New Year's Eve
Jennifer recently wondered “why do rides seem so meaningless when your powertap doesn’t work?” I feared that my miles for the year were therefore all meaningless since I have none of the data that a powertap captures for any of my excessive miles. Z, however, reminded me I am just as fixated by the numbers I generate at the end of each year as Jennifer is by the display that mesmerizes her for every inch she travels on a bike. True enough, although I prefer to think of my habit in a category I heard described on the radio today: the need to make lists at the end of the year. Maybe it’s a way of proving to myself that the last 365 days were not without meaning or merit or some sort of accomplishment.
What I really meant in response to Jen’s question was that every mile on a bicycle should be meaningful with or without data, even if you don’t know that it was a mile you just traveled or 300 seconds of your life that it consumed. My most memorable moments on a bike in 2010 were these:
Riding along the John Day River with Mick and Terri on a May afternoon. The temperature was perfect, we were all the traffic there was, the river is always beautiful, the riding was easy on the legs, and it was all just incredibly peaceful.
Riding the long climb up from Clarno (located elsewhere on the John Day) on the tandem with Mick. Again, there was no traffic, you feel like you’re climbing up the side of the world with views to everywhere—and there was Christy Moore on my iPhone to keep us moving along.
Riding from Newhalem to Mazama and back. I just don’t get tired of that ride or those views. I made the trip 5 times this year. I passed someone walking his bike, I passed someone who was riding so slowly I thought he would tip over onto his paniers, I just missed the boulder the size of a house falling into the roadway, and I reveled in all 120 miles every single time. And I found a quarter on the shoulder of the road on 3 of the trips, and on the last trip I found decals for the letters M and W (like you'd put on your driveway signpost) on the shoulder--just those 2, no other letters.
Hearing a lot of gunfire as I approached the turnaround at the WA State TT Championship. Even in my oxygen-deprived state, it was unnerving, to say the least. Seems the locals were getting in some target practice. There was also that horrific downpour in the last 10K of the Ravensdale Road Race where you could not see the road in front of you. The finish line was about the bleakest and loneliest I've ever seen.
Really, though, the most memorable moment was the day and a half of watching my husband get to the Race Across Oregon finish powered solely by determination. The heat took its toll on the Irish lad, and his stomach rebelled (over and over again), so the last 200 miles were fueled by willpower alone.
So here’s the data for my year in review:
Total bike miles on the road: 13,012 (2009: 12,333; 2008: 12,693).
Month with the most miles: January 1,383. (My biggest month in 2009 was May, with 1,653 miles; May was No. 2 in 2010, with 1,336.)
Month with least miles: November again, with 671 (down from last year’s low of 757).
19 rides of 100 miles or more, up from 16 in 2009. Longest rides were 193, 181 (tandem), 144, and 136 miles.
First day in the year that I did not ride my bike: May 30 (that tells you something about the mild winter we had). Also missed 3 days while crewing for my husband at RAO, 2 days in the snowpocalypse in November, plus 9 more days. So 15 days of no cycling out of 365. (The figure was 29 in both 2009 and 2008.)
Most miles in one week (7 days): 451 (down from 599 in 2009).
Number of times I rode a trainer: 106. That’s up from just 9 in 2009. Different training program. I thought I would learn to spin more on the road, but I think I just do all my spinning now on the trainer.