The 2011 Cycling BHAG

End of the road

At work at the moment, we’re contemplating the BHAG (pronounced ‘bee hag.’) The BHAG isn’t an old crone. It is, perhaps, slightly monstrous. Certainly, it should provoke a small amount of fear, a smidgen, a brief, cold press up against your heart.

Mainly though, it should be inspiring. The BHAG is the Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Don’t laugh. It is a real thing. It has a Wikipedia page. A true BHAG should be so ambitious as to be ridiculous – at least when you’re starting. Consider Microsoft’s: a personal computer on every desk and in every home. This, at a time when people still thought of computers as machines that occupied whole rooms, and not too many years after Apple made them out of wood. A true BHAG should, thanks to its audacious, ludicrous character, inspire you to great heights.

While we’re still working on Dennis Media Factory’s BHAG, I did have an idea for my own one. I really started getting into cycling after buying a decent road bike last spring, so I thought about a mileage target for this year. And it seems obvious: 2011 = 2,011 miles.

Sounds like a lot. Well it is – until you start to break it down. It’s just under 168 miles per month, or 42 per week. My commute ride is around 12 miles each way, so I’d cover the distance just by riding to work twice and home twice in a week. When you add in a few longer rides, the BHAG starts to look quite attractive. Positively comely, even.

Of course, this was all decided on the couch, in the beer warmth of an idle Christmas holiday when too much time away from home and in the car meant I was missing the bike. January, it must be said, was a bit of a grind. Inspired by a post on local SE London blog 853, I kicked the BHAG off with a 40 mile cycle out from home to Eynsford, a pretty village in Kent. It was a grey day and my route seemed to be almost entirely uphill, but after I’d got out of Dartford, the countryside was promising and it put a good dent in the monthly miles.

A cold, plenty of rain and a week in New York for work restricted me to just four commute cycles though – a lowly 48 miles – and I didn’t do another long cycle the whole month. This means the monthly total was just 88 miles, about half what I needed. Still, the weather can only get better (see the image above, taken in October for how I picture ideal cycling weather), and I can only get fitter… right?

Total miles: 88

Commutes: 4
Total to cycle: 1,923

8 thoughts on “The 2011 Cycling BHAG

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