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Assess yourself for 2015

Old 12-18-15, 09:37 AM
  #26  
Jim from Boston
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Assess yourself for 2015!

Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
...Commuting, for me, is not about goals, mileage, and bragging rights. It's about being part of a bicycling culture and creating pleasure out of what would otherwise be one of life's most mundane daily routines.

That said, I have absolutely no idea how many miles I rode in 2015, or even how many miles are between my house and my job.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Please be reassured that the discussion is intended to include your perspective too. Many of us track mileage so that's a convenient thing to write a post around, but it's certainly not required in order to talk about how the last year has been for you or your hopes for the next one.
I have previously posted on a few threads that those who disdain computers (for tracking mileage) are like those who claim they are ”spiritual, but not religious.” In which case, ”Bless me fellow cyclists, for I have sinned.” My (otherwise great) job becomes ever-more time consuming, eating into my commuter miles so much that I didn’t track mileage. So my goals were a bust.

However. my satisfying (spiritual) experiences of the year were:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
  • …after about 10 years of training by (time-consuming) miles I finally came around to emphasizing intensity (speed) more, and for me the effects seem even more beneficial.

  • A second change is that whereas I was wedded to the idea to training via commute in the morning, I have time-shifted to doing more riding from my workplace in Norwood in the late afternoon-early evening. I have discovered in particular the nearby towns of Norfolk, Walpole, and Westwood as being on the borderline to exurbia with some really nice cycling roads, even during the “rush hour.”

  • Traveled to Michigan in July to visit family and ride the OneHelluva Ride with fellow BF subscriber Road Fan and Mrs. Road Fan, and met up with freedomrider1 and Blazing Pedals…

  • Made the acquaintance of the Ashland Bicycle Club, a nice friendly group who does leisurely, nice back routes out of Ashland and vicinity….

  • [Rode the BF Fifty-Plus Annual Ride in Pensylvania during the Columbus Day weekend with Miss Kenton[/mention], her crew, and BluesDawg.]
Also memorable was the snowpocalyptic winter of 2015.

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Old 12-18-15, 09:41 AM
  #27  
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New job started in January, and it took me a couple months to settle in there before I could bike commute. So, fewer days than previous years, but now I'm back to it and probably commuting via bike more days total than the previous job. I've been increasing my non-commuting miles as well.

So, 2015 started out car-centric and unimpressive, but the trend has been very positive.
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Old 12-18-15, 10:28 AM
  #28  
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I had a moderately good year. In April, I decided to participate in the Bike for United Way ride (900km over 7 days in mid-September) so I figured that with the training I needed to do and the early start to commuting (early April), this would be a PB year (I don't separate commuting distance from any other rides, I just watch the total). However, as I am wired to do, I psyched myself out because of the distance of the ride and had difficulty getting out for training rides and even my commuting-days suffered. In the end, I finished the ride (I took a shortcut on the 2nd and 3rd days while my body was still adjusting to the daily distances) and completed 860km in 7 days. Furthermore, contrary to the 23lb and less bikes that most of the others were riding, I rode my 41lb Kona Sutra and still bested a couple of them on some hills in the latter days of the ride. By completing the ride, I give myself a big, big thumbs-up beside this year. By scaring myself and not doing as much of the training and commuting rides as I had hoped to, I give myself a big thumbs-down. By riding 4330km to date (100km more than my previous record), I give myself a thumbs-up (early in the year, I figured it would be closer to 6,000).

All in all, it was a positive year but not as good as I had hoped.

For 2016, I am hoping to participate in the Bike for United Way ride again and I know now that I will not be psyched out by the distances and will be able to do more and longer training rides and my commuting-days won't suffer either. I expect to beat this year's PB.
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Old 12-18-15, 10:56 AM
  #29  
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Posted this over in the "How was your commute" thread too, but oh well. ...

Like the OP today is my last commute of the year. My previous best year was driving to work something like 75 times, and riding about 2400 miles.

For this year I set a goal of riding 4000 miles and driving to work fewer than 50 times. I also set a goal of losing 50 pounds. I met all of my goals, logging about 4250 miles and only driving to work 25 times.

I also lost 50+ pounds. Most of the weight loss was due to my dietary changes, though. But the increase in riding certainly helped. When I hit the 50 pound weight loss goal last July I rewarded myself with a nice new carbon-framed bike.

It was a pretty good year in this regard.
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Old 12-18-15, 11:26 AM
  #30  
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I significantly superseded my mileage goal and I’m currently at 4,261 annual miles for 2015, most of which miles were racked up via my portly mountain bikes. I more than doubled last year’s 2,027 annual miles. Being that I’m only a few months away from turning age 60, I’m ecstatic over this outcome.
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Old 12-18-15, 12:47 PM
  #31  
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I set a goal of 2500 miles commuting. I questioned if I would get there with a 22 mile round trip and having weather keep me from starting until mid March. Today on the way to work I exceeded 2800 miles. My new goal is 3000.

In order to get there, which will be a stretch, I have added miles to the route. I do 15+ coming in and either 15 going back or 22 or 25. So there have been some 40 mile round trips, 15/25.

I typically ride two extreme bikes. For bad weather, I ride my RockHopper. It weights nearly 50 lbs fully loaded without me. However, since I tend to be a fair weather rider, no rain in the morning limitation, I have ridden the Pinarello Montello for over 1800 of those miles.

I have lost nearly 30 lbs in the process. My thighs don't hit my belly anymore when in the drops! I started doing 100 sit ups after each morning ride to help strengthen my core. I think it has helped a lot. I have lost nearly 2 inches in my waist. Don't have any pants that fit anymore! Funny, my Mom gave me a Coach belt last Xmas and it was too small, now I wear it all the time! I haven't been at this weight in over 30 years and the best part is how enjoyable riding a bike is now.

In march my average speed was around 13 to 14 MPH depending on traffic, wind direction, attitude, etc. On one of my 25 mile routes home on a Friday, I averaged 18.3 MPH.

My assessment is that I am doing really well for having returned to biking in 2008 after 30 years, taking a year off from a bike accident in 2009, changed jobs, moved across the country, etc. and being 65. My new goal is to loose another 5-10 lbs. and be able to do a century next summer. I think I am nearly in good enough shape. Weather this winter will determine where I pick up next year.
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Old 12-18-15, 01:04 PM
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At the beginning of the year my cyclocomputer's odometer was 7665.6, and when I checked it the other day I think it was at like 9777 (so close to 10Kmi! since I got back into biking maybe 6-7 years ago), so that's a little over 2000 miles ridden this year -- not counting rides on untracked bikes. Since I haven't moved my B harness to my new hardtail yet, that may actually be more like 2500 total (which would put me over 10K mi...)

Most of the riding was commuting: 163 days and counting. MDAS 11mi r/t almost always, so that's about 1800. I lost a full month of bike commuting in the summer when I was recuperating from a bad ankle sprain (from playing Ultimate). My car was driven only about 2000 miles this year (way more than 2014, which was 861 miles!). I hope to live the rest of my life with more annual bike miles than car miles. That's kind of deceptive, we have two cars, and the family minivan was driven plenty, I'm talking about driving "my" 2nd car. So I'll say I want to continue to have more bike miles than 2nd car miles -- until the kids are all out of the house and we can get down to 1 car.

In Aug I participated (I wouldn't say 'competed') in the Devil Dog Duathlon (co-event with the Semper Tri) at Camp Pendleton. It was my second year, I dropped my time almost 10 minutes from 2:09:44 to 2:00:11 (didn't quite crack that 2h barrier! Next year!). I did a 1:08:37 for the 30K bike ride, which is avg 26.2 kph/16.27 mph. Not record-breaking I understand, but pretty good for this middle-aged clyde. (Also my teenage son did the du with me, and I beat him on the bike leg by 29 seconds. He crushed me on the runs)

This fall the wife and I bought new mountain bikes (to replace our 199x GT Backwoods hardtails), we've been having a lot of fun on local trails.

Last edited by RubeRad; 12-18-15 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-18-15, 01:15 PM
  #33  
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Total mileage for the year is 5,700. Rough guesstimate is half of that is commuting. The better measure is how many times I have had to drive to work this year. That number is THREE. Once for a doctor appointment, once to move stuff to a new employer, and once to drive to the airport to get my wife from a trip. That's it. Rest of the workdays I peddled to and from for my Commute.
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Old 12-18-15, 01:15 PM
  #34  
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I don't usually set mileage goals for cycling but I did so at the start of 2015. That's because I came very close to topping 5,000 miles commuting and 10,000 total miles during each of the past two years, and I thought that setting those numbers as goals would put me over the top. It didn't work out that way. Weather was a big obstacle for commuting this year, starting with two weeks of icy roads in February and continuing with the most rainy days we've had on record going back to the 1800s. I should end up the year about 150-200 miles short of my commuting goal, or about 4750-4800 miles, which is not bad considering the weather. When I subtract out all of the days I was off work due to vacation, holidays, comp time and sickness, I averaged about 110 miles or 3.5 commute rides per work week.

I do not plan to set any mileage goals for 2016. The mileage will take care of itself. I don't want to pressure myself into riding on days when I need a rest or the weather is lousy just to top some arbitrary number. In general, I think goals are a good motivator for performance. However, weather and other work demands play such a huge role in my commuting that setting mileage goals is kind of pointless.
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Old 12-18-15, 01:17 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Look at it this way: Do you still have a broken collarbone?
Mostly healed, but if that was the only way I measure my self-assessment I'd have been further along by not riding at all. Unfortunately we can't always judge a year as more successful than the year before. As far as dogged determination goes I'd say I did pretty well, better than most even without considering the injury. But I didn't reach any goals of physical improvement, so I don't judge it as an outstanding year of achievement.
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Old 12-18-15, 01:48 PM
  #36  
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@Tundra_Man, that's fantastic!
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Old 12-18-15, 02:27 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
For this year I set a goal of riding 4000 miles and driving to work fewer than 50 times. I also set a goal of losing 50 pounds. I met all of my goals, logging about 4250 miles and only driving to work 25 times.

I also lost 50+ pounds. Most of the weight loss was due to my dietary changes, though. But the increase in riding certainly helped. When I hit the 50 pound weight loss goal last July I rewarded myself with a nice new carbon-framed bike.

It was a pretty good year in this regard.
No kidding !!!

I found that when I'm exercising, without really thinking about it, I desire healthier foods, I don't really feel the need to force me to eat healthier. The reverse also is true: out of shape, out of healthy eating.
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Old 12-18-15, 02:53 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
No kidding !!!

I found that when I'm exercising, without really thinking about it, I desire healthier foods, I don't really feel the need to force me to eat healthier. The reverse also is true: out of shape, out of healthy eating.
I wish it were that way for me. I've discovered I can't out-ride a bad diet.

In my case I had to make a very conscious decision to adhere to a strict diet plan, and then persevere through it. I can't think of a single day where I wasn't desiring food I shouldn't eat, in quantities I don't need. As I sit here and type I'm wishing I could chow down. If I don't force myself to keep my diet in check I won't, and I have the body to prove it.

At the end of the year can I look back and be thankful I made the right diet decisions? Absolutely.
In the midst of each individual day do I find it a difficult and real struggle to eat healthy? Absolutely.
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Old 12-18-15, 02:59 PM
  #39  
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I don't set any goals for my cycling. Most of the year I did not track, but an honest estimate would be over 5K miles. I've lost weight this year, which I partly attribute to better diet. I achieved a high percentage of bike commute days this year- well above 90% of days I worked.
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Old 12-18-15, 03:19 PM
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Well, my goal was to sell the car I bought after getting hit (hard) while commuting 3 yrs ago. I did not meet that goal, and I drove every day this week 'cause it was easier and 'cause I had a car. So I am disappointed in that. But I did manage to get back to a year-round regardless of weather commuter so that is good.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:44 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i didn't set no goals.

i didn't track no mileage.

i just rode my bike to work as often as i could (same as the previous 7 years).



my year-end assessment: bicycle commuting still totally rules!
That's about my take on this too, except I may have started 8 years ago.
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Old 12-18-15, 05:29 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I get what the OP is trying to do - and I'm not judging it - but I have to agree with Steely Dan. Would we have this discussion about how many miles we drove our cars to work this past year?

Commuting, for me, is not about goals, mileage, and bragging rights. It's about being part of a bicycling culture and creating pleasure out of what would otherwise be one of life's most mundane daily routines.

That said, I have absolutely no idea how many miles I rode in 2015, or even how many miles are between my house and my job.
The master has spoken...
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Old 12-18-15, 05:40 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I get what the OP is trying to do - and I'm not judging it - but I have to agree with Steely Dan. Would we have this discussion about how many miles we drove our cars to work this past year?
If we were at carforums.net maybe. (If they had a "commuting" subforum)
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Old 12-18-15, 06:58 PM
  #44  
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I didn't track mileage, but just based on the number of work days and the distance, I rode about 1400 miles. Perhaps more importantly, I only drove the car once or twice, mainly due to transporting a large musical instrument. And I no longer drive due to inclement weather.

My goal for next year will be to increase my speed, just by paying a bit more attention to it, in order to get better exercise. And, to bring a nicer lunch every day.
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Old 12-18-15, 07:14 PM
  #45  
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My only goal was to start riding my bike to work.

We had a big move in February from TX to CA and only kept one (of three) cars, which my wife uses, so I left myself no choice. So I dove right in and rode to work everyday, unless it just happened that she was driving that way at the same time. Then I might hitch a ride, but that was rare.

I've made a few changes throughout the year, like going from a Northface backpack to a Waterproof Tumbuk2 messenger bag. My clothes have been pretty spot on from the beginning, that only took a couple weeks of riding to figure out. I also made a few bike changes, such as...every single component on it, from headset to hubs, and adding fenders.

I didn't start with any expectation on mileage and I'll end up logging ~2,300 for the year (commuting). That seems pretty good to me.

The biggest factor was not having the option of driving. There's no telling how many mornings I would have been lazy and taken a car if it was a choice.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:07 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
The master has spoken...
I certainly did not mean to mock the OP's thread or take away any sense of accomplishment from those who enjoy tallying their miles. It's just that I was drawn into this conversation thinking it was going to be about how bike commuting has changed people's lives over the past year and how traveling to work by bicycle has opened people's eyes to things around them they may have never experienced in an automobile.

A thread I started over in the Northeast Bike Forum titled "Long Island: Good Ride Today?" was intended to give people a chance to share the impressive scenery, the interesting people, and the awesome smells they experienced that day. Instead, it has mostly become a log of how many miles people rode and how disappointed they are in themselves for not going further. For me, the thread was a failure because, instead of inspiring people to get out and ride, it has made some cyclists feel inadequate and has given others license to keep pushing themselves beyond the limits of enjoyment just to be able to post that they rode more miles than the day before.

I am not judging those who responded to the OP's challenge by copying the numbers off their odometers. I am merely presenting a different way of assessing one's success over the past year.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:19 PM
  #47  
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I got in one 30 mile commute in January before my job was eliminated and I took early retirement. Not the commuting year I hoped for.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:41 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I certainly did not mean to mock the OP's thread or take away any sense of accomplishment from those who enjoy tallying their miles. It's just that I was drawn into this conversation thinking it was going to be about how bike commuting has changed people's lives over the past year and how traveling to work by bicycle has opened people's eyes to things around them they may have never experienced in an automobile.

A thread I started over in the Northeast Bike Forum titled "Long Island: Good Ride Today?" was intended to give people a chance to share the impressive scenery, the interesting people, and the awesome smells they experienced that day. Instead, it has mostly become a log of how many miles people rode and how disappointed they are in themselves for not going further. For me, the thread was a failure because, instead of inspiring people to get out and ride, it has made some cyclists feel inadequate and has given others license to keep pushing themselves beyond the limits of enjoyment just to be able to post that they rode more miles than the day before.

I am not judging those who responded to the OP's challenge by copying the numbers off their odometers. I am merely presenting a different way of assessing one's success over the past year.
Hi. My name is Jim, and I'm a mileage junkie...Hi, Jim...

As you may be aware, on the Northeast Bike Forum is a thread that preceded the Long Island one, “Metro Boston: Good ride today?.” IMO that thread embodies those sentiments. The mileage of a route might be mentioned in a post, but more often are the gorgeous photos, and eloquent descriptions of the event. I have even described one of the of the favorite posters and photographers, @rholland1951, as the “town crier” of the historic 11-mile long Minuteman Bikepath.

See for example this recent post. I have to mention @jimmuller too. See his recent post.

PS: BTW, see this current thread on the Road Cycling Forum, ”It's Time! THE Annual Pissing Contest, I mean Mileage Thread!!

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-18-15 at 09:06 PM. Reason: added PS
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Old 12-18-15, 08:44 PM
  #49  
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I don't have exact numbers or mileage goals, but I think it was somewhere between 4000 and 5000 miles of mostly commuting, errands, cargo, and trips around town, including one ride to Portland, one ride from Sisters to Eugene, and a couple of rides up the old McKenzie highway.

I've been bumping up my peak speeds a bit, but still a bit short on my overall speed goals. But, since joining Strava, I've hit the top 5 on several segments, and will try to pick off a couple of KOMs next year.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:22 PM
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Kindaslow
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I certainly did not mean to mock the OP's thread or take away any sense of accomplishment from those who enjoy tallying their miles. It's just that I was drawn into this conversation thinking it was going to be about how bike commuting has changed people's lives over the past year and how traveling to work by bicycle has opened people's eyes to things around them they may have never experienced in an automobile.

A thread I started over in the Northeast Bike Forum titled "Long Island: Good Ride Today?" was intended to give people a chance to share the impressive scenery, the interesting people, and the awesome smells they experienced that day. Instead, it has mostly become a log of how many miles people rode and how disappointed they are in themselves for not going further. For me, the thread was a failure because, instead of inspiring people to get out and ride, it has made some cyclists feel inadequate and has given others license to keep pushing themselves beyond the limits of enjoyment just to be able to post that they rode more miles than the day before.

I am not judging those who responded to the OP's challenge by copying the numbers off their odometers. I am merely presenting a different way of assessing one's success over the past year.
i think your concerns are valid. Mileage can be important to goals, but there are many other valid and fun reasons to commute. Just doing it was a goal for me. I do; however, know the distance of my commute.
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