2017 was a great year for cycling. I exceeded my initial goal of 8,000 miles, and my revised goal of 10,000 miles, ending up with 10,110 miles.
Some highlights, and a few thoughts, comments, notes on 2017 riding:
- I barely made 10,000 miles. I had ridden over 900 miles in every month after March, and I only needed 540 miles in December, but in December I managed only 650 due to being busy at work and the holidays. Longest day in the saddle in December was only 34 miles. I also had four days off the bike in December, the most of any month since March.
- My monthly mileage totals show an interesting pattern. In four months, I rode 651 miles or less. In the other eight I rode 893 or more. There was no month in between 651 and 893.
- I definitely rode more because I had a goal. In June, for example, I noticed that I was lagging May miles, so I added 10-12 miles to my morning commute for several days. The added miles were on the C&O Canal north of Chain Bridge – a very nice way to start the day. I also traveled by bike to or from some meetings I would have driven to if I didn’t have a goal.
- I met my goals partly due to good health (I missed no days due to arthritis, better than past years), and very little business travel. I rode 332 days, and was off the bike only 33 days. So I rode about nine out of every ten days.
- Bike commuting is a huge reason for my mileage. 24 miles/day, 5 days/week pays off. Plus some days there are side trips, and some weekend work. I just did the math, and my commutes totaled 6,211 miles, equal to 61.4% of my total miles.
- I kept track the old-fashioned way, on a calendar. No Strava for me! I am not a total Luddite though. I bought a Garmin 1000 this year which is great for organized rides. No more cuesheets taped to the handlebars, and me bending over trying to read 12-point font and riding a straight line. I still sometimes manage to miss a turn, but I realize it right away, usually right as I am missing it.
- I rode six organized centuries. I usually ride three, never more than four. I rode Mountain Mama for the first time. 10,000 feet of climbing. Made me cry for my mama. Rode Bike to the Beach, an easy flat ride that for some crazy reason starts at 5 a.m. from DC. I raised over $1,000 for autism programs in that ride.
- I did two other rides of 100+ miles. These were Friday play hooky rides in Loudon County led by Pete from Bikenetic. (Over 100 miles to me because I rode to and from the Leesburg ride start.) Both rides stopped at wineries. If you haven’t played hooky and done one of these rides you should. One ride had the prettiest road I have ever ridden on. I also did a few other rides on Loudon County dirt roads. They are the best.
- I did the White’s Ferry loop (C&O Canal to White’s Ferry, then ride to Leesburg on 15, the W&OD home) a few times times. This is a great ride. I especially love it when it’s wet and muddy. And this year I found some ripe pawpaws in September on this ride. First time I ever ate pawpaw.
- I still enjoy biking. Yeah, sometimes after work I am not looking forward to the ride home. But once I get going I almost always enjoy it. It’s a great stress reliever.
- I am getting slower. That’s life. I turn 60 this month. I often ride to Purcellville and back on the W&OD, a 72 mile ride from my house. Used to sometimes do it in 4 hours flat (time on computer, not including any stoppage time) for an 18 mph average. Haven’t been at 4 hours or under in 2 years. Those days are gone.
- I rode over 700 miles with my son Nolan on the tandem this year. Riding with Nolan is not like riding by myself or with other cyclists. He is disabled, and we are a very slow tandem team. But he loves short rides, and I enjoy our time together. It sure beats driving to the playground. Our rides included four group rides, three around Hains Point and one a FABB 20-miler where we kept up with the group. Nolan likes group rides; he thinks he is in a bike race. Most of our rides include either a stop at a restaurant for breakfast or lunch, or at a coffee stop for coffee and smoothie.
2017 by the numbers:
Month Total # Days with # Century Tandem
Miles 0 miles rides miles
Jan. 651 5 0 49
Feb. 455 10 0 22
March 600 4 0 24
April 917 1 0 56
May 998 1 0 61
June 907 2 0 54
July 1024 2 1 108
August 1008 1 2 53
September 988 1 2 75
October 1019 1 2 51
November 893 1 1 96
December 650 4 0 59
Total 10,110 33 8 708