Ringing out the old – 2008 biking stats

hny2aOn this New Year’s Eve, it’s time to look back at where I’ve been, biking-wise, over the past 12 months. First of all, let’s recap the last four months, as I have done in April and August. Then we’ll recap the entire year.

September-December:

  • Total rides: 38
  • Total mileage: 863.1
  • Avg. speed: 15.73 mph
  • Highest avg. speed on a single ride: 17.65 mph
  • Highest maximum speed on a single ride: 38.6 mph
  • Longest single ride: 101.4 mile

Monthly mileage

  • September: 271.5
  • October: 302.5
  • November: 131.8
  • December: 157.3

I’m astounded by the amount of riding I did, especially when it didn’t feel like I was doing as much as I could have. I’m blown away by my stats for the entire year:

Year-long stats 2008:

  • Total miles: 2,677
  • Avg. speed: 15.09 mph
  • Highest avg. speed on a single ride: 17.65 mph
  • Highest maximum speed on a single ride: 39.5 mph
  • Longest single ride: 101.4 miles
  • Average ride distance: 20.625 miles

Highlights of the year: My century, obviously, given how much I seem to have posted about it. But hey, for a 57-year-old guy, I think it was a big deal. I took the League of American Bicyclists Road I course, which made me a more competent, smarter, and safer rider. I joined a local bike club, and although I am not a regular at their Sunday morning rides, the group did challenge me to go faster and longer. Finally, this blog. It’s been online a little over 10 months, and I am gratified by the amount of page views I’ve gotten. I’ll post a detailed recap of the blogging year on its anniversary in February.

Goals for the coming year: I’ve already mentioned that I’ll be riding in the MS 150 from Houston to Austin. I plan on joining a team to train for the ride, and to ride in several organized events leading up to the MS ride in April. After that, who knows? I want to get better. Better for me could include a number of different factors: faster, more endurance, more skill, or a combination of the three. Oh, and it’s time to shed some extra weight. I need to drop about 30 pounds. Biking will be the major element of that effort.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009 from the Bike Noob!

CO2 — A new top post

co2Here’s a minor milestone for the Bike Noob blog — there’s a new King of All Posts. “CO2 cartridges or a pump?” from July 29, 2008 has overtaken “Smoked by an Old Guy” from April 16.

“CO2” has racked up 1,082 page views, passing Smoked’s total of 1,078. Both posts got a little added push after I created the Favorite Posts tab at the top of the blog, but lately, I’ve watched CO2’s visits jump by as much as 30 a day to rapidly close the gap.

“Smoked By An Old Guy” has some sentimental value for me, because it was this post that made this blog catch on. Kent Peterson, the author of the popular “Kent’s Bike Blog,” spotlighted this story on his blog, and my daily number of page views surged. So once again, thanks Kent.

I appreciate the attention both posts continue to get, and I wonder: Are there still some unresolved issues about using CO2 cartridges as opposed to pumps? Let me know — I’m interested in what you have to say on the matter, and I’ll be happy to update everyone on where the sentiment lies.

Latest numb toe remedy — new shoes!

After my experiences with numb toes on rides this year, I finally came to the conclusion that the only way to deal with the problem was to get new shoes. I must have dropped some well-placed hints, because under the Christmas tree this year, there they were!

shoesThey’re the Road Comp model by Specialized. Mrs. Noob has worn Specialized shoes for two years, and loves them. I’ve also heard good things about the brand from other bikers. Yes, I know everyone lusts after Sidis, but they’re a little too pricey. And these weren’t cheap.

Santa must have thought you wear the same size for biking as for your everyday street shoes, because he brought size 42.5 (9 1/2 US). They were a tight fit. My feet tend to swell during exercise, and I always buy sport shoes a size larger than my street shoes. My LBS happily made the exchange for size 44, and while I was in there, they even mounted the new cleats.

One of the main features I was looking for in a new shoe was a carbon sole. I figured the stiffness of carbon would help control the numb toe problem. These soles are as hard as rock.

I’ve worn them on two rides since Christmas. The leather tongue is a little long, and hits my instep right where it curves up into the shin. I think that will work itself out with a little more riding. They’re snug without being tight, because of that ratcheting fastener for the top strap. I like Specialized’s Body Geometry line of equipment anyway — they seem to pay attention to our anatomical needs.

While we’re talking about bike things for Christmas, I also got that seat post-mounted dual water bottle cage I posted about last week, a pair of yellow biking socks (“Because you don’t have any socks that match your yellow jersey.”), and a new long sleeve jersey. So it was a good biking Christmas for me.

The title of this post might be a bit misleading. Whether these shoes will fix the numb toe thing is still undetermined. Both my rides in the new shoes were fairly short — 15 and 17 miles — and I really didn’t get a sense of how the toe is behaving. I’ll have to report back on that in a future post.