It Was A Good Year

Just eleven short months ago at the start of 2012...
Just eleven short months ago at the start of 2012…

Where did the time go?  It doesn’t seem so long ago that my mind focused on the beginning of 2012 and pondered what I might manage to do in the coming months.  Once again, the time has come to reflect upon what was and might have been.  Shortly, my thoughts will once again turn toward what might be.

For now, though, let us ponder what was.

Boston Common
Boston Common

Travel.  I was fortunate enough to add to my growing collection of cycling adventures in far-off places.  My first jaunt was to Boston, where I had the extra thrill of renting a bicycle.  The excitement of being in a new place on a strange bike mixed with the city’s history to make for a fantastic ride.  The summer featured two trips to my old vacation spot of Virginia Beach, which is always a pleasant getaway.  The year ended with an all-too-short ride in Kissimmee, where I was reminded that there are places on the Earth equally as flat as Virginia Beach.  Three fun destinations with three very different experiences, all of which were enjoyable.

New Records.  I keep track of my personal bests in a few categories and managed to break or tie all of them in 2012.  In March, I traveled faster than I ever have on a bicycle (46.0 mph).  Also in March, I finally reached the coveted 20 mph average pace that I have been chasing for quite some time, albeit on a wind-assisted course of a mere 17 miles.  In May, I managed to tie my fastest pace for an “extended” ride of 30+ miles with a rate of 17.3mph.  And finally I broke my personal distance record in September with a 133.4 mile effort with the DC Randonneurs.

Slightly damp at Reston
Slightly damp at Reston

Diesel.  In 2012, Diesel took to the bike, much to my excitement.  Although she stills loves running, she humored me with participation in Bike DC and the Reston Century (31 mile route) rides.  The latter event will go down in the family history as being the one where we both were thoroughly soaked in a steady rain and Diesel set a personal distance record.  Nicely done, Diesel.  In addition to the formal rides, there were several pleasant outings in the local area, complete with stops for lunches and shopping.  Very nice.


Other Notable Events:

Gone before its time
Gone before its time

The Accident.  An important lesson in the risks of failing to follow the rules of the road, one which still crosses my mind every time I get on the bike.

Vasaloppet.  It was cold, the blueberry soup hot, and I got lost for the second year in a row.  Maybe three times will be a charm…

Wilderness Brevet.  My first 200k Brevet with the DC Randonneurs was a very positive event which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Crystal Ride
Crystal Ride

Crystal Ride.  My only quasi-race of the year and one where I fell short of my goals.  Like the Vasaloppet, perhaps three times will be a charm.  The “chariot race” quality of the event remains very appealing for me.

Lake Anna Century.  Never depend on race organizers for anything and life will go easier on you.

The Bathroom Scale.  I happily lost 22 pounds over the year, bringing my total weight lose to 40 pounds.  25 more pounds and I lose my Clydesdale status.  Perhaps something to shoot for in the coming year.

Ride Of The Year.  I had a lot of great rides, but the DC Randonneur’s Civil War Century had almost everything I could hope for, including 133 miles of cycling, 8,700 feet of climbing (both personal bests), THREE civil war battlefields including the “Mother of all Battlefields” (Gettysburg), and a monster thunderstorm during which I pondered my mortality.  The ride finished with me about to vomit on my bicycle.  A truly epic event which will only grow more epic with each retelling over the years.

The Cornfield At Antietam
The Cornfield At Antietam

My Favorite Post Of The Year.  The ride reports are always fun for me, but each year I am particularly proud of some epiphany I have managed to conjure up for your mild entertainment.  This year’s favorite was a post on the occasion of this blog’s Two Year Anniversary, in which I detail some of the things I’ve managed to learn over the previous two years.

A post about tires was the year's most popular.
A post about tires was the year’s most popular.

Most Popular Blog Post.  My review of my new Continental Grand Prix tires received far more hits than anything else I did this year.  The fact that I wrote it in January gave it the most time for people to click on it, but I suspect it has as much to do with the product name as it does with the amount of time on the blog.  I guess if I want to increase traffic I’ll do more of these reviews.  I can’t say that is where my interests lie, however.

Readership.   As always, thank you very much for your continued interest.  Over 62,000 visits were recorded this year, the vast majority of which were surely misguided souls looking for a J.R.R. Tolkien site (I learned with dismay that the third of the upcoming Hobbit movies will be titled, There And Back Again.  I can only imagine the mayhem that will ensue on this site in 2014).  Your comments are always entertaining and quite often helpful.  Thank you for those as well!  Here’s hoping you and yours enjoy a happy holiday season.

So that was 2012.  I hopped on the bike 107 times, rode about 2,600 miles, climbed over 97,500 feet and burned over 100,000 calories.  184 hours were spent on my machine.  That’s plenty of time to ponder the imponderables of life, suffer, sprint, descend, spin, draft, break down, and do all the other things one normally enjoys (and puts up with) on a bicycle.  Added to those 107 rides were 39 running activities, including a marathon.  All in all, it was a very satisfactory year.

For those wondering what I intend to try next year, please stay tuned.

11 thoughts on “It Was A Good Year

  1. Great year-end wrap up, and another great year of posting and riding.

    You are an inspiration on many levels and I wish you more success in 2013.

    Have a good New Year.

  2. Just think how popular your blog would have been if you’d named it ‘Return of the King’ (also, a pretty cool blog name…)!

    Great wrap-up and yes, where did the time go? Looking forward to next year’s rides, weight shedding and, of course, historical markers!


  3. Great year end wrap up, sir. I discovered your little piece of the internet this summer and I’ve become a fan. Keep up the good work and I’ll look for you at one of the rides in 2013.

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