As we ring in the New Year, 2014 has come to a close. It was a good year for biking, 3,143.2 miles ridden on two wheels and 269 hours in the saddle. I had been out of the saddle for a while and started getting back on two wheels in April and May. On Bike to Work Day (May 16) there was a torrential downpour with flash flooding, however, I decided to stick with it, and made it in with a smile on my face and lots of water on everything else.
As June came along, my mileage started to rise as I rode a lot more consistently with 330 miles ridden that month. In July I had my highest mileage month of the year with 635 miles, or 1,012 km, my first time breaking one million meters. I rode into work all but 2 days. In the following months I kept riding consistently, although not to the same level as I did in July. Life tends to get in the way with appointments, illnesses, and the unexpected.
August saw my longest ride at 46.5 miles, where I biked from Alexandria to Ashburn to meet my wife to celebrate our 6th Wedding Anniversary. It was a fun ride down most of the Mount Vernon Trail, The entire Custis Trail, and the better part of the Washington and Old Dominion trail. I ended up making it there before lunch with time to spare.
December ended up being my second highest mileage month of 2014 with 503 miles biked and only 4 work days missed off the saddle. This was largely due to a decision to stop making excuses when it comes to commuting into work. In the past I would avoid riding in if it was raining in the morning, but I decided to reverse that decision (aided by some additions to my bad weather gear). I never minded riding in the rain, in fact, it can be quite fun. The problem was getting gear to dry out while at the office for the ride home. A new jacket helped to mitigate (but not eliminate) this problem and doing it consistently revealed that it wasn't as much of a problem as I had thought.
In all, I ended up biking all but two weeks since I got back on the saddle in April.
Aside from mileage, I have had some additions to my equipment and routine. I had my Brooks B17 saddle repaired after one of the rails snapped and in December picked up a Brooks Cambium C17 for an unbelievable deal from Bicycle Space during their moving sale. The Cambium will allow me to bike in extreme weather conditions without worrying about covers and damage to the leather (the Cambium is made of sprung rubber instead of leather). Both have their own seat post, so I can swap them back and forth, but for the Winter, I will probably stick with the Cambium -- it performs admirably well in a downpour and is quite comfortable.
The application Strava has also become a big part of my routine. I used it initially as a way to log my miles and collect some statistics without having to crunch the data myself. However, I've really enjoyed using segments to compete against myself and see how I am progressing. It also has been fun to connect with some other riders and get and give encouragement for efforts on the saddle.
For 2015 I hope to ride more consistently and in all weather conditions. I would like to log some longer rides as well, with an eye to doing at least a metric century and maybe even an English one. I also plan to add a heart rate monitor to my Strava logging to help me to reach fitness goals and increase my performance on the saddle. Most importantly, I am looking forward to another year of fun in the saddle.
Happy New Year and keep riding.