Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The final ride of 2013

This Sunday was my final ride for 2013.  It wasn’t anything fancy.  Just a 35-mile cruise from the house.  However, I’m still recovering from a pretty nasty cold so those 35-miles felt a lot longer than they should have.  I’ll be really happy when I’m fully recovered and I have my strength back.

It was another gorgeous but chilly day with the temperature hovering around 36 degrees as I rolled down the driveway.  No worries about the cold though.  That’s why I have a bag full of cold weather gear.  Of course, it would warm up before the ride ended so I was carefully dressed in layers.  I’ve got to say that putting on layer after layer of clothing just to ride a bike has its own twisted cool factor for me.

As I head down the street I realize I have no idea where I’m heading.  As I play through various options I noticed that I’m heading west so I stick with it and decide to head out towards Sebastopol.  Since it’s a quiet Sunday morning, I skip the bike path and stay on the surface streets as I roll out of town.

I ride through the community of Roseland, which is always a challenge for me.  You see, all along the main drag are these awesome Taqueria carts.  As you ride along your olfactory sense is overwhelmed by the cooking smells of chorizo, chicken, and beans. After riding through the heart of Roseland, I decided to give in to the smells and stop at the next Taqueria cart I saw.  You know what happened next?  That’s right!  After finally deciding to stop I did not see another cart.  Since I wasn’t about to turn around, I settled for a yummy chocolate GU (this is cycling-speak for barely tolerable chocolate flavored chemical mixture).

As I keep rolling, I’m having a blast making the ride up as I go.  As I approach each corner I have the same conversation with myself, which went something like,  “if you turned here you could go to . . .” Eventually, I ended up in Forestville where I stopped for a double espresso and simply enjoyed the morning.  After my little break, I decided on a route back and headed back to the house.

As I was riding, I couldn’t help but reflect back on 2013 from a cycling perspective.  It wasn’t a great year but it was bad either. I logged 700 more miles than 2012 with just under 3,500 miles total.  However, that’s still below the 4,000+ miles I would have preferred. 

I finally came to the conclusion most of 2013 was like Sunday’s ride – unfocused.  So, while I definitely logged a good number of miles, there doesn’t seem to be lot to show for it.  Don’t get me wrong - some of the rides were phenomenal and I enjoyed all of them but I didn’t set any goals or complete any really big rides.  In fact, I can’t remember the last time I rode 100 miles or more in a single ride.  Yep, it’s time to bring some focus back into my cycling adventures.

That’s what 2014 will be all about.  Setting goals and staying focused.  I’m not talking goals that are so serious they take away the joy of riding.  I’m talking about goals that make me push myself just a bit, which is one of the things I really enjoy about cycling.

What does 2014 have in store.  Well, for starters I looking at really big local event in June.  I’m also making plans for a cycling adventure in late September.  Lastly, Sherry and I are traveling to France in July and I’m already looking for a place to rent bikes while I’m there.   Of course, with these adventures comes the need to properly train so there will be additional focus with all my rides.

These adventures should also generate some interesting stories and I look forward to sharing them with you.


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