This was my best cycling year yet. I rode over 3000 miles on my bikes in 2013, and a couple of the rides were really long. Now, the vast majority of my miles are commuting, and I added to my commute mileage this year by taking a longer route home. It is much more scenic, and it allows me to stay on lightly used trails for the majority of the way. This makes my commute much less stressful, and adds a ton of scenic beauty.
I rode a few events with the Seattle Int’l Randonneurs club this year. It’s still tough to get out as much as I want – it takes a full-day commitment for most of the events, but I’m shooting for more in 2014.
An early March 200k was a good starter for me. The ride went really well, and sold me on the Selle Anatomica Titanico X saddle. I experienced no numbness or pain at the end of the ride. I was also able to do this one right from home, so there was no drive to the start, or long ride home. It helped me get the confidence I needed for August’s 300k.
Another highlight was a ride in early June where some new friends and I went in search of the famous Babyshoe Pass. The folks I camped and rode with were an awesome, eclectic bunch from Portland, Seattle, and Enumclaw.
This was a ride that reminded me how much fun exploring mountain roads can be. The 3-volcano area is one I’ll be back to explore. I also got a taste of riding the A. Homer Hilsen set up in rando garb through a snowfield, and down a rocking mountain bike trail at speed. Underbiking at its best. Perhaps it would have been smarter to pick the Hunqa that day, but the AHH did just fine, even after a flat and an unplanned endo into the snow.
Alas, we were a few weeks early, and the snow had not melted up to the pass, so we migrated back before the summit, but the ride down was the best ride of the year, easily!
I was able to introduce a couple folks to commuting in 2013. One of my neighbors wanted to start riding once a week. He works near my office (downtown Seattle) so I showed him a few routes that I use regularly, and tried to give him enough advice to keep him safe. Another friend bought a new bike for the first time in years, and we rode home off and on for a few months. We also did a nice ride around North Seattle and found a good trail in Llandover Woods. Unfortunately, we found that the trail was closed to bikes (after we traversed it…)
The apex of the riding year was my first 300k in August. This was both awesome (Artists Point) and brutal (needed lots of advil to get home). My knee gave out just past the 200k mark while I was riding with a fast group. I dropped off the back when I started to feel like I couldn’t push down on the pedal with my right leg. I stopped and stretched in a field by the side of the road for a bit, and limped along for another 50k before I found a gas station where I could buy ibuprofen. This helped ease the pain so I could continue riding, but I was basically using my left leg and only lifting with my right. That ride was tough and took all my willpower to get through. I felt elated at the end, however. It was amazing to go so far in one day.
Happy New Year! I hope you all get out and ride more this year!