Monday, January 1, 2018

2018: The Preview

As always, my mission is to make the most out of my health while I still have it.

I made too many goals last year. I'm going to keep things simple this year and only list my most important goals. Here they are, in order:

  1. Ride a century per week.
  2. Ride a century in 7 new states.
  3. Complete the Trans Am Bike Race in 20 days or less.
  4. Everest this climb.
That's it. This will be my 6th year riding a century per week, so that's nothing new. As I've mentioned before, I still love doing a weekly long ride and it keeps me in somewhat decent shape all year long. It's my #1 goal because I like the consistency that it requires and as long as I reach this goal I will consider it a mostly successful year.

Goal #2 is something that I've failed 2 years in a row. In 2016 I wanted 5 states, then in 2017 I upped it to 6 just to remind myself of 2016's failure. I'm upping that to 7 in 2018 as another reminder. Also, completing goal #3 would give me 2 new states and I like the idea of doing 5 extras on their own. If all else fails, a week-long trip to the northeast should solve this problem.

The 3rd goal is huge, so it feels weird to put it so low on the list. I'm going to focus the entire first half of 2018 on this goal and it means a lot to me. This is by far the toughest challenge on my list and the one that I'm not 100% certain that I'm capable of doing.

As for the 4th goal, I keep telling myself that I'm done Everesting, but I'm always drawn back. When I moved to Alamogordo and started doing this climb regularly, all I could think about is how it's the perfect long climb for an Everesting attempt. I don't have a specific date in mind, but probably Spring or Fall since the Trans Am is in June.

I'm sure I'll add a few extra smaller goals along the way. I usually have a yearly mileage goal, but I'm not too concerned about that this year. 12,000 is my normal target. I should hit that again as long as I accomplish the 4 goals listed above.

Best of luck to you all in 2018.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Year in Review

First, a few numbers:

 12,716 miles

 819 hours

 678,066 feet
 1 Everest

 66 centuries

 3 double centuries

Now let's look back at my goals (red = fail):
  1. One century per week
  2. One Everest
  3. 12,000 total miles
  4. 1,000 MTB miles
  5. 2,500 commuting miles
  6. Ride across the country (South to North)
  7. Century in 6 new states
  8. Ride across Nevada in 2 days
  9. 3 bikepacking trips
As you can see, I failed most of them. 

4. I only did 420 MTB miles. This is mainly because, when it comes down to it, I don't like mountain biking as much as I think I should. It always sounds like fun. I love being in the woods and I love riding my bike. Shouldn't they both be even better together? For some reason at the end of most MTB rides I find myself wishing I had gone for a ride out on the road or a hike out in the woods. 

5. I'm not going to bother adding up the commuting miles because I know I wasn't even close. I have two excuses. First, this winter was very bad, so I fell behind early. Second, I decided to move to Alamogordo and thus spent a few months without a job to commute to. 

7. I only did a century in 3 new states, all of which were part of my ride across the country. I have to blame my move to Alamogordo again. I had planned on doing 3 new states in the Fall, but moving was a higher priority for me because it's going to give me the chance to achieve more goals in the long term.

8. I did not ride across Nevada, but I did do a ride to Las Vegas (a similar distance) in 2 days and a non-stop 400-mile ride, so I would give myself half credit for that goal if half credit was worth a damn.

9. I didn't get the bikepacking trips in. Again, this was something that I was planning on doing in the Fall until I decided to move to Alamogordo.

It wasn't a great year for my goals, but overall I was still happy with the year. I rode my century per week and I got in the big RASN ride from El Paso to the border of Canada. Riding a century in 6 new states is the one goal that I am upset to fail on because that was a high priority for me and I've failed in this category 2 years in a row. I hope to finally turn things around in 2018.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Week 52

Date
December 25, 2017

Distance
102 miles

Strava Link
Week 52

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video
Ride Report
That's it for the year. I did a little recap of the year in the video, but I'll have my full yearly review post coming next week, along with my goals for 2018. Enjoy the rest of the year and I hope 2018 is even better for you.

I will be back again in 2018 to ride a century per week. I still love doing this and there's no reason to stop!

Week 51

Date
December 19, 2017

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 51

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video
Ride Report
One week to go.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 50

Date
December 14, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 50

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video
Ride Report
Not much going on this week. I did an easy ride out towards El Paso and back. It got windy out there, but otherwise it was a good day. Nothing to complain about when the temperature hits 60 in the middle of December.

2017 is coming to and end and I'll have my recap coming soon. Let's just say I was way too optimistic with my goals this year! I've been working on my goals for 2018 and will try to be more realistic. I'll still be making the weekly ride videos, but I'm also going to work on doing extra videos. Here's a warning ahead of time: some of them aren't necessarily going to be related to cycling except for the fact that I'll be riding my bike while talking. Cycling is my life, though, so everything I do is related in one way or another.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Week 49

Date
December 9, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 49

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video
Ride Report
Good news this week: I signed up for the Trans Am Bike Race for 2018. This will be my #1 goal for 2018 and I'm going to put all of my time/energy/money into it. That means I won't be going to Australia or anywhere else in January like I was planning before.

The goal is simple: 20 days or less. That's a good number to shoot for because it's measureable and attainable. My real goal is less specific- to ride as much and sleep as little as I can. I'll shoot for 18 days, but I don't know how I'm going to respond to sleep deprivation.

I haven't been doing a ton of mileage lately because I've been spending more time weight training and doing yoga. I used to lift 2-3 times per week just to hopefully keep my bone density up, but now I'm lifting at least 5 days and going heavier than before. As far as yoga, I used to do 5-10 minutes a day mostly for my hamstrings, but now I'm doing at least 30 minutes. I'm trying to get healthier overall and be less one-dimensional. I also want to put on a little weight, which will help me in the Trans Am.

I'm going to focus on that stuff until probably mid February and then I'll step up the bike training. I'll shoot for back-to-back centuries 3 times per month and I'll start doing some dreaded intervals. I'll also do a test trip of 500-1000 miles in March or April so I can test out some equipment and do some mental training.

I'm excited for the Trans Am and I'm really looking forward to the racing environment. It's going to be something new for me and I know I'm going to learn a lot along the way.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 48

Date
December 1, 2017

Distance
106 miles

Strava Link
Week 48

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video
Ride Report
Bad news: I was not selected to race the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Like I said in my Strava description for this week's ride, I'm still mad and I don't want to say something that I'm going to regret later on. I will say that I'm annoyed that they put my little profile on their Facebook page. It's embarrassing now and it just makes me look like an idiot. Can't I make myself look like an idiot on my own platforms? Those have a much smaller following.

So, the original backup plan was to go to Australia on my own in January, which I mentioned in this week's video and have also mentioned in previous videos. However, I'm irrationally mad at Australia as a whole now and I'm looking into other places I might want to visit. I'm looking all over. I have a few places in mind, which I might talk about next week.

The more important thing to mention right now is that I am going to apply for the Trans Am Bike Race. I can do rides on my own and those are all well and good, but I really had my heart set on a race because I think the spirit of competition will make me push harder than I would on my own. Hopefully I have better luck this time.