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Assess yourself for 2015

Old 12-17-15, 02:54 PM
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Darth Lefty 
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Assess yourself for 2015!

All right, gang, check your entries in the mileage thread and think back on your year. How did you do? Did you set goals, did you meet them? Did you learn, were you happy?

I'm posting this a little early because today will be my last bike commute of the year. I've noticed a few people in the "how was your ride" thread mentioning it's their last. For a lot of people, this might be the last calendar week of work.

For myself, I had not resolved, but had guesstimated, that I'd have 1000 commuting miles this year, which would have been about 90 work days. In fact I had 765 miles, or 60-something days. I missed a solid month in the summer and a few other weeks here and there due to injuries. My wife started a business, so scheduling day care for our toddler became a challenge. In that regard, the second part of the year was helped immensely by the employment of a reliable part-time nanny.

The most positive thing for me this year in the bike world, was that I got my mountain bike out of cargo/tug configuration and back into a MTB, which allowed me to find some different and more challenging routes to work. The MTB was freed up by aquisition, build, and commission of my weird Cannondale cyclocross bike for regular commuting, which has also been a pleasure. It's materialistic, I know, but but these have helped me keep up my initiative to ride.
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Old 12-17-15, 03:46 PM
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I had set a goal for 1500 commuting miles, I have fell far short of that. I didn't keep track in the mileage thread so I'll have to look on Strava and do some adding. But I also missed a few months at a time due to weather, moving, buying a house, travel for work, etc. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

That said, now I have a house, and a dedicated, safe, (and longer) commute to work, plus two commuter bikes with a place to store them (a garage, finally!).
So, 2016 I will renew my 1500 mile goal, and hopefully be more dedicated to fulfilling it.
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Old 12-17-15, 03:55 PM
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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!
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Old 12-17-15, 04:02 PM
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I am approaching 10,000 km for the year, but will fall a few hundred short because tomorrow is my last day of work before the holidays as well, and I don't see myself riding in darkness, cold, rain, wet roads, etc. when I don't have to. Overall it's been a good year, surpassing my expectations.
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Old 12-17-15, 04:18 PM
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I didn't track mileage except for commuting and it's routine that I'll have about 220-230 days of commutes so I don't pay much attention to it. I have somewhere around 5000-6000 miles total.

I had a rough patch with breaking a collarbone in May, two months of it not healing then operated on in July, and still didn't start healing right for almost two months more. That cost me about 10 days altogether, but the disappointing part is that I was babying it most of the summer and didn't get much chance to improve my peak fitness. So I have to give myself a pretty downbeat assessment for this year.
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Old 12-17-15, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I didn't track mileage except for commuting and it's routine that I'll have about 220-230 days of commutes so I don't pay much attention to it. I have somewhere around 5000-6000 miles total.

I had a rough patch with breaking a collarbone in May, two months of it not healing then operated on in July, and still didn't start healing right for almost two months more. That cost me about 10 days altogether, but the disappointing part is that I was babying it most of the summer and didn't get much chance to improve my peak fitness. So I have to give myself a pretty downbeat assessment for this year.
Look at it this way: Do you still have a broken collarbone?
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Old 12-17-15, 04:59 PM
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I started using Garmin a couple of years ago, and this year, I switched to ridewithgps. The latter sucked up my Garmin data readily, so the tally should be continuing. It says I've ridden 1,074 miles this year so far. I haven't tracked every ride, but the untracked rides are the short ones. I don't know how many untracked miles I've ridden, obviously.

I tell people I ride to work and back two days a week, and my average is less than that. I don't know why but most days I really don't feel like doing it, and every since time without exception, I end up being glad I did it. I don't understand this yet, but I hope to. Maybe I should set a goal of riding three days a week.

I have an ongoing goal to get tougher about inclement weather. I did fairly well last year and hope to do better, but given the trend so far for this year, I may not have a chance. It's still unseasonably warm. That could certainly change. It was warm last December, and January and February ended up being insanely wintery.

I now have some pretty serious gloves, and I have a ski helmet for riding in the cold. I haven't tried the helmet yet! I plan to try using my work boots for the coldest days. I have some studded tires which I haven't even mounted. I really ought to do well this winter if it would just come. I also got a nice jacket which is warm and light and promises not to be terribly hot when exerting myself.
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Old 12-17-15, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
All right, gang, check your entries in the mileage thread and think back on your year. How did you do? Did you set goals, did you meet them? Did you learn, were you happy?
1. Crappy
2. I was hoping to get to work everyday by bike and amass 5-7,000 km. I didn't even come close.
3. I can say that I've learned many things this year. No, but relative to alternative circumstances I'm pretty darn happy.

But here's to looking ahead.

I was hoping to be on the bike in the spring but that's likely being pushed way back. I am possibly going to need another surgery, and it's a intensive one. That is a big disappointment but it's needed, there is essentially a spot on the back of my knee that's been an open wound in some shape for the last 11 months.

So at this point it's dreaming of riding and getting back to normalcy, or at least my new version of it. And wondering where our next stop in life will be.

I found myself sitting in five o'clock traffic Tuesday for the first time in over a year. I couldn't help think how much nicer it is to ride, even in the rain and cold.
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Old 12-17-15, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
1. Crappy
I'm sorry @joeyduck. Retrospection is part of the season but it's not always a nice thing to look back at.
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Old 12-17-15, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I'm sorry @joeyduck. Retrospection is part of the season but it's not always a nice thing to look back at.
Plus you are always your own worst critic. I see the year filled with tremendous amounts of good luck preceded by an instant of bad luck, so in all the year has been okay.

By the way, what sort of business did your wife start?
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Old 12-17-15, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by joeyduck View Post
Plus you are always your own worst critic. I see the year filled with tremendous amounts of good luck preceded by an instant of bad luck, so in all the year has been okay.

By the way, what sort of business did your wife start?
Marriage, family, and child counseling (LMFT in professional acronym speak). She endured many terrible jobs in loony bins in order to get the hours to qualify for her license and is now reaping her reward! I'm proud of her. And she's definitely cut out better for that than Suzy homemaker... I'm the cook.
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Old 12-17-15, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Marriage, family, and child counseling (LMFT in professional acronym speak). She endured many terrible jobs in loony bins in order to get the hours to qualify for her license and is now reaping her reward! I'm proud of her. And she's definitely cut out better for that than Suzy homemaker... I'm the cook.
That's awesome, congrats to her.

Is she a psychologist?

I'm also the primary cook, and the primary homemaker.
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Old 12-17-15, 08:14 PM
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It's been a good year. Rode every single day, no injuries, and no illness. The weather has been especially agreeable as well, I am a lucky guy.
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Old 12-17-15, 09:05 PM
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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!
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.
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Old 12-17-15, 10:35 PM
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I had a rough start, but by June, I started commuting to work 4 days a week. That was 120 base miles. I quit my job in October and replaced base miles with biking the streets of Santa Clara in addition to longer road rides. 4300 miles for the year so far! And I've been hiking, too. And lost 30 pounds! I'm overjoyed. I would be happy with a steady 2500 miles a year.

https://www.strava.com/athletes/154635

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Old 12-18-15, 01:38 AM
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I had a pretty great biking year. I set arbitrary goals of 125 commuting days and 5000 total miles and achieved both. Had a very smooth and enjoyable randonneuring season, capped off with a trip to Paris with my sweetie and sister for Paris-Brest-Paris. (That 764 miles sure helped with my mileage total. )

People keep asking what I'm going to do next, and I know that goals can't be escalated forever, so I'm actually going to focus on more fun riding this next year. More bar rides with friends, RAGBRAI-type stuff, date rides with my wife, etc. I'll unofficially set my commuting goal for 150 days, but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't surpass that or this year's total mileage.
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Old 12-18-15, 04:43 AM
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Didn't have any particular goals when I started in March except ride as much as could without falling over dead. But I got this bike to fit me so well I rode more than I expected. Had breathing issue's for a least 6 months but biking kept it at bay, if I wasn't riding never know I could of been hospitalized! It just went away one week very odd. Think it might of been E68.

I realized in mid Nov if I rode everyday I'd get over 2000 miles for the year, last year it was only 800 on a crappy bike. So since then I've been huffing it everyday. It's 19 out today and won't be fun but I'll make on the bike with alot of layers! Hitting this goal has empowered me to try winter biking.. the studded tires are ready! Coworkers are envious and think I'm insane!

Got the Specialized in March and since then have added the Trek but it doesn't seem to fit me like the Specialized. May wait till it gets warmer so I can tune it better. Planning on 3250 miles next year and might do the Katy Trail and what's in place of the Rock island trail.
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Old 12-18-15, 07:01 AM
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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?
No. That's not the same. This is a bike commuting forum. And besides, although it may seem like there a lot of us out there bike commuting, in reality we represent a very small percentage of the general population, whereas drivers, I would hazard to guess, represent a huge portion of the commuting traffic.

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.
It's never been about bragging rights, but goals, yes. I do set goals for myself before the start of the year that I will attempt to commute x number of days. And to me, it's never mundane. I enjoy and relish every moment on the bike, whether it's flying downwind/downhill at 50 km/h or wrestling that headwind and struggling to go 20 km/h, it's all good.
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Old 12-18-15, 07:02 AM
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When I started commuting in late February I didn't set any goals. First I commuted to work once a week, now is twice. Eventually I wanted to up that to three times a week, but that's not happening this year.

But there were a lot of changes through the year:
- Went from my old dutch bike to a hardtail MTB and then customized this bike for urban riding (panniers, Kenda Kwick Trax tires, etc).
- Now I can ride on the road more confidently.
- I joined a local urban cycling club.
- I learned basic bicycle mechanics! I used to only ride my bike, now I can do some minor repairs, like fixing a flat.

I rode 1,700kms this year (wanted to make it to 2,000kms but that's not happening :v). I've set a goal of 3,000kms for next year, commuting 3x a week and ride my first hundred. If I meet my goals I'll get myself a new bike in reward
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Old 12-18-15, 08:09 AM
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Commuting only affects my cycling goals in that it is my fallback point. When all else fails just ride to and from work. The actual cycling goals have to do with riding for fun, going places, going further.

Looking over the numbers my average weekly commuting mileage is 43, average cycling mileage is 50. My total mileage will be less than last year. Que sera.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:36 AM
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My goal was simply to start bike commuting again, which I did. Then, I got up to 3 days per week pretty quickly. I would do more, but I need 1-2 days per week for traveling around due to work or taking in clean dress clothes. My commute is only 16 miles round trip, but a ton of hills with about 1500 feet of climbing round trip. I struggle between the guy who does not set mileage goals and the thoughts of different goals. In the end, my commuting is about getting into shape and having some time every day in which nobody can talk to me.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:43 AM
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I didn't set any commuting goals for 2015. I have a long-ish commute, and tried to commute 3-days a week when possible. My business travel schedule was lighter this year, which meant a fairly high number of commuting miles for me. Over 4,000-miles commuting (over 8,000-miles total)! Not sure my limited work travel-schedule will be as generous in 2016, but we'll see how it goes.
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Old 12-18-15, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
Would we have this discussion about how many miles we drove our cars to work this past year?
I think for many of us cycling to work takes a much bigger commitment than driving. Driving is easy compared to cycling especially in the winter when maintenance requirements are higher. Yesterday, coming home was 1C and raining. Conditions I've gotten acclimatized to but still not many people are out there exposed to the elements.

Overall my mileage this year was a little higher than last year and will probably end up my highest ever. I did drive a few extra times as it was a busier year for me and sometimes the days are just too long or I'm too tired to ride. I should end up over 15,000km with most of that commuting.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:18 AM
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Can't say I have any cycling "goals" to access other than staying safe and enjoying the ride, and I met them.
looks like I have around 5500 miles this year, and would guess 2/3 of that is commuting and utility riding.
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Old 12-18-15, 09:24 AM
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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.
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.
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