I’ve been keeping a record of all my rides’ mileage since 2009. I use a cycling computer most of the time, but I actually use Google Maps more. I have a knack for remembering where I have been, except when it’s evening and I can’t see the street names. As you can see from the chart above, I had my best year in 2011 when I broke the 4,000 miles ceiling. In 2012, I was hoping to break the 5,000 miles record, but due to the unfortunate event of my father’s passing, I actually didn’t come close. I had my worst mileage year in the books, but I can’t blame it all on what happened in November, as my dedication to riding started to wane that year.
What happened in 2010-2011?
A couple of significant things happened in 2010. I was falling in love with bicycling all over again and rode my bike everywhere that year. I rode so much that I decided to sell my car and go car-free in January of that year. I also rode down from San Francisco each of these years. That was why you saw an upshot of riding at that time. I also got a new job at the end of 2010 which tripled my commute mileage. I bought myself a new bike for the commute and piled on the mileage. I rode so much that year that my upright city bike racked on the most mileage out of every bike I owned. It eclipsed my old Xtracycle and my stolen road bike! I can’t say I loved riding that particular bike, but I did love riding at that time.
In 2011, I bought myself a motorcycle because I missed the thrill of being on one for a few years. I found myself riding that thing more than riding my bicycle. It gave me the same feeling, but I was able to go much faster. I have to say that I felt much safer on the bicycle than the motorcycle. The long commute had gotten the best of me, where I felt like I was getting burnt out from riding my bicycle. I actually took the bus into work most frequently in 2012. I didn’t keep track of that, but I do remember riding a lot on the bus that year. With my dad’s passing on Thanksgiving Day, I completely stopped all bicycling activities for a while. This continued all the way through the first half of 2013. In fact, I never rode more than 3 days in a month until August. That month, I took 10 trips.
Turning it all around
August was a pivotal month. This was the month that I decided that I needed to be more involved with the bicycling community, so I decided to volunteer for C.I.C.L.E. I’ve mentioned them in a prior blog post. I’ve since volunteered for 3 events with them in 2013. This really helped me reignite my passion once again. I started to ride consistently between August and the end of the year. I feel in love with being on a bike and meeting people once again. I think bicycling has helped me recover from the darkness that surrounded me in 2013. You see, I was depressed and needed to see a therapist for help. I also had a minor health scare and separated from my fiancée who I’ve been with for 9 years. I’m still dealing with the separation at the moment, but focusing on bicycling and now photography has kept my mind occupied. Not to mention, this blog is fueling me and pushing me to get out of my comfort zone and into experiencing a richer existence for myself.
For this next year, I don’t think I will reach the pinnacle of 2011, but I am going to try damn hard to get close. I am hoping that this year will give me the chance to rack up my mileage and see more of my country and perhaps other countries. It’s not the time to dwell in the past, but instead, to look forward as that will be my motivation to get up in the morning and do the things I want to do.
What are some of your challenges and what are you looking forward to in 2014? Please tell us about your stories and what you look forward to in the comments below.