2020 Biking Summary

2020 ride summary: Look at that consistency!

Gosh, 2020 has been a year for riding (and everything). I started the year without biking at all: The first 18 days of January fell into the recovery window of my EIAE surgery. After the doctor cleared me to ride, I promptly quit running and delightedly resumed my regular bike commuting and weekend ride schedule. I felt out of shape, but thrilled with the apparent full functioning of my left leg.

I planned to spend the year pursuing my highest level of fitness since 2016, shooting for PRs and faster overall times. I could hardly wait to try Passport 2 Pain again with two fully functional legs! In a fit of optimism, I signed up for RAMROD, even though I’d likely ride it alone. This was my year! Continue Reading >>

Dismal Ride With a Dash of the Delightful

I don’t often regret my bike rides. Many times it comes to the point where I have to change into biking gear and I really don’t feel like it, but I force myself to change and go out, and by the time I get home I’m glad I did. Today was not one of those days. (If that doesn’t cue you in, I’m going to complain about my ride today. Probably you want to skip this post since I’m venting.)

Today nothing went wrong — no accident, no mechanicals, no reasonable weather complaints (saying “it’s cold” in December seems excessively whiny), not even a flat tire. But before leaving, the kiddo and I spent several delightful hours at the dazzling Tolt-Macdonald Park and we didn’t get home until midafternoon. I inhaled a couple pieces of cold leftover pizza and salad and hit the road. Continue Reading >>

Biking in Winter

Some days I agonize about whether or not to ride my bike outside. Even with the major improvement of a smart trainer and video game-like ride platform, I don’t get the mental health benefit of being unavailable and out of the house when I ride in the garage.

But some days I don’t agonize, because the weather is so abysmal that, even though I would commute in it, but I’d never voluntarily leave the house to ride in it. Think: 37 degrees, steady rain, in the pitch dark.

Today was one such day, or at least it was when I took the outside picture (right before sunset). Continue Reading >>

EIAE Update: One-Year Surgery Anniversary

Okay, actually my surgery was on November 22, 2019. Needless to say, I am so, so glad I got the surgery done long enough before the pandemic started that I even had the two-month follow-up appointment before everything went sideways. Actually, my follow-up was on January 18, 2020 — the same day COVID-19 Patient Zero came into the US, passing through the same airport I did.

Before we jump into how it’s gone, I want to call out once again that without my family, this wouldn’t have happened. Thank you again to my family for making it possible for me to have this done. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Bike Selfies 3

The pandemic rages on unabated here in the US, with no prospect of improvement — and that means I continue riding mostly alone or with Dad. And that means I continue taking bike selfies to prove to myself I’ve gone places.

In this edition, Dad and I took one excursion to Whidbey Island. You’ll see several pictures from there. Also in this edition, you’ll see more sunsets and evening shots as days get shorter and my after-work “commute equivalent” rides stay at the same time but change from late afternoon to evening rides. Continue Reading >>

Biking Ambivalence

Since crossing the 100k biking milestone, I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to feel motivated to ride.

Probably part of this comes from the weather pivoting swiftly from warm-to-moderate temperatures straight to winter. Yesterday it was 28°F when I got up; I waited to ride until 10 am, when it hit a balmy 35°F. Somehow I find riding in those temperatures physically harder than when it’s 50°F, and I’ve never been able to figure out if it’s actually physically harder, or if it’s purely psychological. Either way, I work harder and still go slower in the winter, even on a sunny day riding my “fast” bike. Continue Reading >>

100,000 Miles Ridden

On my Saturday ride this weekend, I passed 100,000 miles ridden (since I started tracking in 2008). It only took 12 years.

100,000 Miles Ridden

Then: 2008

Off We Go
Then: October, 2008

I started biking in 2006, riding about seven miles one way to the train station. By 2008, my company moved a little closer to our house, so I was able to start commuting 13 miles one way directly there. I had just bought my custom titanium Seven, which I rode mostly just for commuting Monday through Friday, with weekends off. Right around 2008 I met a conductor on the train who was a cyclist and encouraged me to consider doing the Cape Cod MS Challenge, which led to me eventually training for and riding the STP. But long rides were the exception rather than the rule back then. Continue Reading >>