January is the customary time to make resolutions, and cyclists also use the month to revisit their accomplishments during the previous year. Far be it from me to buck custom. But I promise to keep it short.
Personal record: My mileage tally was 3,624 miles. That’s nearly 500 more miles than I’ve ever ridden in a year.
Third place in the nation: I was lucky to ride on the third-place team in the National Bike Challenge, and ended up ranking among the top 50 women riders (the League of American Bicyclists’ blog published a story about us). We formed a team for fun and started out strong; much to our surprise, we stayed in the top five out of over 2,500 teams throughout the four-month competition. When we realized we might actually finish in the top three, we kept up the pressure by trash-talking each other and another local team. During the competition, I also discovered the number of weekly miles I must cycle in order to eat anything without gaining weight. That number is 170, about 70 more miles than I wish to ride.
153 consecutive days of riding: After putting away the 30 Days of Biking challenge, I just kept on going and ended up cycling every day from the beginning of April through the end of August.
Mountain biking: This new sport got added to my repertoire, although I have to admit I’m not very good at it. I’m wearing a wrist brace even as I type because of a crash.
Closer to car-free: Cycle-commuting until the third week of December led me to discover the joys of early-winter sunsets and riding through neighborhoods decked out with Christmas lights. I still have a long way to go before becoming a car-free commuter, but I’m making progress every year.
And that’s it. No big goals for 2013 yet, except continuing to stretch the commuting season, biking while on vacation (again), the 30 Days of Biking challenge (again, again), and riding Kansas’ Switchgrass Mountain Bike Trail — called “epic” by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Oh, and I swore I wouldn’t ride in the National Bike Challenge again this year, but have already agreed to be on a team. How did that happen? Strange how you can start a year resolving to make no resolutions, and yet gain them anyway.