Wednesday, December 12, 2012

tried and liked/didn't like in 2012 -- part two: activities/ride

The truth was that I didn't really do much riding that was goal-oriented in 2012. With the career transition taking several months and ending as strangely as it did, I really wasn't thinking much about racing at all. That said, I did enjoy a few bike-rlated activities this year:

1. I raced a whopping three times this summer, the final three races in the Portland Short-Track Series ( in July. While I was terribly out-of-shape and finished dead last every time, I enjoyed myself and the camaraderie of my teammates, and if my scheduled allows I do plan to race at least a little in summer 2013.

2. Commuting was largely uneventful this year. I admit that I am slightly surprised to have logged as many miles as I have -- I'm on pace to crack 2,300 miles and possibly a little more in the remaining 2 1/2 weeks of the year -- because I did opt to go multi-modal (combination of bike and transit) quite a lot. I also got less and less excited about cargo-biking as the days turned colder and wetter this fall. I do find the Surly useful for hauling my guitar, but I find that I don't enjoy managing the balance of a loaded cargo bike as much and I am thinking quite a lot about selling the Surly and going back to towing a trailer. I have dealt with fatigue from poor sleep cycles (most likely related to stress about the career transition) and simply haven't felt like riding as far this year.

3. Recreational (non-racing) riding was spotty but enjoyable. I enjoyed a few longer (20-plus mile) rides during the spring and summer, and my most recent ride exceeding that distance was a pleasant one with friends on Thanksgiving morning. I am learning that I tnd to be in slightly better voice when I don't try to ride every day in cold, wet weather. Since I now make some of my living by singing three times a week, I've had to choose to ride less. I try to make up for it in weeks when there is no school, so I expect to try and squeeze in some longer rides during winter break next week.

While it's important to never say never, I expect that rides in excess of around 40 miles are going to rarer and rarer as time goes by. I take too long to recover from populaires to feel seriously tempted to try anymore anytime soon; and certainly I need to pace my cold-weather rides to protect my voice.

My "Old Faithful" loop (Smith & Bybee Lakes, Kelley Point Park) was a godsend this year, as I made sure to ride it at least once in each of the seasons and enjoy the changes in color and waterfowl activity. I also enjoyed a couple of trips out to east county along the Springwater Corridor in the spring and summer. Most of my longer rides this year were along old, familiar routes but the riding was no less enjoyable for it.

4. Extra-curricular riding: The Coffeeneuring Challenge. This fall, pal Michael turned me onto a series that has grown in popularity among the rando crowd: Coffeeneuring.
(Details can be found here:
I entered the friendly, easygoing contest mostly as an excuse to get out on my bike as the weather turned colder and wetter. The coffee was a nice extra perk (sorry for the pun), and in the end I was successful, qualifying the minimum number of rides in the 6 weeks window of time.


For my efforts, I will receive a couple of small, cute commemorative prices: Those who made Honorable Mention will receive the small button at top. Those who completed the Challenge will receive the larger button at bottom, plus the adorable pewter coffee cup pin. It's a fun, silly little thing; but it got me out on my bike more so it achieved a good result in the end. Plus, I now know another bicycle enthusiast in the DC area. Good all around.

May your rides in 2013 be safe and fun!

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