It is hard to believe that I am actually working on the year in review post already. It does not seem possible that 2016 has come and gone already. Overall it has been a pretty good year. Not everything worked out the way I thought they would, but I am still here and riding better than I had in previous years. With that in mind I really can’t complain. I took the momentum from the end of 2015 and tried to build on that this year. Just like other winters I had a good plan of doing better about staying in shape and before I know it spring is here and I have some catching up to do.
I didn’t get a bunch of riding done in January or most of February. Typically only getting one ride if any each week and several of them I didn’t ride at all. The only savior was the Florida trip. This was my third trip down there. It is always nice when the weather is warmer, but there is normally plenty of wind. It is always fun to get away and ride with some fun guys, so in all it is never a loss no matter how much riding I get in. This year I put in over 360 miles in 5 rides, so it was a good year. That was a good kick off/catch up from my lack of winter training. The only problem with putting a huge week with back to back rides in is that I am normally wore out for a while when I get back and other than “racing” the Death March, I really didn’t get that many rides in.
Early April I went on the People’s Brewing Pisgah trip. That was with out a doubt the funnest trip that I can remember being on. Hard miles, lots of laughs and a few beers. Even with me taking the two scariest/ hardest crashes I have had in a while and thought I broke my hand. I am still not fully healed from one of those crashes and not sure if I ever will. I probably need to go back and get another x-ray or have someone check it out. It should be working better than it does and will a lot less pain.
Pisgah was good for the legs, but once again I failed to back it up with the riding to really get me in shape. Soccer always seem to keep me way too busy to get any real consistent mileage in. I love watching my kids play and would not trade it for anything. Next year since my oldest is driving now, I should not have to make as many trips for practices. This should allow me to get a few more rides in, but this also means I miss seeing my son as much.
The Big Frog was my first big race of the year and my first time racing this event. My lack of training leading up to the race and not managing my nutrition well enough had me paying for it dearly for several hours. I fought cramps way longer than anyone would want. It kind of reminded me of the time I did the Mohican. Even with all of my issues and lack of riding, I really can’t complain about finishing in 7:22. I really had no preconceptions on what kind of time I would get.
Next up on the list was my redemption on the Mohican 100k. The last time I tried that race I cramped for 5+ hours. That means I was out there a LOT longer than that. Actually somewhere over 9 hours. That is a very long time to only ride 60 miles. After the Big Frog I continued on my soccer filled schedule and rode once a week leading up to the Mohican. With the time being only 5 weeks apart I think I was in the middle ground of living off of the good that the Frog did for my legs and getting rested. This race was way better for me. Even with it having more single track than the Big Frog, I finished only 11 minutes slower at 7:33.
After that race soccer schedule let up some and I was feeling good about getting out on the bike more often. For the rest of the summer I was averaging over 100 miles a week and feeling stronger and faster. Group rides were a lot more fun. I had one of my best rides for the Strassenfest ride. This is only a fun ride, but anyone who has done it knows that it is not all fun and games. I kept up with the fast group for way longer than I ever thought I could and only a hand full of riders pulled away. I grabbed the next group and still finished strong averaging over 20 for the 60 mile route.
I was still putting in some good miles each week as fall was approaching. I went in to my only Dino race of the year a little tired, but riding strong. I had a pretty good race considering the lack of dirt I had been riding on and very happy. I had some hope that I could once again become a contender to the front group for the Cat 2 class. I just need to put more work in to it.
After that race I was still getting some good miles in each week. I went to the Pumpkin Metric and had another good ride down there. After that ride I started to incorporate more gravel rides in to the schedule to get ready for the Gravel Grovel. I went on some awesome training rides in the Story area. Those rides are always near the top of my fun list each year. I also attended a fun new race called the Boograss Dash. This was a very fun and laid back event that I really hope will grow for next year.
With the way the year was going and after last years fast time, I had some high hopes for a good Gravel Grovel. Apparently my body did not agree and made sure it was as painful as all the other years. This was a huge disappointment after all the work that was put in this years leading up to this race. I know I should be happy to even ride as good as I did, but it is just not that easy. Maybe 2017 all the pieces will fall in to place. I do love this race.
2016 was really a good cycling year for me. I fell down a few times and didn’t do my homework for a few other races, but I did put some good work in. This year I have reached my all time mileage record for one year. I do not track my indoor miles in this figure as I don’t really think that equates to the same as outside riding. I do have to say thanks to everyone who makes riding a bike even more fun that it already is. I know there are a lot of other people I should be thanking, but most of all I have to thank my wife for allowing me to spend so much time riding a silly bike. Phil @ Adventures Recreation for helping me keep get all my bikes worthy of spending all those hours on them and everything that you do to help me. Ghost Buster for all the hours, miles and good friendship we have shared. My good friends Jeff and Jason on the People’s Brewing Team for hard rides and even harder laughs. I can only wish that you lived closer to me. I also have to thank my new team member in E squared. We may not have rode that much this year, but I can tell that we will put each other in a lot of pain in 2017!! If it doesn’t kill you it will make you stronger.
The numbers for 2016 are as follows: 4,193 miles, just over 280 hours and a little over 245,000 feet of elevation. I really can not complain about any of those numbers. I can only hope that I can do the same for 2017. If all things work out and with less commitment to the soccer season, I just may top that with breaking in to the 5,000 mark. So, here is looking forward to the 2017 cycling year.
Happy New Year!!!