside on a sunny day is one of my favourite things these days. I’ve improved massively, feel fitter, and am really pleased with my progress.
I don’t think the cycling has curbed my spending (a post on that soon) as I’ve spent only slightly less than the previous year, but in the end it wasn’t about the money – it was just about the miles. Because of that, I’m not going to be doing the Pound-a-Mile in 2013. I’ll still track my spending, and I’ll still have a target number of miles (I’m going to say 1250 again at the moment – this may change), but with no big purchases planned for the year, unlike the Wii U in 2012, I don’t think there’s really any point. It was a fun experiment, and for the first month or so at least, it pushed me to cycle more, but after that my expenditure figure was little more than a number way behind my milage.