2013 In Review

I am far from being the only one to do a retrospective 0f the past year, but I do it more to keep a record of the past twelve months on the bike and if it interests you, then by all means have a read, leave some comments, or just be inspired to get out there and pedal somewhere.

I set a goal for 2013 of 10,000 km and I had established some pretty granular monthly objectives to try and keep myself on track. Oh, the best laid plans. It’s not easy sticking to a long-term goal like this, especially when it’s for a hobby that takes a certain amount of time to participate in. As it is I am very fortunate to have a wife who understands and supports my riding addiction. But there are times when you just want to stay with the family and not go out, and that can be the difference between making a month and just missing it.

Monthly goal 'Hit & Misses' for 2013. Jan and Feb were both HITS!

Monthly goal ‘Hit & Misses’ for 2013. Jan and Feb were both HITS!

Interestingly enough in the graphic above it is the yellow months that were the ‘HITS’ and the green that are the ‘MISSES’. Someone didn’t get the memo when the rest of the world standardized on green for good and yellow for caution, but anyway, when you add January and February (could not capture them in the window) as ‘HITS’, it was a 50/50 success ratio for me.

Some would say that’s hardly a record to be proud of, but I’m dead chuffed with the year though. I knew 10,000 km was going to be a stretch as it represented a 1,500 km increase over 2012. I am actually not fussed at having missed it because a) it was a [reasonably] casual goal I set myself and b) I still rode 9,051 km this past year and that feels bloody good!

What I love looking at is the following:

How it all broke down over the year.

How it all broke down over the year.

Cycling‘ is all the commuting on the fixed gear Kona Paddy Wagon. This is the riding basically over the same route (a couple of slight variations) at either 6.30 in the morning or sometime in the late afternoon. It is the riding through wind, sun, cloud and sometimes rain. It is the riding with a 25 lb backpack that includes my computer, a complete change of clothes and a pair of shoes. It is some of my favourite riding. Wow, I rode on my fixie more than on the road bike this year. That’s a first. 144 rides equates to 72 commutes. During the rideable months I think I took the car only three times and only when the weather was seriously inclement and I absolutely had to be at the campus. I’m proud of that. You’re welcome environment!

Road Cycling‘ is as the name confirms, the riding I do for pleasure (or is it pain?) on the Marinoni VR2. I love this bike, and even though it is already some eight years old now, I have no desire to switch it out for a new bike. In fact, the only thing I have ever done to the bike in all that time is upgrade the wheels to Campagnolo Eurus which I did a couple of seasons ago now. Other than that, and of course basic maintenance, nothing has been upgraded. At the moment it is sitting in front of me in my home office mounted on the trainer. This is where it lives from December to March, the ‘Indoor Cycling‘ season.

Like most of us, riding, or training, indoors is not so much fun. It can be tedious and painful, with boredom being one of the greatest obstacles to remaining motivated. I am fortunate in that the trainer is connected to a PC and using Elite I can ride to videos (real-life) of various routes, with the terrain being simulated in the resistance applied to the rear wheel etc for a more life-like and less monotonous experience. But it’s just not the same as being outside and feeling the wind in your face and seeing the countryside zip by. That said, almost 2,000 km this year on the trainer is no small feat. I am surprised myself at this number, mainly because as I think back on it, it was not that awful. Thank God I am thinking this way, for I still have at least eight more weeks of indoor cycling to go before I can stretch my legs on real tarmac again.

Finally let’s take a quick look at the past couple of years:

The trend line is pointed up!

The trend line is pointed up!

2011 was the year I got the Garmin 800, and I didn’t use it every single ride. 2012 did see every ride recorded, same with 2013. Even though I rode more kilometres last year than 2012, I am not surprised that my climbing was down. I was determined in the spring to visit the mountain at least twice a month and so some climbing repeats, but before I knew it I had become more concerned with distance and making the objective for the year, and I almost certainly felt that too much climbing was going to slow down progress to that end. This year is going to be different. I’m not setting any distance objectives. In fact, I am not setting any cycling objectives for 2014. I am still going to be getting out there very regularly and of course the commuting is going to remain a priority, but I don’t want to be distracted by a target. So, expect to see me climbing a lot more this coming season. It’ll be more about quality over quantity in 2014.

That wraps that up. Loved 2013. Looking forward to 2014. Enjoy your riding season and I look forward to continuing to sharing mine with you over the coming twelve months.

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2 Responses to 2013 In Review

  1. Thats an impressive record James, keep up the good work..

    • James says:

      Many thanks Brian. I’ve already opened the scoreboard for 2014, although I am starting the year off a little slowlier than last!

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