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Archive for December, 2010

2010 Retrospective

Friday, December 31st, 2010

2010 was a great year for me, cycling-wise … in many ways, my best year ever.

General

I’ll talk about the goals I set at the beginning of the year in a minute. I did pretty well overall, but most of the best stuff that happened this year wasn’t directly connected to a goal.

Most importantly, people. I rode with others more often this year.  I rode with Bill a couple more times, and I started riding with Tim and David, when we are able to connect for a ride. I rode with my other friend Dave when I could, but we didn’t get to ride as much this year. I also did some club rides, although I found that most people in the club have a much different riding mindset than I do.

I also rode my first centuries this year, and got more interested in long-distance cycling. I didn’t pursue this as much, later in the year, but it’s something I’m definitely still interested in.

Probably the best two rides of the year were the two days of riding in Big South Fork with Tim and David. (Part 1 | Part 2)

I also got significantly better at riding in various inclement weather conditions, especially snow, ice, and night riding.

I didn’t do a lot of mountain biking this year, but I did ride my mountain bike a lot in the snow, and on gravel roads.

Goals

Here are the cycling goals I set last year, and how I did:

  1. Ride 3,000 miles.
    I far exceeded my expectations, and rode 5,007 miles. In fact, I just hit 5,000 miles on the very last day of the year. Pretty exciting way to wrap up the year!
  2. Ride a century (100 miles in one ride).
    I rode five century+ rides, including the 160-mile Ride Across INdiana.
  3. Do at least three overnight bike camping trips (S24Os).
    I didn’t do any bicycle camping at all this year.
  4. Do at least one longer bicycle tour, two nights or longer.
    I didn’t do a tour.
  5. Ride my bicycle in at least two states other than Indiana.
    I rode in four new states: Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
  6. Explore new roads and trails.
    I did.
  7. Continue 100% bicycle commuting.
    Not quite 100%, but close.  Occasionally I will have to drive; mainly if there is a car problem, I drive the car to the shop, ride my bike to work, and ride back to pick up the car. Also, I drove for a couple of weeks after my foot surgery.

Basically, I exceeded my goals in every way, except that I didn’t do any loaded bike camping this year. For whatever reason, I never really felt the urge this year. Next year, I hope to do better. I’ve enjoyed bike camping every time I’ve done it, so I’m not quite sure why I didn’t go this year.

More miles than ever before

There are two main reasons for my huge mileage increase over previous years (my previous record was 3586.5 miles, back in 2007):

  1. I moved further away from work, but continued to commute each day.
  2. I bought a road bike, which allowed me to rack up miles faster, and made longer rides more doable.

Mileage Breakdown

  • Road: 2753.45
  • Commute: 2010.28
  • Mixed terrain: 758.98
  • Mountain: 210.91

Bikes

  • Surly Long Haul Trucker: 2911.23
  • Bianchi Imola: 1540.80
  • Fuji Tahoe 29 Comp: 337.84
  • Miyata Street Runner: 217.50

Smooooooth!

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

We’re having a bit of a warm spell, with a predicted high in the upper 40s today, and in the 50s tomorrow. With this comes some rain and fog, but the warmer temperatures are still quite nice.

Even before this warm spell, we had a few days in the mid 30s. As a result, the roads have been getting clearer and clearer for the last few days; even though there is still snow on lawns, the roads are clear. Finally I broke down and swapped my studded tires out for my regular Panaracer Pasela slicks last night. This morning, the bike felt incredibly smooth and the riding nearly effortless. I estimate the studded tires lead to a 20-30% increase in drag, and of course the riding is bumpier with them, also.

I know the studs will have to go back on soon, but tomorrow will be warm and I don’t have to work. I’m hoping I’ll finish the year with a good long New Year’s Eve ride … on smooth, slick tires! Luxury!

May, Burch, Evans, Koontz in winter

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

I wanted to ride on Sunday, but didn’t have the time or energy for anything too epic. So, I rode a route I have ridden a couple of times now, west of town. I ended up with 23+ very hilly miles. Looking back at my previous posts about this route (one | two) it’s kind of shocking how different the scenery looked, with bare trees and snow on the ground, rather than greenery and wildflowers.

Just to keep things interesting, I did change the route slightly. I headed out That Road and rode up to Leonard Springs Road.

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I just love this intersection. I had ridden on West Leonard Springs Road before, but never on South Leonard Springs Road. So, this was my new road for the day.

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I had driven on this road a couple of times before, but only to go to Leonard Springs Park, which is just about a block down the road.

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Once I passed the park, the road went down a hill with some twists and turns.

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This was an interesting ride because probably 90% of the pavement was clear. However, the remainder was a nasty mix of snow, slush, and ice. I really needed the studded tires, at times.

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Below, you can see May Road making its way over some large rolling hills. I would turn on this road next. Those hills were tough!

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But, there was a nice payoff in the form of a wild downhill on Harmony Road.

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Then flat riding for a while. I was headed into the wind, which was rather strong.

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This cow seemed to think I was a little crazy. The specks on the hill below are his cohorts.

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I crossed Indian Creek.

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The sky was wild. Mostly cloudy, but patchy enough for bits of bright light to shine through, and even the occasional clear spot showing bits of blue sky.

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Another climb …

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… took me to some very nice views.

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Then, more flats …

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… and more hills.

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The road surface got sketchy again. It was cooling off so there was more ice than before. And since the road was hilly, I needed all the traction I could get.

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I approached a barn that I always enjoy seeing.

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I had good intentions for the shot below. The Christmas lights on my bike were turned on, but they don’t show up well in the photo. Oh well.

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Just a little more riding, and I was home.

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This was a great ride, and again, one that really required the studded tires, even though they weren’t needed most of the time.

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