One Irish cyclist’s huge year on Strava; 4.30am starts, 1,200km rides

Posted on: January 2nd, 2019

He was one of the very best riders in the domestic bunch during the 1980s; riding for some of the glamour teams and winning huge races. These days Mick Walsh is based in the US and he shows no signs whatsoever of easing back on his cycling. His Strava data for 2018 reveals a huge year on the bike (Photo with thanks to George Thomas)


Former Irish international road race rider Mick Walsh has explained just how he rode a whopping 16,347 miles, or 26,308 kilometres, last year.

Walsh, now aged 56 years, has posted in his ‘Year on Strava’ online; with figures to make the rest of us blush.

He was one of the best road races in Ireland in the 1980s; a stage win and stint in yellow in the FBD Rás of 1985 just one of his top results during his racing career.

These days the basis of his huge cycling year is a very early start each day, just before 4.30am, and a 34 mile commute each day.

In his spare time Walsh also rides very long endurance events of up to 1,200km.

“I was always one who did more miles than most; never very fast,” Mick Walsh told stickybottle.



“I still love to ride and I’m lucky enough to have a supportive wife who also loves it. Martha rode 14,500 miles in 2018, riding every single day of the year.

“Just about all of my midweek rides are commuting 34 miles a day. I also do a lot of Randonneur or Audax rides – ranging from 200 to 1,200 kilometres – during the summer.

“I raced in Ireland in my younger days before moving to Seattle in 1991. I also raced here for quite a few years too; winning a state championships being one of my best results.

“I started ultra racing in 2009; it seemed  a natural fit for me. It’s difficult to get support crew and it costs a lot, so I can’t do many races.

“I still dream of being able to get to the Race Around Ireland. This year’s big event for me is the Paris-Brest-Paris 1,200km Randonne in August.

“There’ll be many long rides put into qualifying and tweaking strategy for that. It’s a real race at the front.

“I’m lucky to have a good metabolism for recovery and ride slowly on my commutes, enabling me to ride as much as I do. I don’t use power meters or heart rate monitors; it’s not for me.”

Walsh rode on 324 days last year during which he did 1,145 hours of cycling. He clocked up 107 hours in December alone.


Mick Walsh, middle, is part of the endurance community in Seattle; riding events solo and with other ultra riders.

Mick Walsh, left, with Bobby Power; two of the best road riders in the country in their pomp. Power is sadly deceased but Walsh is still pumping out the miles.


While December was Walsh’s biggest month in 2018 in terms of riding hours, February was his smallest, though he still rode for 79 hours.

His longest activity was 377.9 miles; around Mount Rainier and Mount St Helan in Washington state.

The ride he received most kudos for was the SIR Summer 400km at Barlow Pass in Seattle.

Walsh’s total elevation for the year was 912,001 ft during his total 16,347 miles during 2018.

He rises each day at 4:25am and after breakfast rides 15 miles to work at an industrial supply shop. After finishing work at 3.30pm he rides some 18.5 miles home.

He takes a slightly longer route home to take in a cycle path and avoid areas with heavy traffic. During summer he often goes for an evening ride after dinner at 6pm.

And Walsh has also been known to enter local criterium races, “just for speed”, on Thursday nights.

In the winter he often goes to the gym in the evening but is usually sleeping by 9pm.

He says he eats the right food all the time, stating this is crucial and crediting wife Martha with keeping him on track with “very tasty and healthy” food.