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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Looking Back on 2008

Looking back at last year, I'm pretty happy with my level of cycling activity in 2008. Although my annual stats pale in comparison to those posted by many of the bike bloggers I follow, to me they represent a decent achievement and something solid to build upon for 2009. When I started this blog I stated that I had lofty goals for the future and that continues to be the case. However, my past riding history is spotty at best with little to show subsequent to the few good years I've had like this one (Note: I plan to post on my riding history soon...just in case any of you want to be bored silly!). We'll see if I can keep the momentum going in 2009.

With this in mind, the one huge positive development I see going forward is being able to follow the adventures and challenges of other fellow cyclists as they strive to achieve their goals. This has proven to be a tremendous source of inspiration to me. Whether the bike bloggers I read are new to the sport or veterans of the road, whether they are younger or older, female or male, ride to stay fit or train to win the local crit, or whether they prefer hills over flats or singletrack over the pavement, the blog posts they string together allow amazing stories to be told of challenges, achievement, and the love of the sport...along of course with countless tips, ideas, and other bits of useful information. It's nice to feel connected to a community of folks with a common interest and I know it will help motivate me to achieve my goals.

Okay, here are the stats and graphs. First, a table of riding days and miles by month.

I rode 1,641 miles in 2008. Good considering the miles I racked up over the past 5 years or so, but not a PR I'm happy to say (being happy about this IS a relative thing I guess). That mileage was accumulated over a total of 78 rides for an average ride distance of 21 miles. Makes sense as I ride a lot of loops after work in the 18 to 25 mile range. What might not make sense in the table are the percent scheduled and missed day values. Unless you see the spreadsheet I use to track my rides, it might seem like the percent values are a bit high and missing days too low. What I try to do is plan the rides for a season well in advance starting out with 4 rides a week (Tues, Thur, Sat & Sun) for the first month or so and then increasing to 5 and perhaps 6 if I've been at it long enough. I never ride every day as my knees generally need at least one rest day per week (my knees will be the topic of a future post as I'm determined to bore you!). Anyway, the whole schedule is fluid and it certainly gets tweaked from week to week as things come up, but I always designate riding days versus rest days. So in computing the annual summary stats, only scheduled "ride" days get considered. To me, missing 31 scheduled ride days is not a stat to be proud of, even if many of them are due to factors beyond my heavy rain and lightning (a common occurrence in these parts last summer).

The next two graphs show my cycling mileage by month...

Oops, line missing...then by week

Some additional stats are as follows:

First ride of season: May 18
Longest ride: 102 miles (NBW-TFCE)
Shortest ride: 6 miles (1st ride on my fixie)
Fastest ride: 17.7 mph (23 miler loop)
Most miles in a week: 166 miles
Fastest weekly avg speed: 17.0 mph over 145 miles

Days biked: 78 (62 on the Roubaix, 16 on the fixie)
Lazy-ass days: 4 (these were 4 of the 31 missed days with absolutely no good reason for not noted in my riding log!)
Solo rides: 75
Rides with Mark: 2 (Mark is my longtime friend who got me into riding years ago)
Event/Group rides: 1 (NBW-TFCE)

Again, I'm mostly happy with my 2008 accomplishments, but more importantly I certainly know what my shortcomings are that need to be addressed this year. Without going into a lot of detail (like above), in 2009 I'll strive to achieve the following:
  • Continue fixie rides this winter as weather permits
  • Start routine "training" rides BEFORE daylight savings time begins on March 8
  • Increase the length of my rides in general
  • Establish and stick to a routine of riding early in the morning on weekends (a chronic problem with me)
  • Plan on at least one long ride per month (metric century or longer)*
  • Plan on at least 3 event rides in addition to the TFCE
  • Join the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen (NBW) and participate in a few group rides
  • Double the number of ride days
  • Double my yearly mileage (I'm setting a target of 3,500 miles)
  • Eliminate lazy-ass days
  • Ride with Mark at least once per month during the season
  • Drop 30 pounds (I'm setting a target of 180)

*Note: I don't consider the one long ride per month goal to be Trio's Century a Month Challenge because I honestly have no hope of accomplishing that over the rest of this winter. I can say I will try, but I'm just being realistic.

Wow...what a post! Sorry


sarah said...

If you find a way to stop having 'lazy-ass' days, let me know how, LOL! I think you did really well last year and am looking forard to your blogging this year. You've set some good goals to work toward!

trio said...

I need to get rid of lazy-ass days as well! Good luck with your goals!

Glenn_in_MA said...

My lazy-ass days have a tendency to turn into weeks then months. LOL! This will be noticeable if I ever get around to posting on my cycling history.

Michael said...

1641 miles is a lot, no matter how you look at it, and you (and Sarah) have the New England winter to contend with.

As for "lazy-ass days" sometimes I think I ride on those so I don't have to do all the other stuff in the yard and around the house. But it catches up.

Hope the snow melts so you can ride!