It’s hard to believe 2012 has come and gone. In the grand scheme it’s a good thing, particularly since the writing was on the wall, I mean tablet, that we would not see a day beyond December 21…nice try Mayan’s. Instead of the coming cataclysm and zombie apocalypse, we got a sunken cruise liner, a reelected president, a super storm in the east, Sopa, mass shootings, more turmoil in the mideast, a fiscal cliff, obamacare, a scandal in Happy Valley, and pussy riots. Luckily it wasn’t all doom and gloom as we had a royal wedding, a stratospheric jump, olympic games, a drive on Mars, the iPhone 5 and least we forget Gangnam style.
In the cycling world it was Rule Britannia as Team Sky and the oh so fashionable Sir Wiggo dominated the Grande Boucle. We had heroes turn villain with Lance falling from grace, and villains turn hero as “El Pistolero” conquered La Vuelta and Vino coming up golden at the olympics. The Italians learned how to say “eh” as Ryder Hesjedal and the argyle armada fu una grande sorpresa winning the Giro, while Tornado Tom prevailed in the spring classics. Closer to home, it was Chicago’s own VDV, and the argyle armada yet again, that won the USA Pro Challenge.
In my little corner of the world, I lost my hero when my father passed away in September, yet, keeping with his joie de vivre, 2012 was still filled with innumerable personal highlights, particularly those of the two wheeled variety. My cycling goals were not only met, but crushed as I tripled last years mileage, logging 12,258 miles in the year…that’s just shy of pedaling half way around the world! Not too shabby when my original goal was 8,000 miles. All those pedal strokes raised my fitness level substantially and helped me shed 50 lbs, bringing me ever closer to my college weight.
With my weight goal met, I treated myself to a new toy this year, replacing my always reliable Trek 1.5 for “The Mistress”, a pavé busting 2013 Trek Project One Domane 6.9. Sure it’s probably more bike than I’ll ever need but what the hell, you only live once, so why not ride a “super-bike”.
The Mistress and I have grown quite fond of each other creating a year punctuated by many highlights, far eclipsing my original goal of completing a century ride. In fact, century rides are pretty much just a routine ride now days, especially with all my amazing cycling friends and active cycling community down here in southwest Florida.
This lead me to change my focus to muti-day/cross-state/touring events, including last years two big highlights, the Tour of Sebring, a three day 230 mile event in the rolling terrain of central Florida, and my personal favorite, The Isle of Bones Tour, better known as the 72 Hour to Key West, where we cycled 280 miles across the glades and down the overseas highway to reach the southern most point of the continental United Sates. To say it was an epic ride is an understatement, and although it is officially off the bucket list, I’ll be the first to sign up when the 2013 version is announced.
Of all the highlights the ones I am most fond and proud of are all the friends I have made throughout the year. Whether it’s a club ride with my pals from the Caloosa Riders, a hammer fest at an event, a casual tour out to the islands, or breaking century cherries, every ride has been memorable. It is a great pleasure to call you all friends.
So what’s in store for 2013? I always like to set a higher mileage goal than the previous years total. Beating 12k miles will be very tough, so I’ll set a realistic goal of 8,000 to 10,000 miles. The more important goals will be for more multi-day events and, time permitting, perhaps one of the big classics like RAGBRAI or BRAG. Plans are already in the works for a spring assault of Six Gap up in the North Georgia mountains. I’m also going to explore my competitive side this year and monkey around with some running and swimming. If all goes well, I might just be crazy enough to attempt a tri. I’m not built for running, but a certain British friend of mine is very insistant that I give it a go…frankly I’ll be happy if I complete a 5k run.
As I mentioned last year, a huge “thank you” is in order to my wonderful wife, son and even puppy as they allow me to pursue my addiction to two wheels. My wife Maggie is going to begin running this year so perhaps this passion of mine will seem a little less crazy.
It wouldn’t be right to close the chapter on 2012 without visiting the old donut count, so here goes… the 12,258 miles ridden is equivalent to 3,463 donuts burned, 645.18 gallons of gas saved, 578.44 TV’s powered and 0.49 times around the world.
Adieu 2012. Thank you for 365 days of great memories and experiences on and off two wheels. I look forward to many more in 2013.
Happy New Year to all.
Route: Naples Loop
Ride Time: 3:16:58
Stopped Time: 1:37:51
Distance: 56.72 miles
Average: 17.28 mph
Fastest Speed: 31.19 mph
Ascent: 1779 feet
Descent: 2072 feet