2010 was certainly my most memorable year of cycling since I began back in 1998. All told, I rode a personal record of 4,103.25 miles, 3,580.50 on my singlespeed road bike, and 522.75 on my mountain bike.
I also rode my first century, after a decade of telling myself that this year would be the year that I’d do it… each and every year. My first was last May, over Memorial Day weekend, on my singlespeed. Then I backed it up with two more on my MTB, riding on the MKT/Katy trail. One was impulsive, the other a trip halfway across the state of Missouri.
To wrap up the year–and to make up for a pretty pathetic number of miles over November and December–I rode a somewhat impulsive metric century (100km, or 62mi+), on New Year’s Eve. My idea was to get up to 4,100mi, just to hit a nice, round number. But as the ride went on, I convinced myself that I might as well go a little further than the 59.5mi I needed, and do a metric century. The day began nice, with temps in the low 60s, plenty of sunshine, and a moderate breeze. Once the sun began to set, however, the temps dropped rapidly, the wind picked up–twice it nearly knocked me off my bike–and I had to struggle to finish.
With about 5 miles left, I was back on my end of town, and decided to stop by my house for a minute to grab a jacket and gloves. The windchill was 32°, and my hands were so numb, I was having trouble grabbing my brakes. I didn’t want to end the year by getting smacked by a car at a 4-way stop, so I used better judgment for once and bundled up. By the end of the ride, my feet were numb and my legs (I was wearing shorts) were bright red, but my upper body was once again able to function. It made for a great end to the year, so it was definitely worth the effort.
One of my resolutions from last New Year’s was to get started on brazing a steel bike frame, but I never got around to it. Between work and wanting to ride, I didn’t have much time left as each day passed. I also didn’t end up racing, but the weather was to blame for that; I was more than prepared, and all pumped up for it when a huge storm rolled in the night before the race, and park officials closed the trails to cyclists.
In 2011, I’m going to make time to work on a frame, even if that means a little less time spent riding. As much as I love my singlespeed, I know that I can get faster on a geared bike, but I promised myself if I have a geared bike, I’ll be building–not buying–the frame for it. I’d like to have it done before mid-summer, so we’ll see how that goes. As for racing, I can take it or leave it. I really wanted to do it last July, but I’m not particularly wanting to at this time. Maybe I’ll change my mind when summer hits, but I’m not a very competitive rider. If it strikes me to race, I’ll race; if not, then I just won’t bother, and I won’t feel bad about it.
I’m also not done with the Katy Trail: once the weather is warm, my wife has agreed to drive me to the western-most end of the trail, drop me off, and let me find my way home. It’ll be 120mi+, longer than the trip to St. Charles.
Another of last year’s resolutions was to get out of my city more, since I log most of my miles here. I hit Jefferson City, St. Charles, and New York City (plus a little on the Jersey side). I hope to do even more riding in new cities this year, and I already have plans to head back to NYC in the Spring. Memphis would also be a blast, so I’ll see if I can work that in.
I wouldn’t mind beating my mileage record, but I really think quality counts over quantity, so that’ll be my focus for 2011.