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How was your Cycling 2023?

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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

How was your Cycling 2023?

Old 11-23-23, 11:41 PM
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Not good. Despite being retired and having time to ride, I just didn’t put it the miles this year.
Having motivation issues that have kept me from getting out and riding.
I’ll try to do better next year.
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Old 11-24-23, 05:12 AM
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Nowhere near my usual annual mileage total this season. Dealing with the loss of my wife (cancer) and all the emotional and legal crud that goes along with it, some of which is still ongoing.
Next year I'm looking forward to some good charity rides (Pedal Hilton Head, ALZ 255 mile challenge, Bee Buzzin Tour, and my favorite, Flight of the Doves, which raises money for a local hospice that was invaluable during the final months of my wife's life.)
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Old 11-24-23, 08:32 AM
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Great year.

Hit most of my goals… rode the peaks on the Blue Ridge, climbed Mt Mitchell…

Got to cycle my old hometown of Charleston SC.

Most importantly, I got to spend a bunch of time riding with my 12 year old son. He rode Skyline drive from Front Royal to Skyland with me, we rode his first century together…
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Old 11-24-23, 09:01 AM
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First full year of commuting at the new job.

Did some more maintenance and wrenching myself...still don't enjoy it like I used to in my 20s and 30s.

Bought an old, beat-to-heck 1989 Dahon V 16" folder for $50 and made it safe and rideable. It's under geared, although I managed to up it slightly. So next I hope to up the speed or replace it.

On the plus, my speed and stamina seem to have increased on my commutes on my "normal" bikes

On the negative, I am taking fewer long-distance weekend rides due to time commitments and slight lack of gumption. That is one of my new year's resolutions.

The other is to ride my age for the first time in 5 years (62 miles). And possible ride to Denver from Colorado Springs. The shortest distance is now only 54 miles. The shortest safest route is about 62 miles. From my door in Colorado Springs to my daughter's in Denver would be about 80 miles. I used to think I could do that, and I'm pretty sure I could, just gotta do it.
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Old 11-24-23, 09:55 AM
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Overall, a good year of bike adventures though overall mileage wasn't as much as a I would have liked due to excessive summer rain here in New England and some ongoing physical issues for me. Some highlights:

Early March: Two-day tour to western MA to meet up with two colleagues on a work-related task. Unfortunately, I got exposed to COVID from one of those colleagues, and came down with the virus by the time I returned home.
Early April: After 17 consecutive days of testing positive for the virus, I finally had two straight days of negative tests, and took off for CA for a week-long bike trip with about a dozen others. We rode from Redwood City to Atascadero and then spent the weekend riding around that central CA wine country. A wonderful trip.
Mid May: Flew out to Minneapolis for the Lake Pepin 3-speed tour. My first time doing that long-standing event. I was on a 1938 Maclean Featherweight. It was lots of fun with lots of good people who made me feel welcome.
First week of July: Took the Amtrak to DC and then rode the C&O Canal/GAP trail from DC to Pittsburgh over 5 days. First couple of days was with a friend and then the rest solo. It was hot and humid, but I had a good time.
2nd week in October: Took the Amtrak and a bike to Baltimore for a conference, then Amtrak back to New London, CT, then rode from New London to Providence, RI, then jumped on the commuter rail back to Boston. I've done that ride a couple of times before, but this time was a on a difference very scenic/very hilly route.

I also did a couple of solo overnight backpacking/camping trips to MA state forests, which I really enjoy. I expect to have more free time next year starting around May 1 (though not yet retired), so my intent is to up the mileage.
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Old 11-24-23, 02:17 PM
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This has been a good riding year for me. I had a goal of reaching 2,000 miles, and I'll fall a bit short of it, but I'm happy. I'm in graduate school and also working, so I don't have much time. I'm glad I've managed as much riding as I have.

Perhaps the best single day riding was when I set out on a ride that was 13 uphill miles in the beginning. I hadn't planned beyond those 13 miles, so I improvised from there and ended up totaling 34 miles. I did hardly any more climbing after the initial climb. Here is the GPS recording of my ride.

I taught my 20 year old student how to ride on public roads, and I've been increasing the hill climbing challenges for him. On our most recent ride, he was super tired and said he would take a nap, which I think he did when I left him. I told him that eating extra was a good idea.

Over the summer, I worked with 5th graders in a summer program in Queens. (I live in Manhattan.) I rode to work nearly every day, 10 miles each way, so that helped with my mileage tally. I also enjoyed it. I normally work in the Bronx, and I was pleased to learn that Queens drivers are slightly less insane than Bronx drivers. I came to like Queens quite a bit, for a few reasons.
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Old 11-25-23, 07:39 PM
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Had an enjoyable year. I don't really have an annual mileage goal, but if I ride when I feel like it I usually get close to 2000 miles in. Currently at 1887 miles and 80846 feet ascending - if you can believe RWGPS data. I ride every month of the year when the weather is decent - 30* + and reasonably dry - but most of my riding is from May through October.

I rode The Great North gravel ride out of Cambridge, NY back in early May. Did the 50 mile route that goes over into VT and back. Some pretty serious climbing for me, but fortunately had two friends along to provide motivation. If you get a chance it's a fun and well-organized ride. Here's a video of the ride from 2022 and the ride can be found on BikeReg:

I also led an October Vermont gravel ride looping from Arlington down to North Bennington and back. There is a very nice network of quiet gravel roads in that area and some fun coffee stops at either end.

Mechanically - I set up a couple different sets of tires tubeless on a set of Hunt 650b gravel wheels that I got earlier in the year - my first experience with tubeless. I didn't have any significant issues and now feel comfortable about tubeless initial set up and any road repairs that might be necessary. Tubeless is practical, but IMO you do have to remove the tires every 5 months or so and scrape the dried sealant off the inside.

So now it's time for alpine skiing to start. The ski areas near me have started or are close to starting operations. A good start weather-wise and hopefully El Nino will provide a good snow season.

Arlington, Vermont - looking NW toward Mt. Eqinox

Last edited by jlaw; 11-26-23 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 11-25-23, 08:29 PM
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It was a great year for riding ... a tad over 4000 miles, mostly during early morning rides. The highlight was finding a Raleigh Sports from 1971 --- saved from trash pickup. 800 of those miles was on the Sports after the joy of bringing it back to a rideable state. While the bike was in tough shape, I suspect it hadn't been ridden much in the last 52 years. Looking forward to a few more rides in 2023 when the temp exceeds 40 degF, but I sense the season is winding down for me.


My reclaimed 1971 Raleigh Sports while riding in Essex, Massachusetts
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Old 11-26-23, 12:23 AM
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Great year, did some things.

Finished my fourth Paris Brest Paris, first on an upright after three on a 'bent. Finished in Adrian Hands time at 88:59, as planned.

Another goal was riding a 200k fixed. After a bunch of practice 100k rides getting the bike dialed in, I rode the Olympia to Portland 200k perm in July, after taking amtrak up in the morning. Tailwind didn't hurt.

Speaking of 100k, last December I decided to start a P12 series - that's 12 consecutive months with a credited 100k ride - and finished that, my first P-12, in November. Most of those on the fixie. 100k might be my new favorite distance, though I do still love getting into the headspace that only comes after stupid long miles.

I also kept my R-12 going, finishing my 11th in July and starting my 12th in August. That's 12 consecutive months of credited 200km+ rides.

Still one 200k and one 100k to go for the year.

Last edited by downtube42; 11-26-23 at 12:27 AM.
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Old 11-26-23, 03:51 AM
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Ain’t over yet, though I have switched to mostly afternoon riding instead of early morning, and will probably stick with that for the rest of the year and I first couple of months of 24.

Best year of riding since my late teens/early 20s.
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Old 11-26-23, 05:06 AM
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Old 11-26-23, 06:32 AM
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How much effort do you make to hit a target mileage if you are close at the end of the year?

I haven't done the math yet to see exactly where I am so it may or may not matter, but it seems kind of silly to make a big deal of hitting a meaningless target since it really isn't something I planned and strived for. I actually just happened to come close to an even 2000 miles for the year. Still, I find myself considering making efforts to hit that goal if I am falling short of it.

I hadn't really even thought about it much until I saw this thread. Maybe I would have anyway as the end of the year approached though, but it isn't like I started the year with a specific mileage goal.
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Old 11-26-23, 06:49 AM
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We still have one month before the year ends. For me cycling has been great so far this year. I didn't set any PRs and didn't break any records, just riding for fun and fitness and recreation. Looking forward to the winter season.
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Old 11-26-23, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
How much effort do you make to hit a target mileage if you are close at the end of the year?

I haven't done the math yet to see exactly where I am so it may or may not matter, but it seems kind of silly to make a big deal of hitting a meaningless target since it really isn't something I planned and strived for. I actually just happened to come close to an even 2000 miles for the year. Still, I find myself considering making efforts to hit that goal if I am falling short of it.

I hadn't really even thought about it much until I saw this thread. Maybe I would have anyway as the end of the year approached though, but it isn't like I started the year with a specific mileage goal.
It's your life and you only get one, so do with it what you want.

I've found myself with freezing toes and frozen water bottles chasing some number or challenge, dodging icy patches, and I don't regret a single ride. I once drove south a few hundred miles to get out of the snow, to keep a steak going. But that was me, at that time.

YMMV.
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Old 11-26-23, 04:30 PM
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On one hand, 2023 was disappointing. OTOH, it was pretty good.

For the 1st time, I lost a lot of riding to illness and reactions to vaxes (8 weeks, at least) and travel (at least 3 weeks), so I rode just over 1,000 miles instead of reaching my 1,500 mile goal. My longest ride was between 35 & 40 miles, instead of the 80 KM (age + 1) that would have been eminently doable if I hadn't been interrupted. Still, I'm happy with 1,000 miles this year.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:41 PM
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Decent year, but definitely a step down from previous years ... again due to health issues which are hopefully now resolved.

No doubles, no tours, and no endurance races in 2023, but I did finally make it to an awards breakfast for finishing 50 doubles since I started doing them. That was really sweet.

Managed to gain a boatload of weight in the interim, but the good news is that I am clawing my way back.

One thing all this has taught me is that it is OK to be hopeful for the future, but be appreciative for what you have when you have it. And to take full advantage.

So yea ... less eventful and less smooth than other years, but I'm still out there having fun.
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Old 11-27-23, 04:46 PM
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More time, distance, and vertical this year than any other in Strava record keeping era (since 2012).



No big rides. Just lots of medium distance rides of 2-4 hours.
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Old 11-29-23, 03:39 PM
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My year was above average for me ...until I broke my hip August 31. Still not "riding" but taking laps around my industrial park for 10-20 minutes at a time . I am not sure if I will get an actual ride in by the end of the year. I am doing leg strengthening pedaling in physical therapy . Yesterday I was out delivering tools( by bike) for my shop and took a side trip for a few blocks , got going up to 18mph and I felt better after the experience.
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Old 11-29-23, 07:28 PM
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Not bad this year - still hoping for a few rides.


Reduced a bunch, gained a couple


Thankful to ride

Saw stuff
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Old 11-30-23, 01:37 AM
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March Pacemaker implanted
July Left hip replaced
August Left eye cataract surgery
PT much PT
November wife died, turned 69

If I recall correctly I rode the bike exactly twice, after having been cleared by PA
Looking forward to 2024

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Old 11-30-23, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fat biker
March Pacemaker implanted
July Left hip replaced
August Left eye cataract surgery
PT much PT
November wife died, turned 69

If I recall correctly I rode the bike exactly twice, after having been cleared by PA
Looking forward to 2024

fat biker
Sounds like a tough year! I hope 2024 goes better.
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Old 11-30-23, 09:42 AM
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Thank You.
A tough year for sure.

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Old 11-30-23, 06:00 PM
  #48  
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This year started out pretty well, cycling wise. I built up a new bike last spring, and it won the Frankenbike category in that "On the Road Again" Challenge thread. This fall my brother came to visit, and we rode every day. Now there's four inches of show on the ground, and Bella's frame upgrade is stalled for a tool, ETA two weeks. If I can start riding again this spring as much as last, I'll be fine in 2024. I'm very grateful for my and my wife's health, so as Carly Simon sings, "These are the good old days".

Best wishes for those struggling.
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Old 12-02-23, 10:59 PM
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Jeez, @fat biker, that's a lot to deal with all in a year. I wish you peace and strength.
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Old 12-03-23, 06:15 AM
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I decided to look at my year a different way. I figure days ridden is a nice measure of activity and in some ways a better meaure than mileage. Mileage is funny. If you compare technical trail mileage to road mileage it looks like you don't ride much. I figure that getting up and going out on the trails every morning counts for a lot.

So I looked at how many days I missed going out for my morning trail ride so far this year. It turns out I went trail riding all but 13 days so far this year. That means I went out rain or shine, none of the missed days were because of weather. I went out when it was pouring rain, I went out when the temp was in the teens F, I went out when it was opressively hot.

My mileage will be comfortably over 2000 barring some freak event keeping me off the bike for the rest of the month, but I figure more importantly I get out every morning and enjoy the woods, get some exercise, see the critters, and clear my head. So I am not too dissappointed by the mileage number being way less than what I used to shoot for.

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