Although the 2015 and subsequent 2016 attempts were unsuccessful; or at least unsuccessful as far as scoring the 4th highest annual mileage in history in spite of sustaining a broken ankle during the attempt goes; they weren't a total loss. They served as a learning opportunity for another attempt.
After pulling out of what seemed obvious to be a doomed attempt in January 2016, Steve had to take time out and decide for sure if he wanted to have another go at the year record. This isn't something that can be done lightly on a whim and needs serious consideration. To take on the year record you have no time in your life for anything at all, other than cycling. Not to mention the amount of preparation beforehand.
After a few months of soul searching, Steve eventually concluded that he wasn't willing to let this one go. Steve appointed Emily Cox as his cycling coach, bought a power meter and started training for another attempt at HAMR.
Emily's coaching and using a power meter seemed to work very well and Steve reckons his fitness increased at about double the rate he'd normally expect. This was actually necessary if he was to achieve his biggest training goal of 2016, to take the UMCA world record for most miles cycled in a month (30 consecutive days). Steve eventually broke the record with 7104 miles, an average daily distance of 236.8 miles.
The month record was to be the final decider as to whether Steve was going to have another attempt at the year record. This is because in May 2016 a formidable rider, Amanda Coker, came onto the HAMR scene and ever since she started has looked very likely to set the bar a few notches higher than Tommy Godwin and Kurt Searvogel, looking to be on target for around 84,000 miles for the year, or just over 230 miles a day average. Steve is only interested in becoming the person who has cycled further in a year than anyone on Earth ever has.
Steve's successful month record proved to be a valuable test run and has given a few ideas of how he can do better than he did during the month record on an attempt at the year. One of Steve's biggest motivations for riding the year record is testing theories and ideas of the best way of taking on this challenge. Steve feels that it won't be for at least another 20 years of continuous year record attempts that we will even have a basic idea of what the best way to ride a year record attempt might be. There are so many variables and so few rides!
Before Steve set off on his month record, the idea of another attempt at the year was somewhat unbearable; though he was never going to back out of it; the idea of riding a year record attempt again filled him with dread. He knew that a good month record ride would put his head in a much better place for another attempt at the year. He was right! By the end of the month record he would have been willing to keep going for another 11 months! In contrast to his year record attempt, he enjoyed the month. Although he was riding considerably more miles each day than on his year record attempt, he felt much more in control and much less 'up against it'. Every day was hard, but never the constant battle that the year record became. Ever since the month record, Steve has been raring to go and to be honest, frustrated that a year attempt requires so much preparation which means postponing an attempt until everything is ready.