What use is a pull-out paper mileage chart these days, you might ask. With the likes of Strava and similar apps ably doing the job of the training diary for many of us these days, you might imagine there’s not much call for filling in little columns with highlighter pen each week. In fact, Cycling Weekly’s iconic Mileage Chart, which readers have been filling out for more than 100 years, remains very popular.
We assembled a collection of lovingly tended charts from members of our CW5000 Facebook group, who talked us through their year in cycling and took us through the intricacies of their markings.
Filling out the mileage chart last year was a blast from the past for Midlands rider Bingham, who used to fill it out as a junior. This year he opted to get his colouring pens out once more, pairing it with uploading to Strava. His miles are a mix of structured stuff on TrainerRoad and social rides with his club, Vale of Belvoir CC. His aim for the year was 7,000 miles, which he also achieved in 2021, and as he chart shows, he managed it despite, he says, it being “touch and go at times with work commitments etc”. His monster week in May came pretty much by accident following an easy week, he says. With a few days off work, he managed two five-hour road rides, a three-hours on the turbo and a couple of shorter ones in-between.
Despite discovering a talent for running nine years ago, Merseysider Alan Joyce has been riding his bike for 50 years and continues to do so. He has now completed a pair of back-to-back CW5000s, last year reaching the magic 5,000 miles in the same week as recording his 21st Parkrun age-category win of the year. An artist and a keen gardener, Joyce has filled out his mileage chart in colours that correspond to the changing seasons – a nice touch, we reckon.
Impressively, Yorkshire rider Evitt completed her CW5000 only two-and-a-half years after taking cycling up during the pandemic. She populated her colourful mileage chart courtesy of a host of sportives completed throughout the year, the highlight of which was the 155-mile Lincoln 262 ride in North Yorkshire. “My most challenging and memorable ride was definitely the Lincoln 262, which ran from York to Lincoln and back again. I was the last rider back but was ecstatic to complete it,” she says. She also managed all but 180 miles of the 5,000 outside, being forced to retreat indoors at the end of the year when the roads turned icy.
US rider Swanson took up cycling in 2016 after being diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and since then has been setting himself ever-more ambitious mileage targets each year. His aim for 2022 had been 8,000 miles, but as he says, “My wife made a lot more plans for me and I didn’t ride as much.” For this year his target is 7,500 miles, he says. As Swanson’s chart shows, he raised a lot of money for diabetes and cystic fibrosis through his riding, and he has even recorded his dog-walking miles along the bottom.
Based out of Tennessee, Swanson has done a number of century rides both metric and imperial, but in terms of which rides stand out, he says: “They all stand out because I love to ride… anywhere and anytime I’m on a bike I love it.”
Owner of one of the more intricate charts we’ve seen, Olley’s colour-coding system shows not just how many miles he rode but also what sort of riding he did and also the elevation. We particularly like the profile-style line graph along the bottom of the chart showing metres climbed each week. His biggest week of climbing saw him ascend more than 4,000 metres (that’s a big mountain stage on the Tour de France), courtesy of taking a few days off work and hitting the big climbs on Zwift. The Lancs rider managed a monster 10,000 miles in 2020 but is more than happy with a still very impressive 8,919 this year.
Seems like we need a bigger mileage chart for Scots rider Holmes, who broke through the 300-mile-a-week mark on no less than five occasions last year. With 10,864 on the scoreboard, Holmes boasts the biggest total of all of the charts here. He has in fact ridden into five figures three times in the past four years. “As a friend says, I guess I have too much time on my hands,” Olley jokes. Helping towards his total in 2022 was a week’s riding holiday in Majorca in March, the Fred Whitton in May (his 10th), and a 344-mile round trip to visit family that same month.
You can find your own 2023 Cycling Weekly Mileage Chart in this week’s Cycling Weekly magazine, available in newsagents and supermarkets now.
More details on how to get involved with the CW5000 challenge can be found here.