Sunday, December 7, 2008

The December 2008 wrap up.

Well it's finally the end of the year. The mileage goal for the year was 2,037 and I surpassed that handily on Thanksgiving. Knowing that I was going to indulge in massive calorie on load and overload I opted to ride to my family's Thanksgiving get-together which gave me the 15 miles I needed to break the record for the year. When I arrived home on Thanksgiving I had 2040 miles and I estimate that I might have 2,080 by December 31.

What were the things that I learned cycling and cycle commuting this year? Well for starters, I discovered that I prefer to have my cycling have a purpose. As much as I enjoyed the camaraderie of cycling the picnic loop in Memorial Park early in the year I found spinning aimless mile-long circles boring. The second thing I found out this year is the MS 150 is grossly overrated. It might have been something back in the late 80s early 90s when there were fewer riders, but I found it to be too full of "Sunday riders" People that only pull out their bikes for this event and have no clue how to ride long distances or in mass start events.

If I ever decide to ride the MS 150 again it will have to be in the team that I happen to know people who are riding. I did not enjoy being a walk-on for the Sun & Ski team. True I did know quite a few of the employees of Sun & Ski sports so I was not without anybody to talk to, but on the road I had nobody to ride strategically with to cope with all the two and three abreast riders and other idiots.

The third thing I discovered for the year was the advantages to a flat bar 700 C hybrid. Although I love my Alpine Monitor hybridized MTB I'm not so fond of its low gearing for a daily rider particularly when passing through Memorial Park. When I won a 2007 Specialized Sirrus off of eBay it became the surprise bicycle of the year. I logged more Lifetime mileage to the tune of 832.6 miles on this bike than on any other bike. The bike that is second to it is my racing bike the 1988 Sirrus it has 635.8 miles for the year.

Why did I take such a shine to this new bike? It's simple. It felt fast like the racing bike, was stable like the hybridized MTB and carried almost as much. I also suppose it fit a little better too. The Alpine was always a little big and the ' 88 Sirrus had classic road bike geometry that although made it feel agile it was also a touch whippy on the road. What I liked about the 07 Sirrus most is when I was passing through Memorial Park it didn't feel like I was taking as long compared to the Alpine. so naturally I wound up taking it more and more.

What are the goals for next year? I want to continue to use more human power and less car. Although I did not clock my car miles I've made the intelligent guess that my bicycle miles are roughly about 20% of the total mileage I traveled to and from work for the year. I know I can get more mileage if I focus on it. I know I missed several weeks where I would oversleep or find other reasons to cop out. I also need to work on my cold weather capability because I missed at least two weeks last month when the temperature got down to near freezing and I did not feel like competing with the thermometer.

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