Sunday, January 31, 2010

One down, eleven to go.

January is pretty much over. Crazy month. I can't remember a January with so much snow. And so much cold. Not in recent years, anyway. Still it ended up being a good month for riding, especially when things got nice in the middle of the month. 200+ miles, most of those on the road. Only one day of MTB riding. I need to try to get more of that in February.

It'd be great to get as many miles in February as January. The past two years (the only two Februaries that I've had a bike) have been pretty slow in terms of riding. I'd like to think that I have my winter gear up to the point that I should be able to make it out in almost anything, so maybe this year will be better.

It was definitely cold this morning. I got out of bed at 9:00 and checked the temperature. The weather channel said it was 8° and sunny. That sounded pretty cold, so I wasn't in a real hurry to get ready and out the door. By the time I did make it outside (closer to 11:00, it was 18° and still sunny. Much better. It's nice to see the temperature more than double in less than two hours.

Really, the only time I was really cold was right at the start, and that was just my forehead, which felt like it was going to peel off. I kept telling myself that I was going to pull over and make sure that the balaclava was low enough, but after a few minutes it either got warmer or just numbed to the point that it didn't hurt anymore.

I was out for close to two hours, and the sun was around the whole time. Really, it's been surprisingly sunny so far this year. It was sunny all weekeend. It was sunny the previous two Saturdays (followed by disgusting, gross, rainy Sundays, but we won't talk about those right now), and there have been lots of sunny days in between. It might not always be warm and sunny, but I think I'd rather have cold and sunny than warm and grey on most days. Sun and body heat can make up for low temperatures.

Not too much else to talk about right now. Just glad to be able to get outside and ride at this time of the year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Year in a (few) minute(s).

Everyone else is doing it. Why can't I?

2009 was a pretty good year.

I got a new job. Working from home. That's pretty great. Although I miss the commute to Confluence and back. But I get out at lunch often enough that I mostly make up for it. I'd like to try to push myself to get up early and ride before work more often this year. The problem with that is that I also need to make sure that I get to bed early enough to actually get enough sleep AND get up early. Getting to bed earlier is really the hardest part. I'm terrible at that. Anyway...

Spent the first part of 2009 in physical therapy, trying to get rid of tendinitis that developed during my month-long layoff in Sept/Oct 2008. It worked. By April, I was pretty much back to normal. That meant that I did my first 200k with no pain. Other than the actual physical torture of the 200k itself.

Picked up a mountain bike in February. I did a fair amount of riding in Frick over the course of the year. Gave up on trying to do the descent from the one part of the Bowling Green trail after beating up my bike and myself multiple times. I still have some lingering pain in my right thumb after a fall in July. Participated in the Punk Bike Enduro at the beginning of December. It was, by far, the muddiest riding I did all year. Lots of fun, though.

I started racing at the end of May. My best finish was 15th out of 35. Toward the end of the season I bought an actual road/race bike and got to use that for a few races. I love it. It's amazing how much quicker it feels than the Portland, but I think I lost a little bit of the mystique of being "that guy racing on the Portland" when I started showing up with the Bianchi. Oh well.

I was also able to work my first cyclocross race in there at the end of October. 6th place out of 26, which was way better than I would have ever expected. For various reasons that was the only 'cross race I was able to do. I'm hoping to do a lot more in 2010.

Probably the biggest disappointment for 2009 was missing out on the Dirty Dozen after maiming my right middle finger the week before. One small consolation was that I was at least able to get to all thirteen hills, and made it up all of them.

I managed to ride about 100 miles more than I did in 2008, which was pretty good, considering how many of 2008's miles were the result of the daily 26 mile commute.

Things I'd like to do in 2010:

  • Ride more.
  • Race more (road, 'cross, maybe some MTB?).
  • Dirty Dozen.
  • Probably some other stuff. I'll have all year to think about it.