Year Review 2022

The past two years I have used Golden Cheetah to help me spit out lots of fancy charts and metrics to aid in my comparisons. Unfortunately this year Golden Cheetah has failed me, changing their UI signficantly and making it so I can no longer figure out how to access that data.


Perhaps the most interesting thing, from my point of view anyway, is how far I’ve come since I began this journey back in 2019. I do regret not having captured / blogged the very first two rides, but I won’t beat myself up about it.

Here’s where I was:

And at the very end of 2022, here’s where I am:

The three segments I actually care about are 5, 20, and 60 minutes. Those are my preferred types of riding.

I fully accept I will never be anything close to pro standard. Heck, I don’t ever see me competing in Category A on Zwift. But the progress I have made is, again from my own perspective, absolutely remarkable.

From couch potato to someone who genuinely enjoys exercise and testing myself with hard efforts.

It would be nice to tip either the 5 or 20 segment into the “Good” group by the end of 2023, but I don’t truly know what that entails so let’s just see how that goes rather than actively target it.

Outdoor Rides

More so than ever, the first half of this year was filled with outdoor rides. All that hard work done indoors definitely paid off with giving me the ability and confidence to ride longer and harder outdoors.

Also the lovely weather helped.

It’s something of a British tradition to whinge about the weather, but in my opinion, those who whinge the loudest rarely ever seem to leave their houses. Personally I found this year to be generally well above 10c for most of my rides. Heck, we even saw days where the mercury hit 36c for several days in a row… but I was sensible enough to avoid cycling in those conditions.

From March onwards I was able to get in some really solid outdoor efforts, including setting a new outdoor power record on my favourite time trial loop.

My work situation changed from May, and it then took till the middle of August to start a new gig. That gave me a ton of time to ride outdoors, on the quieter day time roads, on some really, really warm days.

One such ride would have been through the Trough of Bowland, perhaps my favourite route around here. It’s absolutely beautiful up that way, and generally so quiet and just the right amount of challenging. The heat made that one harder than it usually might be, but I was so thankful for getting the chance to do the ride all the same.

I got in a bunch of longer rides – by my standards anyway. Anything above 40km for me is long, and I did a few too many consecutive long rides whilst enjoying my new found freedom, and then I had my first bonk. That sucked, but it felt like a right of passage all the same.

Fitness Tests

In September I decided to switch things up and start doing two hard outdoor efforts a week, where one would be using the same route to try and do a new max 20 minute effort. The idea here was to take the fear and anxiety from an FTP Test and flip it on its head. If I kept doing these hard efforts there would, in theory be a few things that happen:

  1. I get used to doing them, so I don’t fear them
  2. If I do badly one week, it’s no time until the next one comes around to try again
  3. The body seems to adjust to doing a specific type of activity, so in theory I should improve in that one specific discipline (20 minute sustained efforts)

This seemed to be working well, albeit with the hazards of going full gas for 20 minutes outdoors, with corners, cars, and crappy road surfaces.

However, with riding outside a lot you inevitably do find yourself in more hairy situations with other road users. I had a good few near misses and close calls this year, something that finally caused me to ditch the outdoors for the foreseeable future.

Overall though, I have enjoyed my outdoor riding in 2022 year very much.


All those outdoor rides inevitably led to another bad crash this year.

I guess this could have been worse, but it led to a prolonged period of pain when riding that really put a dampener on the start to middle of Spring. I haven’t been back up that way since as best I recall.

Falling off, particularly caused by my own stupidity or bad bike handling is one thing.

No regrets really though. I will head back out when the weather improves sufficiently, though I am very much enjoying my Zwifting / indoor stuff again lately.

But I should say that riding indoors isn’t completely crash free. I did have an incident where I hadn’t fully connected my bike to the turbo, and then the bike came off the turbo as I was in a sprint finish – tipping the bike sideways. How that didn’t end up worse I will never know.

Summer Slowdown

Off the bike / in the real world, this year hasn’t been a classic with regards to my working situation. I started the year OK, things went south in Quarter 2, picked up again at the start of Quarter 3, and have ended badly just now.

I’m not really concerned about this so much. There are many factors at play here, and hopefully I will quickly find something much more enjoyable in the new year.

But on the upside, I got an absolute ton of free time this year. All though the hottest months of the year. Every cloud… of which there were very few clouds because yes, it was very hot quite a lot.

Outdoor Hill Walks

Whilst not cycling related, there are two reasons to mention my hill walking adventures.

Firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed them. Often I’ve cycled near Parlick, or at least seen it looming off in the distance. The last time I walked up there was with my dad back when I was about 8 or 9 years old, so to go back up was really special. The same goes for Pendle Hill, a walk I hated when I was about 11 years old, but loved every second – even with my shoes falling to bits with 3 miles to go – when I went back this year.

The other reason to mention it is because without my fitness gained from all the cycling, I never would have been able to do those walks without dying, hard.

I would love to get back out on those hills – and a few more – in 2023. I’ve even bought some new, as yet unworn walking boots to get me through.

Tour de France

The other major win for me this year was having all the free time in the world to watch the Tour de France.

This wasn’t my usual – watch a few highlights on GCN / Eurosport kind of thing. This was to sit down and watch large chunks of each stage.

In particular I loved watching the Alpe d’Huez climb for the first time, and also the battles between Pogačar and Vingegaard. Thoroughly enjoyed that and definitely hope to enjoy the Tour again in 2023.

Indoor Events

I took part in a number of multi-event indoor activities this year.

Actually, these kind of served as a book end for the start and end of the year, as much of the middle was done outdoors.

The main indoor events for 2022 have been:

Truthfully, I barely remember the Tour de Zwift this year.

I do remember the Tour of Watopia as this was where I started, then fell off, then had to abandon the rides as I was in too much pain to do even the short rides. That sucked. I will fix that in 2023.

Zwift Academy Road, in my personal opinion, has been getting easier and easier each year. Back when I first did it, it was hard. Really hard. Each workout was a real test. This year it felt like they were constantly 3 out 5 in terms of intensity. I doubt this will change in 2023 as I suspect these are seen as very inclusive community events, and killing their customers isn’t going to keep subscriber numbers high.

Advent of Cycling

The Advent of Cycling challenge is my own personal thing – something I first did in 2020. Then I skipped 2021, because (I think) I realised it was bonkers. Well, with a year’s gap I had obviously forgotten how much fatigue I accumulate riding for 24 26 days in a row, and this time around I had to re-learn what I had learned. Tiring, to say the least. But a good taxing test.

Will I do this again in 2023? Good question. Maybe.

The Tour of Makuri Islands was perfectly timed for me coming back indoors. I got stuck into this one big time, loving the regular events… and making the mistake that it included the Race Makuri series also. However, that was a blessing in disguise, which neatly brings me on to…

Indoor Racing

From doing the fitness tests outdoors in September, I knew I wanted to carry that on even though I had moved indoors. Heck, if anything the structured and risk free aspect of it should make it easier to get a higher FTP.

At the start of October I’d thrown myself into regular Zwift Academy 2022 rides, doing my best to catch up with being very late to start. I did 2 workouts a day.

Then later in the month I did my first indoor FTP test in ages.

I was planning on carrying on this regular FTP / fitness test regime, but then the Tour of Makuri Islands started and I mixed up the concepts of Race Makuri & the Tour of Makuri.

Well, doing the regular weekly races threw me back into racing on Zwift, something I hadn’t done in over 2.5 years! Nuts.

But these things turned into the ultimate fitness test. Not only was this now physical, but it involved a degree of mental game planning and tactics. I’ve loved it, and managed to carry on with the monthly racing plan with Zwift’s Race Like A Pro series in December.

Another memorable race for me was getting back on Crit City. This was an extra ride I threw in during the Advent of Cycling. No wonder I was knackered.

Whilst I don’t see myself challenging for the podiums / top 10s even in 2023, I am enjoying challenging myself to stay with the second group as long as possible.

It’s kinda unfair that at my current FTP of 246w / 3.67 w/kg that I am competing in the B Category which goes right up to 4 w/kg. That’s a huge disadvantage, but it does force you to ride at your limits which I guess is always a great workout.

Reviewing My Goals For 2022

Before setting goals for 2023 it’s a good idea to look back – for the first time, whoops – at what I set myself for 2022.

Here we go:

  • ✅ Attain an FTP of 3.66w/kg or greater
  • Cycle an indoor metric century
  • ✅ Complete my second 4DP test
  • Beat my time up Forty Acre Lane
  • One hard climb per month
  • Ride the Manchester to Blackpool cycling event (if it’s on)
  • Complete at least one other metric century ride outdoors
  • Cycle in a foreign country (if I can get there)
  • ✅ Continue blogging every ride

OK, so I’m going to state that whilst 3 out of 9 is not great, I also would say that had I ever reviewed these goals, I very well may have changed some of these mid year.

The Fails

I don’t know why I picked Forty Acre Lane as a particular climbing challenge. Birdy Brow is tougher, Jeffrey Hill via the long and gradual route is one I do far more frequently.

As it happens I didn’t even attempt Forty Acre Lane in 2022, which kinda surprises me.

Regarding both indoor and outdoor centuries – meh. Having done one last year, I have to say I’m really not that fussed about doing these. This isn’t the type of ride that interests me. I’d much rather do many shorter (30km / 1 hour) rides than 1 mega ride. I think that’s kinda obvious from my regular activities.

One hard climb per month – I’d argue I have been doing hard efforts. Just not hard climbs. I don’t feel bad about this one, either.

Cycle in a foreign country (if I can get there) – I did get to two foreign countries this year. Tenerife, more on that below. And Scotland.

I’m not friends with Scotland right now.

The Successes

I did complete my second 4DP test, but it was a disaster.

Still, I completed it 🤣

I blogged every ride. Sometimes I couldn’t be bothered. But I still did it anyway.

And 3.66w/kg or better as an FTP. Yes, I actually came in bang on.

258w for 20 minutes at 67 kg gives:

And honestly, there was a reason that goal was listed at #1.

It’s the only one I truly care about, because it affects absolutely everything else I do on the bike.

My Goals For 2023

Given what I just said, it makes sense to set a new 20 minute max effort target for 2023.

And I have to be realistic about what that is. Partly that’s because there is only so much my heart can taken:

So, here we go with the new goals:

  1. Achieve an FTP of 3.72 w/kg or better
  2. Continue blogging every ride
  3. Complete 20 or more Zwift B Category races
  4. Revisit these goals in 3 months time

I think the biggest mistake from the previous set of goals is not reviewing them regularly.

I shall do that from now on. Also, this should give me the option to think up some new goals, which I have done for other aspects of my life, but not for my cycling. Whoopsie.


I started this blog to track my fitness.

It quickly became a public accountability tool.

At this stage it has become a habit. If I ride, it goes on here. Sometimes I can’t be bothered to sit down and write. Sometimes, I can’t wait.

However, when it comes to this kind of thing – looking back over the last 365 days – it feels absolutely worthwhile. All the ups and downs, the places I’ve been but forgotten, the things I meant to do but never did, the things I said I would do and achieved…

I don’t think I would have stuck with cycling this long if I hadn’t had this blog to keep me coming back.

And I’ve talked to so many new and interesting people as a result. That is honestly the most rewarding part for me. That other people out there all over the world have been through the same stuff – the hard work, the tough races, the crashes and recoveries – it’s such a great thing to share, and all thanks to our shared hobby of cycling.

Truly the best sport.

Thank You

Thank you very much for visiting my blog, Cycling Indoors, this year.

Every time I do a ride and get kudos on Strava, or a Ride On on Zwift, or a comment on a blog post, an email, or any other interaction, it really does make all the hard work feel worthwhile, and I truly do appreciate it.

As far as cycling goes, 2022 was a pretty great year all round for me. Off the bike, perhaps less so.

For 2023 I’m hoping for a more even balance, honestly.

But whatever happens, I wish you a very happy new year, and I wish you all the very best for 2023.


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