Highlights of 2011

Well, here we are again — at the end of another year. I suppose it’s as good a time as any to take stock of my biking, where it is, and where I want it to go from here.

It looks like I’ll finish the year with about 3,750 miles. I thought I would fall well short of the 4,000 I rode last year, but it turns out that if you ride a lot, even if the rides aren’t all that long, the miles do pile up. And since I hadn’t set a mileage goal at the beginning of the year, I have to be satisfied with what I’ve done.

Today was a good example. Nice day, 67 degrees (19C), sunny, moderate wind from the south. My wife wanted to go for a ride, and suggested a Mopac loop. That’s a tad over 13 miles round trip from our house — a good ride for her, but not enough for me. (Funny story about today’s ride: Before we left the house, she noted it was 66 outside, and was anxious to get going. I was a little surprised when she wore her new long sleeved jersey with the windstopper panels and the brushed insides. Then, about five miles into the ride, she asked to stop so she could shed her neck gaiter and her full-fingered gloves. I suggested that when temps are in the 60s, she can get by with a short-sleeved jersey and arm warmers, and maybe shed the arm warmers halfway through the ride.)

However, as we were wrapping up, we got into an involved conversation about her work, and the next thing you know, I’m pulling into our garage and putting the bike away. I hadn’t even realized that I was supposed to take off and do another 10 miles or so. Okay, today will be my easy day, and I’ll ride a little stronger Friday and maybe Saturday.

I’ve already blogged about my relatively short rides this year compared to 2010. And looking back, it seems I had planned to ride longer this year. One resolution by the wayside.

In addition to not riding long, I realized that except for a metric century way back in March, I never really pushed myself on the bike this year. I never felt really done in after a ride. The rationale for that is that I’m a recreational rider, and I’m not out to kill myself by training hard. But no training means no improvement. I do enjoy riding for riding’s sake, and not pushing really hard, but it’s obvious I have to do more.

So, what are my resolutions for the New Year? I don’t do formal resolutions as a rule, but I think we all have to have some idea of accomplishments we’d like to pursue during the year. So here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Some century rides. At least two. I did none this year. Targeting a goal like that will force me to train more.
  • Randonneuring? The shortest brevet is 200 kilometers (about 125 miles). I’d like to try one once, to see if it’s something I’d like to do regularly.
  • New routes. My riding is predictable. I need to get out and ride in areas I haven’t been to before. I can do that and still stay reasonably close to home.
  • More organized rides. There’s a 180 for you. I decided I’d do fewer this year, and I did. But I found that I missed them. I always enjoy myself on these things, and they often provide the exposure to routes I haven’t ridden before. My wife and I will be doing one on New Year’s Day.
My weight is exactly where it was last year at this time, and two years ago at this time, and…you get the idea. So is weight loss a goal for the coming year? Nah. If I say it is, then don’t do it, it will be another unachieved goal. If, by some stroke of good fortune, I do lose some weight — well, then I’m ahead of the game.
So, that’s where I’m headed in 2012 — more time in the saddle. I hope you’re able to ride a lot, too. Have a happy and prosperous new year.
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One thought on “Highlights of 2011

  1. Happy holidays and new year! It was delightful meeting up with you and riding with you and Ms. Noob. Here is to more rides, more adventures, more lessons and many many many more noobs learning from the bikenoob :)

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