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Assess yourself for 2019!

Old 12-20-19, 05:02 PM
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Darth Lefty 
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Assess yourself for 2019!

Yesterday was the last ride to work for me this year, because tonight I need to rush home to drop the kids off and go see Star Wars. After that no work til the Sith. Er, I mean, 6th.

So that means it's time to look back. Check your entries in the mileage thread and think back on your year. How did you do? Did you set goals (for mileage or budget or fitness), did you meet them? Did you learn, were you happy? What does 2020 look like?

Previous iterations
Assess yourself for 2018!
Assess yourself for 2017!
Assess yourself for 2016!
Assess yourself for 2015
Assess yourself for 2014
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Old 12-20-19, 09:31 PM
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2019 was pretty good for me. I pretty much rode every work day except for a couple where I needed a car for some other thing. I've become less picky about having the perfect commuter bike, and am happy with anything that's comfortable and fun to ride. I only got one new bike, plus a new old frame for an old bike whose fork broke.

This year I saw a lot more work colleagues take up riding to work, which is nice, including a number of e-bikes.
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Old 12-21-19, 08:21 AM
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My goals this year were not so much riding as mechanical or even bio-metric, if you will.

My biggest accomplishemnt was converting my 1997 Nishiki Blazer MTB-based commuter from a straight-bar to drops. Although I can do some adjustments and installments on my own, I'm not a bike mechanic. The conversion yielded the hand comfort I sought, plus an added unexpected bonus of hip comfort. My goal was to keep it under $75 using used parts. After looking though the parts bins at the co-op I decided on new brake levers (including interupter/cross levers). That put me at $90, and a longer than expected six hours later I was done. Replacing the longer cranks I had put on 20-years ago was going to be my next project, but since the altered riding position seems to not aggravate my hips, that project is shelved.

I also had my lbs replace the rear cassettes on my two road bikes to give me lower gearing, while preserving my top gear ratio. My knees were happy about that one.

I also sussed out a completely new route to work and back which gives me five routes to choose from (although only four home). I am learning the strategies of that one while enjoying new scenery.

I rode down to 5F which was my new low-temp level last year. I rode in 4 inches of snow, which is an inch over my 'loose' limit of three. It's not that it's difficult, it just slows me down too much to be practical for commuting.

Although I really need to drive on Mondays to make an evening group meeting after work, I did ride on a few mondays which meant leaving early, or pushing my pace. I did ride to my meeting once, but I was exhausted from an unfortuynate head wind which didn't help.

I bought a new rain cape, still not a dedicated bicycle rain cape, but cheap, and it works for the seven or so rain rides this year (gotta love Colorado!).

My bigget dissapointment was that I didn't do a birthday ride this year. My dad was ill and passed away the day before my birthday. My goal changed to ride HIS age, 85, and specifically ride from here in Colorado Springs to Denver. That is my goal for the coming year. I found a safe route, and my daughter in Denver will be there to receive me and drive me back. My neighbor even wants to drive SAG for me, which my wife wants, but I don't.

I feel I didn't slack off this year, even though I may have had a handful more days where I decided my body was telling me to drive, and I did.

They say to listen to your body, as if that's a difficult thing to do. I mean, I'll be 58 in three weeks and sometimes my body is practically screaming at me.

Last edited by BobbyG; 12-21-19 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 12-21-19, 10:18 AM
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The biggest feature of my year was my heart surgery. I have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and the surgery removed about 1.5 teaspoons of heart muscle where it was messing up the blood flow through the left ventricle. I'm not fixed, but my worst day since has been about like my best day before. Along with the surgery came the trauma of sternotomy, but I was also eager to be more active as soon as permitted. In anticipation of this, I bought a recumbent trike. I started riding it as soon as I went back to work, and for two months. I did not enjoy the trike, until I sold it cleaned up for a little more than I bought it dirty. I was glad to get back on my bike. I kept out of MTB activity a few months longer, until I didn't feel like falling off would really hurt. I still have lesser symptoms and I still get pains in my chest sometimes from the sternotomy - mostly where my ribs hinged when they were spread, not at the incision.

In the later half of the year, my oldest kid has started kindergarten but my twins are not (yet) in daycare, that means I don't take any of them in the morning, which has translated to more riding days, at the same time my ability increased. Until the time change I was often taking a longer route home, pumping up my mileage, putting it over 1000 for the first time in years!

My next bike-relevant project, assuming no further looming disasters, is weight loss.
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Old 12-21-19, 11:32 AM
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It was good year for me. I drove in about a dozen times back in January and February, and a couple of times this month. But if I had to be honest with myself I probably should have driven a few more times, like when conditions were really, really bad.

No significant new equipment for me either. The stuff I have has been working well. I'm primarily using three bikes for all my commutes. A cross hike with 35-mm studded tires and disc brakes, a converted cross bike with 38-mm city tires which I recently discovered works great under light slushy conditions when I lower the pressure, and an aluminum road bike with full fenders which I for three seasons.

Also no major mishaps, for which I am greatly thankful. I could have started with that statement alone and called it a win for the year.
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Old 12-21-19, 11:48 AM
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Rode most of the year. Didn’t set any goals. Went on several 7-10 day bike tours. Katy Trail, Oregon coast, Florida Keys, plus several shorter trips. Planning a European trip next summer, maybe the Danube. Other than that, next year looks pretty much the same as this year.
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Old 12-21-19, 01:19 PM
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Overall riding: My mileage is down this year - I'm currently at 4,357 miles (outdoor only of course!), down from just over 6K in both 2017 and 2018. My recreational road/gravel mileage was way lower during what are usually my two big months, July and August. Because...

Setbacks: I got hit by a car on July 2, which meant limited riding for a couple of weeks. I also had to move across the country in early August, which meant buying a vehicle, finding a place to live, fixing up my house in Wisconsin to rent out for now, and executing the move.

Commuting: I have no idea about commuting vs. non-commuting miles, as I often combine commuting, general transportation, and fun. My family didn't own a car until July, so that made bike commuting through the brutal Wisconsin winter a no-brainer (but nothing to write home about, as it was a short commute). I've done really well with the longer (minimum 18 mile RT) commute in North Carolina, despite having a backup vehicle now, and only drove three times since I started this job at the beginning of September.

Goals: Only got two centuries in, and missed Ride Across Wisconsin (due to injury and moving). No big rides since I've moved, but good progress on my big (work) project. Accomplished my goal of executing a commute in a totally unfamiliar place, and I'm happy about good consistent mileage as well as avoiding the interstate parking lot.

2020: Where the road leads is uncertain. My job in NC is only for a year, and I can go back to work in Wisconsin, unless I find something better somewhere else. All I know is that the bikes are coming along, and I'll still bike commute. If I end up near mountains, it might be time for a new road bike!

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Old 12-21-19, 01:23 PM
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I lost my job a year ago and didn't have a job to commute to for most of the year. I started attending college again in the last week of August and now ride 11 miles a day round trip. Thank goodness. Last year's distance record was about 2,500 miles. This year, I've hit 2,200 which is more than I expected, so I'm pleased. I seem to be in pretty good shape, though I need to put more effort into lifting weights. I've read that my experience matches others' which is that as we get older, exercise (or lack thereof) has a more immediate effect on strength than it did previously. My upper body has always been weak because I scarcely do any exercise beyond cycling.

This winter, I am pushing my ability to tolerate cold temperatures, and I am succeeding at that. I hope it's not a wet winter. Cold is better than wet.
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Old 12-21-19, 10:12 PM
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I work PT for about nine months of the year (Late August thru May 1st) and live in an area that does get winter weather with cold temps as well as ice and snow. Still, I rode to work slightly more than half of the days in 2019, sometimes in temps down in the 30s, sometimes in rain, sometimes in both. My commute isn't long, but riding is about NOT using a car if possible -- and I rode on all days when the weather allowed and I didn't have some off-campus commitment that required a car.

I really like getting to work in nasty weather and having some ask me "Did you ride here today?" I just grin.

I also only spent about $15 on my commuter bike this year (a new chain)...Which allowed me to justify $7500 on a new gravel rig. (Yeah, I'm not good at math.)
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Old 12-23-19, 08:54 AM
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as i've done for the past 12 years, i rode my bike to work every work day unless i had a compelling reason not to.

the kids are both another year older and we're still a one-car family, so the dream is still alive!

remaining a one-car family is really the only "goal" i set for myself regarding cycling, so 2019 was another success.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 12-23-19 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 12-23-19, 12:35 PM
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I'm glad to have done a cpl round trip work day commutes. previously I had only done one-way split commutes. if I start earlier next summer I might be able to squeeze more in before bailing for summer vacation
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Old 12-25-19, 01:44 PM
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I've been on a job for 7.5 months and only driven to work once because I get off at 12am and we were leaving in the morning for a short trip. ~20 mile round trip work commute + riding a full shift at work as bike security. I work with people less than half my age and they think I'm Superman!
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Old 12-25-19, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
...it's time to look back. Check your entries in the mileage thread and think back on your year. How did you do? Did you set goals (for mileage or budget or fitness), did you meet them? Did you learn, were you happy? What does 2020 look like?
Started cycle commuting full time in December 2018, after giving up on public transport being unreliable, and Iím loving it.

Tested commuting with an old MTB, made just about every mistake itís possible to make, learned A LOT and got a hybrid on the Cycle to Work scheme in April. Didnít renew my Travel Card in June and never looked back.

Cycled over 4500 miles (22.5 mile round trip), tested about a dozen different ways to get to and from work and now settled on the route that keeps me off the roads as much as possible.

Cycled in everything from -6C to 28C, snow storms, 50 mph winds and umpteen rainy days. Iím now lit up like a Christmas Tree on my way home (I work the late shift so itís dark on my return trip 10 months of the year).

Lost over three stone and I am now fitter than Iíve been for over 20 years.

In short, cycle commuting is the best decision Iíve made in a number of years, and I intend to continue as long as I can.
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Old 12-27-19, 10:13 AM
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Overall, pretty good. I missed my monthly mileage goals in November and December for various reasons, but I usually expect that. Made my annual goal with a thousand miles to spare. Completed my first century since my heart attack, and continued my string of a metric century every month, although it took a trip to Death Valley in January to keep that going. Rode my bike to work when it made sense (and it almost always makes sense!).

Sometimes I think I should come up with new goals for cycling. But these have worked for the last 10 years (except the metric a month, which is new). So why mess with success?
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Old 12-27-19, 01:09 PM
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I had lots of fun on bikes this year. There are some things I wish I had done but lots of things I'm glad I did, too. As usual, I haven't taken enough long or fun rides. As usual, I've done a lot of commuting, which I enjoy a lot. I've ridden to social things and work and some group rides including NYC's last Century Ride, not to be confused with the 5-boro bike tour, which I also did (but won't do again). In February, I saw on Facebook that the bike coop was having a Sheldon Brown memorial bike ride in Brooklyn from the Grand Army Plaza to Coney Island Beach. I had been meaning to get involved with the coop, and I met the folks on that ride. Since then, I've been volunteering regularly and had a grand old time there. I've made some friends, too, some of whom I like a lot. I feel like I've found my tribe, so to speak.

Total miles this year is about 2,500 which is a little less than last year, partly because I haven't had much work. I resumed going to college which is where I got most of my miles. I'm really loving being back at college. I'm learning things I should have learned the first two times, but better late than never.
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Old 12-27-19, 02:55 PM
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Not a bad year overall. Met my goal for total yearly mileage (set at 6K km, around 6.7K by now; commuting comprising around 60% of that). Did skip less days than previous years. Didn't meet a few monthly mileage goals in the summer months, but made up for it in spring and autumn.
Did my first century, 175 km solo, plus another 3 rides over 100 km. The goal was 1 century and four metric ones, but I guess the imperial century counts as a metric one as well
Had one accident, rear ended a car. No injuries worth mentioning, just a few bruises and a stiff neck for week or two, but had to pay for the repair of the car.
For the next year, goals are 7K km overall, and at least one 200+ km ride.
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Old 12-27-19, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Yesterday was the last ride to work for me this year, because tonight I need to rush home to drop the kids off and go see Star Wars. After that no work til the Sith. Er, I mean, 6th.

So that means it's time to look back. Check your entries in the mileage thread and think back on your year. How did you do? Did you set goals (for mileage or budget or fitness), did you meet them? Did you learn, were you happy? What does 2020 look like?
1. ugh - terrible. only about 20 bike-commute days, between very end of April and beginning of November. (should have counted my bike rides to church as commutes!)
2. I set no goals, so from that perspective....... success?
3. I learned I hate driving. Quite a bit. Which is unfortunate since I work for a car company..... (sort of like working for Apple and hating my iPhone. Which, by the way, I hate my iPhone.)
4. Looking forward to 2020. I'll set a goal to get more bike-to-work days in. I'd like to get more bike-camping trips in, which will he hard to do after riding the GAP/C&O last September.

Cheers!
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Old 12-27-19, 09:46 PM
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My biggest achievement this year was starting when there was still ice on paths and kept going this Fall even with snow on some paths. Started March 25th and ended December 12nd (had to get a flat on THAT LAST day). Rode 6415 km this year.
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Old 12-27-19, 11:38 PM
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My 2019 was pretty good. No serious crashes, had another fun RAGBRAI, achieved a commuter cycling century, racked up a bit over 3000 miles total. And that on top of being off the bike for almost two months solid after bringing a wonderful pet human into the world.

But I felt like I left a lot on the table, cycling-wise. There were a lot more days that I could have bike-commuted, and I'm not happy about 10-20 extra pounds I've been carrying around for the last couple of years. Certainly diet is the main culprit there, but I think I've fallen short on putting in the time for consistent physical activity, too. A goal for 2020 is a minimum weekly mileage of 75.
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Old 12-28-19, 05:05 AM
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I am retired now and able to ride mostly every day, so that is great. Would like to get stronger on hills, so have begun working on that, which is easy here--lotta hills. As for next year, I'd really like to do Cycle Oregon, which I've not yet done. Everyone says it is just magical. Such a ridiculously beautiful state. So, that's the big goal now.
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Old 01-01-20, 04:39 AM
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Another very long cold and rainy year early on, I wasnít sure I was going to hit my goals. It wasnít until later in the year when things cleared up and I was fortunately able to exceed both my 2018 commuting and total miles for the year.

It did help by taking a 3.4 mile longer route (39.4 miles round trip opposed to the old 36 miles round trip) for most of my commutes with less hills making my commute time only slightly longer. I also got a new Velomobile (QuattroVelo) which made my commutes much more comfortable and allot of fun to ride. This helped with motivation to exceed my expectations and goals for both commuting and total mileage.

2019 goal, for my commute miles / # of commutes / total bike miles to be about the same as 2018.
1279 more commuting miles in 2019 than 2018.
992 more total miles in 2019 than 2018.
36 more commutes in 2019 than 2018.
1.85 more average miles per commute in 2019 than 2018.
2020 goal, for my commute miles / # of commutes / total bike miles to be about the same as 2019.

2019
Commute miles: 8491
Commutes: 263/365
Average miles per commute: 32.28
Total bike miles: 9031

2018
Commute miles: 7212
Commutes: 227/365
Average miles per commute: 30.43
Total bike miles: 8039

2017
Commute miles: 7916
Commutes: 235/365
Average miles per commute: 33.69 miles
Total bike miles: 9123

2016
Commute miles: 7950
Commutes: 240/366
Average miles per commute: 33.13 miles
Total bike miles: 9015

Last edited by Bizman; 04-05-20 at 08:37 PM. Reason: Correct year to same as 2019 for 2020 commute milies goal
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Old 01-01-20, 10:00 AM
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2019 was a pretty solid year with some soft victories:
  • My household reduced to one car and increased by one commuter bike
  • Rode over 5,000 commuting miles as previous years
  • No accidents or injuries
  • Unfortunately less recreational miles on trails and roads, need to up that game this year
  • The local bike infrastructure continues to improve
  • Fun times maintaining fun bikes
  • Aging body talking to me more and more like a heartless mother-in-law who won't move out, but the blood pressure is down
Two areas that I gained improvements:
  1. Increasing safety, comfort, and fun factor in cold and inclement weather. In 2018, my quest for a more solid winter commuter led me to a Pinion geared ride, but the literal grind back and forth led me in 2019 to an e-assist bike kitted for winter, which I'm just starting to employ.
  2. Integrating bike commuting lifestyle with more frequent business travel. With more projects out of the state in 2019, I've been experimenting somewhat successfully with multi-modal trips; it's a happy feeling to carry all of my travel necessities in the panniers and have my bike waiting for me to ride home at the end of the trip.
Dreaded 2020 challenge: weight loss

Cheers to all for a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year!
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Old 01-02-20, 01:08 PM
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5000+ total mi on the bike
3000+ mi commuting
525 mi walking

Managed to get in a little more hiking this year. Including a couple of day hikes at the Grand Canyon. To force myself to get out I signed up for a camping class and a hiking class at the community colleges. Liked it enough to sign for a couple in the spring.
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Old 01-06-20, 01:30 PM
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Darth Lefty 
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Here are some fun numbers. I wonder if the trend here is more about mode share or more about this website's traffic.

The 2019 commuting mileage thread had 977 replies and 30 entrants (pending stragglers)
2018, 944, 49
2017, 1224, 51
2016, 1531, 69
2015, 1580, 108
2014, 1797, 105
2013, 1713, 102
2012, 1894, 143
2011, 1826, 132
2010, 1356, 114
2009, 697, 101
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Old 01-06-20, 01:50 PM
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For me it was pretty year with 2780 commute miles and 4878 total.
I had half of July and September off because of traveling.
For 2020, looking for the 5k barrier that never have thought when started biking 3 years back in 2017
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