As another year comes to a close, it is time to look back at some of the interesting high points of 2022.

The weather at the start of the year was very mixed with temperatures about normal.

Some nice bright days and some dull and miserable ones.

In other words – an average winter in the UK. We had an early Spring and Summer with a few hot days.

However, as usual, the North West missed out on the really sunny days, so very few outdoor miles were added to the year’s total.

 Autumn lasted until early November, when suddenly we were freezing and the rain was unceasing. By early December we were freezing again.

The Cost of Living here in the UK went “through the roof” – inflation is running at over 11% and Gas and Electricity prices have trebled, with more rises scheduled for 2023.

One of the early good things to happen, was January’s change to the Highway Code, that had new measures to make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

By the number of cyclists still being knocked down and killed on the roads, the measures don’t seem to be very effective.

A few interesting things happening in the Cycling World.

Jason Kenny – 7 Gold Medals at 4 Olympic Games, retired from Track Cycling and took up a position as a coach on the British Cycling track programme.

He also received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List.

Sir Dave Brailsford, the former British Cycling and Team Sky supremo, is now living in a caravan in the south of France, as coach to the local football team, OGC Nice.

Zwift, the online cycling game, announced a round of staff redundancies, (200+) as well as ‘pausing’ the smart bike hardware plans it had announced just a few months ago.

They want to concentrate on the core elements of the game – certainly, during the last couple of months there has been a marked improvement to the number and quality of the game updates.

June saw the celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. They were held over the extended weekend of the 2nd to the 5th June.

The four days of celebrations included public events and activities, as well as national moments of reflection on The Queen’s 70 years of service.

Come July, the National Road Championships were held in a rain-soaked Dumfries and Galloway.

Mark Cavendish (37), not picked for the 2022 Tour de France, easily out-sprinted his rivals Sam Watson and Alex Richardson to take the Road Race Championship for the second time in his career.

In a surprise announcement from the Tour de France organisers, the 2024 TdeF will not finish in Paris for the first time since the race started in 1903. This is due to the 2024 Olympics also being hosted in Paris.

Although, generally, the Covid-19 pandemic has receded, 3 riders had to depart the Tour de France before the first week was completed after testing positive for the virus.

The Tour of Britain, in September, came to an unexpected and abrupt end with the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

On 8 September 2022, at 15:10 GMT, Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, and the longest-reigning British monarch, died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, at the age of 96.

The Queen’s death was publicly announced at 18:30. She was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles III.

The United Kingdom observed a national mourning period of 10 days.

The Queen’s lying in state took place in Westminster Hall from 14th to 19th September, during which time an estimated 250,000 people queued to pay their respects.

The state funeral service was held at Westminster Abbey on 19th September, followed by a committal service at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The Queen was interred with her husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh in the King George VI Memorial Chapel later that evening.

The occasion of her state funeral was marked as a public holiday in the UK and several Commonwealth countries.

As well as Her Majesty, we lost a number of other well-known faces during 2002.

Bernard Cribbins (Actor); Shane Warne (Australian Cricketer); Robbie Coltrane (Actor, “Hagrid”); Dennis Waterman (Actor); Sidney Poitier (Actor); Barry Cryer (Comedian and Script Writer); Sally Kellerman (Actor, “Major ‘Hotlips’ Hoolihan”); Ruth Madoc (Actor, “Gladys Pugh”); Leslie Phillips (Actor); not forgetting the former Soviet Leader Mikail Gorbachev; and finally, Vangelis, who composed the music to one of my favourite films – “Chariots of Fire”.

There may be a couple of well-known faces missing from next years’ (2023) Tour de France.

Mark Cavendish, at the time of writing, (Christmas Day), is still without a Team for the 2023 season, although the latest news is that he is training in Spain with Team Astana.

34-time stage winner Cavendish, was supposed to have signed with the BandB Hotels team, however, all their sponsorship fell away and the team was eventually dissolved.

One Team that may be missing from the 2023 TdeF, is Israel Start-Up Nation, (now Israel-Premier Tech), as they did not accumulate enough UCI points during the 2022 Season.

This means that 4 times TdeF winner Chris Froome, may also be absent from the start line.

With the Santos Tour Down Under (Australia) starting on Friday 13th January, followed by the UAE tour in February, we hope for a good start to the 2023 Season.

And to ‘celebrate’ my 75th Birthday – I have signed up for the 50mile Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool ride in early July. And maybe a couple more rides later in the summer.

Wishing all readers, a very successful and prosperous 2023.

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