2015: The Year in Review
2015 was a great year for cycling. I surpassed previous annual and daily mileage records, commuted by two wheels more than any previous year, and participated in my first Freezing Saddles. Even more fun, I got more involved in the cycling community in the DC area and have made a lot of great new friends as a result.
Regarding mileage, I smashed my previous annual record by 1,969.5 miles and spent an additional 196 hours on the bike. I biked 51 of 52 weeks during the year.
September was my highest mileage month at 650 miles. October came in second with 511, then January with 455, June with 437, and August at 413. My lowest mileage month, at 349 miles was February, which was largely due to severe snow conditions involving cancellations of work and needing to find alternate routes. I also completed my first English century. I made it a point to stop making excuses and ride whenever possible. That meant riding when the thermometer was at 3°F up to when the heat index was well in excess of 100°F. I rode in rain, sleet, snow, winds in excess of 50 mph, and with headwinds that seemed to keep their position no matter which way I was riding, and on with studded tires paths that were regrettably unplowed. There were also picture perfect days with tailwinds and sunshine. I loved every minute of it.
I also became a regular at the Friday Coffee Club at Swing's in DC in 2015, attending 33 weeks, making many new friends, and savoring at least 3 dozen delicious coffees. I also went to 7 Hump Day Coffee Clubs at Best Buns in Shirlington, where I met more great people and enjoyed coffee and conversation. The only reason it is lower in number is that it ends earlier and is more challenging for me to get there in time from where I start. I hope to get both numbers up in 2016, they are a lot of fun.
The year started with the beginning of the Freezing Saddles cycling competition. It did not take long for the freezing part to come into full force as there was significant snow on the 6th of January. It was a cold but fun ride, complete with the formation of beard icicles. I soon met my amazing Freezing Saddles team at the opening happy hour and made several fast friendships. We would go on to do some fun rides together and finish in second place for the competition. Due in large part to the competition I surpassed the 1,000 mile mark before the first day of Spring, a first for me.
After the conclusion of Freezing Saddles, I kept riding, as usual. I had the pleasure of passing by the blooming cherry blossoms each day on my way into work, attended yet another Bike to Work Day, and waxed poetic about the beauty of Spring as viewed from atop a saddle and two wheels. In mid-August I surpassed the mileage record I had set for the entire year in 2014. At that point I privately guessed that I'd probably get 4,500 miles for the year, and doubted I'd reach 5,000. I ended up riding on average a century for every week I rode, at 5.112.6 miles.
One of my goals for the Summer was to take a Friday off and finally finish my first full English century in excess of 100 miles. As ever, time kept flying by and when Labor Day weekend was upon me I realized that the goal was in danger of being unmet. I had plenty of leave, so I took off the Friday, made a stop along the way at Friday Coffee Club, and ended up making a 106.9 mile journey up the C&O and back home via the W&OD. I even managed to grab lunch with my wife and dodge a thunderstorm while still getting to the finish before dark.
I rode a full week after that and then did my second ride of the WABA 50 States Ride for a metric century in a downpour followed by another 19 miles home. Between those two weeks, I biked 396.9 miles contributing to September being my highest mileage month.
In October I rode in my first Great Pumpkin Ride with my friends Reba and Robert for 68 beautiful miles in Fauquier County. In November I did my first WABA Cider Ride, also with Reba were we got to explore some of the Anacostia branch trails and the Agricultural Research areas in Greenbelt for a fun 47 mile ride. December brought the WABA Holiday Party and a happy hour with some Mount Vernon bike friends.
I feel lucky to have had such a great year both on and off the bike. Thanks to everyone who helped make 2015 so fun and memorable.