Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 2

Date
January 13, 2017

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 2

Route Map/Profile
Weather
Ride Video

Ride Report 
The weather has been terrible all week. There's been rain, flooding, and snow. I haven't had a decent ride since last week's ride, really. I've been riding in the rain/snow on the road on my mountain bike. Even with those rides I was somewhat lucky that there wasn't ice on the roads. It was either rain or snow. Ever since I crashed on the ice in 2014 I don't take any chances with ice.

Which brings me to this week's ride. I was a little nervous about this week. The weather looked good for Friday, but it snowed quite a bit on Thursday, so I wasn't sure there would be enough time for the roads to clear up for me to get my ride in. I ended up driving to Yerington, partially to check out the roads and partially because there's a flat loop there that I figured would have clear roads. I ended up doing 3 loops plus a few extra miles on the side.

It didn't make for the most exciting ride, but since I haven't been able to ride as much as I've wanted lately I was just happy to be out there.






Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 1

Date
January 2, 2017

Distance
102 miles

Strava Link
Week 1

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Video

Ride Report 
The year is off to a windy start. I did a windy century on the 1st and was hoping to take it easy and do a little mountain biking today. However, the weather forecast changed and there might be some snow tomorrow. What to do, fight the wind on a sunny day or hope to beat the snow on a cloudy day? I decided to go ahead and fight the wind. It's not fun, but at least I knew I'd be able to finish the ride. It may not snow at all tomorrow, but you never know. I wouldn't want to lose the whole year based on a stupid decision during the very first week.

As promised, it was windy. The weather chart above doesn't match what I was feeling out there. It wasn't all that windy to start, but picked up as the day went on. I did 30 miles or so riding back and forth on 395. The wind wasn't all that strong yet and only started to pick up towards the end of that section. Then I headed towards Yerington and it started getting bad. I did the first half in 3 hours, but due to the wind the second half took me more than 4 hours.


The good news is that the sun was out and it didn't feel all that cold. It was a long day, but it could have been worse and at least I was able to get my ride in. At the end of the year that will be the only thing that counts.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017: The Preview

The theme for 2017 (which isn't a good goal because it isn't measurable) is to make the most out of my health while I still have it.

Here's the list, in no particular order:

  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
The first 3 are repeats from last year. This will be my 5th year of riding a century per week, and it's still fun and keeps me in relatively decent shape all year long. It will also be my 5th Everest. I'm not as obsessed with Everesting as I was a while ago, but it's still a huge accomplishment and a ride you'll never forget. I haven't decided which climb to do yet, and that process is half of the fun. Riding 12,000 total miles is less about the number and more about just wanting to ride a lot all year long. As long as I'm riding as much as I want, I'll hit that number no problem.

The same goes for goals 4 and 5. I'm not completely concerned about the numbers. I just want to ride my mountain bike about once per week and 1,000 miles is a little under 20 miles per week. Seems reasonable. I also want to commute about once per week, which works out to around 2,500 miles. I'm not as hardcore about commuting as I used to be. I'm fine being a weather wimp and doing most of those miles during the summer.

Goal #6 is the one that will keep me working all winter. I was looking for a big adventure this year, something to focus on similar to how I focused on Petoji in 2015. Something big that I could look back on at the end of the year and feel good about. I was looking at rides in Europe and there was one in particular that caught my eye, but it's a 2-week ride and it's questionable as to whether I can build up enough vacation time soon enough for that. I get a lot of vacation time at my new job, but I'm still new, so I don't have much built up yet. I shifted my focus a little bit towards shorter rides. That way I can have an adventure, but I can build up for something big next year and still have time to focus some energy on goal #7. What I came up with was more or less a half Petoji. I want to ride across the country from South to North. It's a fun goal. I could do a loop somewhere, but there's something satisfying about riding across something. I'm not sure why that is. I did a rough draft of a couple different routes and it's possible to do the ride in 1,500 miles. That means I can do it in 10 days. 150 miles per day is a lot. I wouldn't want to do that for 2-3 weeks, but it's doable over 10 days. I'm still ironing out all the details, but here is the route I'm working on right now. I still plan on doing it credit card style with no support, but I plan on using a rack and panniers this time mainly because there are some long stretches between towns on this route and I'll need to carry more water. There's not a ton of climbing and most of it is early on in the ride, so the extra weight shouldn't hurt me too much. I'll post more details later on, as soon as I have the dates set in stone.

Goal #7 is probably the second most important goal, just behind riding a century per week. I have a long-term goal to ride a century in all 50 states. I'm halfway there, but I haven't made much progress in the last 2 years. I really want to pick things up this year. 6 seems like an arbitrary number, but I wanted to do 5 last year and didn't do any, so I added 1 to that to remind myself that I need to step it up. This is very achievable in 2017. I work  4-day weeks now, so it's easy to take a weekend trip and have some fun.

#8 is something that I've been wanting to do for a while. I've just had other things that I wanted to do more. I'm putting this on here to sort of force myself to do it. I always had the idea to try to do it in 24 hours, but honestly I think that will suck a lot of the fun out of it, so I'll give myself 48 hours instead.

#9 is similar to #3-5. The number of 3 trips isn't a big number to obsess over. The main thing is that I want to take a few bikepacking trips. There is so much to see around here. I want to get out and see more of it.

There you have it. Those are the goals for 2017. There isn't' one huge goal that will catch your attention on its own, but when you add them all together it will make for a solid year and an improvement over 2016.

2016: Year in Review

First, a few numbers:

12,084 miles

776 hours

701,904 feet
1 Everest

58 centuries

1 double century



Now let's look back at my goals:
  • One century per week
  • Century in 5 new states
  • One international century
  • 12,000 miles
  • One Everest
I did them all except for the 5 new states. Missing one goal isn't so bad, but I missed by a long shot. I didn't even get one new state this year. Needless to say, that will be a big priority for me next year.

At the beginning of 2016 I knew it would be difficult to top 2015. It's hard to top riding across the country after 10 years of dreaming about it. All of my numbers are down from last year, which I fully expected.

2016 got off to a good start with my week of riding in Tenerife, but the rest of the year didn't live up to my expectations. After I broke my hip in 2014 I told myself to make the most out of my health while I still have it. I didn't go big enough in 2016. I'm setting bigger goals in 2017. This time next year I want to look back at the year and feel like I actually learned my lesson in 2014. It's not that 2016 was a bad year. It just wasn't good enough.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 52

Date
December 27, 2016

Distance
100 miles

Strava Link
Week 52

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 
That's it. I accomplished the goal and rode a century every week. That means I've done it in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016. The only thing that stopped me was the broken hip in 2014. I'll be back for number 5 in 2017.



2016 was a busy year off of the bike and it certainly wasn't easy, but I never really felt like it was in doubt this year. I may have been working 7 days a week for a while and there were times when I had to wake up earlier than I would have liked, but there was never a big snow day on one of the days when I absolutely needed to get my ride in. Aside from injury that's the thing I fear the most.

It's always nice to reach a goal, but my mind is already drifting towards 2017. I have plans to make it bigger and better than 2016.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 51

Date
December 19, 2016

Distance
101 miles

Strava Link
Week 51

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 
It was a cold day, but the sun was out and there wasn't any wind, so it wasn't that bad.



I did another mountain bike ride on the 18th. That ride went a lot better than my first ride. Most of the ride was on smoother, flatter roads. I did some more difficult stuff towards the end of the ride and had an easier time keeping the bike moving. Then again, this week's roads were kind of sandy while last week's roads were more rocky. Things went slower, but I felt like there was better traction. I'm still trying to figure out where all the roads go. It's fun. I'll see a new road and want to turn on it to see where it goes, but I don't even know where the road I'm on is going, either.






Meanwhile, there's only one week to go. That's hard to believe. I'm working on my goals for next year and I'll have those and a look back at this year posted by January 3rd at the latest.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Week 50

Date
December 13, 2016

Distance
103 miles

Strava Link
Week 50

Route Map/Profile

Weather

Ride Report 
I got back from my trip earlier than expected, so I had time to squeeze this ride in today. I was feeling tired, but look at that weather. There's no way I could pass it up. Who knows what the weather will be like on Sunday.



I haven't given a tubeless update for a while. I'm still very happy with the new Hutchinson Intensive rear tire. I have a little over 1,400 miles on it and I still haven't noticed any punctures yet. The tire is still in very good shape and hasn't started to square off yet. There are a few small cuts, but those are entirely expected. There are no big cuts at all. I'm very happy. So far it's everything I hoped for out of tubeless. I should just buy a new pair of these tires after this one wears out, but I probably won't be able to resist the urge to buy a different brand just to keep experimenting.

The year is almost over. Only 2 weeks to go. There's always something to aim for. I still haven't hit 12,000 miles for the year yet, so that goal will keep me going over the next 2 weeks.