Friday Group Ride #343

Friday Group Ride #343

2016 wasn’t my best year on the bike. My mileage was down. My plan NOT to ride some of the events I normally ride in order ride some new stuff, led to pretty close to no event riding at all. For the first time in a long time, I pursued my fitness in some other ways, and that was good. I’m stronger in a lot of ways than I have ever been in years where I focussed mainly on riding. 2016 wasn’t bad, just not on the bike.

So for 2017, I’m getting proactive. I’ve already registered for a hard ride early in the season and made a list of some ambitious projects to take on with friends. I understand now that things that don’t make it on the calendar (an actual calendar) early, don’t happen.

These aren’t resolutions. They’re plans.

Here are some reasons NOT to not ride: One of my friends can’t make it. I have somewhere to be later. I’m not sure what the weather is going to do. I might smell bad. I don’t feel like locking my bike up. I rode yesterday. I don’t have time to bank a lot of miles. I need to change tires. I need to tune a derailleur. It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s hot. No one else is riding. Too many people are showing up. I don’t know the ride leader. I don’t feel like planning a route. I haven’t been riding, so I’m not fit enough. The lawn isn’t mowed. I think I might rather sleep in. It’s too late in the day. I bet the traffic is heavy. It’s a holiday. I feel slow.

This week’s Friday Group Ride asks, how was your 2016 on the bike, and what does 2017 look like? What are you taking on for the first time this year? Do you think you’ll ride more, or less?

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  1. Michael

    2016 on the bike was largely a bummer, summed up pretty well by “I haven’t been riding, so I’m not fit enough”. I’m working on some cross-training and other sports through the winter in the hopes I’ll be able to start the season fitter and feeling stronger.

  2. Aaron Daniel

    I started 2016 recovering from total knee replacement. I quickly came into much better cycling form than expected. In August it all fell apart in a severe ITBS (Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome) crash. It seems I had been pushing through much more pain than I recognized. After 5 months of bike fitting, physical therapy and cycles of rest-ride-rest-ride, I slowed way down to very modest riding. Now, I’m off the bike again and don’t intend to ride until February at the earliest. I’ll get back to riding after the pain is completely gone. For now, it’s yoga, walking, ice and heat. As I go into 2017, my only plan is to ride as much as I can as long as it’s free of pain. Hopefully, I’ll get back into a regular cycling routine….

  3. Michael

    2016 was a great year of pointless riding for me. I rode a lot, on all sorts of different types of bikes and terrain, with no real purpose. The cool thing was that I did participate in a few different events, simply because someone said “hey, you should join me next weekend. I’m doing the __ ride.” I was in decent enough shape to go long distances on different terrain. I was never fast though – not training meant I never did any speed work. 2017? Well, who knows? I guess that means it might be like 2016, except I am mumbling some plans with friends for a few multi-day rides, so perhaps that will be this year’s flavor.

  4. Dave

    I had a great 2016. I retired in 2015 and built a house in rural North Texas and finally, last year saw me settle into the new digs and get back on my bike in a big way. For the past several years I had averaged 5,700 miles per year. But, for 2016 I managed well over 7,900. I don’t “train” or race. Riding for me is all about keeping my 55 yr old body as fit as possible, exploring new roads and enjoying the ride – and pushing the pace just a bit when I feel like it. I’ve dropped weight, have the lowest resting pulse I’ve ever had in my life and feel great. All without using a Garmin, HR monitor or training log.

    For 2017 I’m going to try and do more area charity ride and ride more with others.

    I’m hoping to ride more in the new year. I think that 9,000 miles is possible!

  5. John Walker

    2016 was the year of a dramatic change from 12 years of 25 miles of bike commuting a day to 2. The former let me go out any time and all the time on rides with anyone, across the country once and half way once. All of a sudden my body shape changed, my legs changed, the bike lasted a really long time between needing the chain oiled. I have started 2017 modestly getting on the bike for a fixed distance a week, commuting, running errands, riding with friends. I haven’t seen the thermometer go above freezing yet, but I am pleased to know I am actively working to get back on it and remember how to ride.

  6. gabe

    In 2016 I upped my riding volume by commuting 38 miles each way 2x per week, Started the Bantam Classic at the very back and ended in the very middle, did the Levi GF Panzer, in which somehow I was faster and much less destroyed than my first Gran Fondo.
    I capped the year by starting a structured training plan by a popular company that uses “Virtual Power”

    2017 will see me doing at least the first Grasshopper, The Bantam, and maybe a bit more. No real motivation to pay to do the local gran fondo, a route I have done several times unsupported.

  7. John Gruber

    I tracked mileage for the first time in 2016 and rode almost 1400 well past my goal of 1000. Planning to ride more this year starting with the Ryan Leech wheelie challenge. I have been selected as an ambassador for my LBS, so will be organizing rides and promoting the store and cycling in our city.

  8. Jacques

    For 2015 I had a goal of 10k km and 100k m climb, which meant sacrificing quality for quantity. 2016 was for quality, skills and a variety of terrain, which kinda happened but also meant much lower fitness and irregular quantities. 2017 should be for a mix of both last years, consistent weekly km’s and skill work. Week one didn’t work out so well, but there’s another 51 to get it right.

  9. Bill Webster

    For me, 2016 was my lowest mileage year ever. Many reasons, most of them good ones. I’ve already begun to get ready to ride more this year. To that end, I’ve signed up to ride the Gran loop at Levi’s GF, and will be riding the Almanzo 100 this spring. For now, I’m on the bike to nowhere…

    Wishing all of us a great 2017…


  10. Scott Gilbert

    2016 was my 3rd best in terms of miles (just shy of 8000) but considering I walked away from a bad Saturday Morning World Championship crash with just a sprained rib (that cost a couple weeks of longer rides) while other went to the ER I can’t complain (although my custom steel Hampsten was destroyed).
    Like you I am probably as fit or fitter than ever inspite of low miles. More intensity. Racing on the Velodrome all make up for shorter rides.
    In 2017 I’d like to get back to 100000 miles and more climbing (my back has a lot to say in the regard).
    I want more Sunday rides with the GF (like a few years ago).

  11. Winky

    I had great 11 months until the beginning of December when I dislocated my shoulder, slipping on some ice on my morning commute. Not been on the bike since.

  12. Chris

    2016 saw my return to regular cycling after–thanks to kids, career, sloth, a scary helmet-crushing accident, etc.–many years away. Motivated by a long-planned European cycling vacation finally scheduled for May (at my wife’s urging), I started riding again, bought a new bike, signed up for some events, etc. Over the course of the year we ended up taking bike trips to Provence and Tuscany, I rode several (metric) centuries, circumnavigated Lake Tahoe, climbed Mont Ventoux and racked up 3200 miles on the bike. Probably my most satisfying accomplishment was this: Several years ago, then in my early 50’s and out of riding, I sadly thought to myself that I would never again be able to complete a certain long, wild, and beautiful epic loop ride that had been my favorite cycling adventure when in my 30’s. I did that ride four times this year.

    The downside: my running took a real hit. This year, I hope to balance the two activities a bit better.

  13. TomInAlbany

    2016 was a normal year for me. Typical in terms of miles(1600-1800), source of miles (commutes, mostly), and that pretty much all of the riding was solo – see commutes.

    The plan this year is to get enough training so that I can take a day off and ride up to my wife’s hometown and have them meet me there. It’s pretty much all uphill. Albany, NY isn’t far above sea level. Elizabethtown, NY is on the eastern edge of the Adirondacks but, not all that high. It’s about 125 miles away so, would be my longest ride ever. However, actual route selection may change those miles. Also, I can make it more or less hilly by following main roads or, I can make it more interesting!

  14. MidTNBrad

    I had an awesome 2016! I rode a lot when I was in my late teens up ’till my mid 20’s. Got married and in ’99 decided to get my first real bike: a Litespeed Tuscany. I rode that a lot for two years and then then kids came and shortly after I took a job where I was traveling for weeks on end which really cut down on my saddle time. Gradually I was able to put in at least a few hundred miles a year, but it wasn’t something that focused on. Now, the kids are teens and I’m not traveling anymore so this past Spring I promised myself I’d get a new bike and get back in shape, so I got a Cervelo R3 and rode over 2,200 miles this past year on it. On Labor Day I entered the Clarksville, TN sunrise century and beat my 30-year-old self (I’m 45 now) by a full 2 MPH! I’m going to focus 2017 on doing more climbing.

  15. Kayce

    2016 was a revelation year to me. I have been racing for a while, but it was the year that I really pushed it. I figured out just how far I could go. And turns out that is to a pretty damn good level. 2017 is going to be bringing me to Track Nationals in LA.

  16. Susan

    2016 was the first time I’ve really ridden a bike all year without a major injury or surgery or something. I only started riding in late 2010 after an ACL surgery. Since then I have separated a shoulder, had cortisone shots and then two surgeries on my back. I also learned to ride a road bike, got ok with riding clipless, have now completed 3 centuries, would rather ride than not, and in 2016 managed 2500 miles on bikes over the year (I pulled out a 150 mile 5 days to get there at the wire). I’m pretty proud of that. I hope to get to 3K in 2017, but if I don’t, I don’t. I am so lucky to be able to ride at all.

  17. Jamie

    Your reasons to not ride have really resonated with me. It’s so true isnt it – there are a million and one reasons to not do something, but only one reason do to something.

    Ok you’ve inspired me now – Im gonna close my laptop and get my bike out… going for a ride now

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