Thursday, December 31, 2009

Your mileage might vary (2009: the year in riding)

I failed my mileage objective this year: I pledged to ride a hundred miles per week, but, on average, I barely passed  the 94 miles/week mark.  As it often happens, failure sneaked up on me at the end, when I had to spend a few days in bed with back pain and the rest of the month recovering. 

Still I rode over a hundred more total miles than during the previous year, and  I’m quite happy about the result. Above all, the recent painful ordeal made me realize the futility of quantifying objectives in numbers. After all, constantly improving one’s performance is unlikely to succeed repeatedly given our limited lifespans.

Thus, for next year, my goals will be quite different. Yes, I’ll still keep track of miles, calories and heartbeats per minute, but all for one reason: to  spend my finite resources well and have even more fun than this past year. 2010 will be the year of Gran Fondo: Italian-style timed non-competitive bike events are spreading across the US of A: the Colnago Gran Fondo celebrates a second year in San Diego, with two brand new events to follow in Philadelphia (August 8) and Los Angeles (October 24). If my condition allows it I’ll try to make it to the San Diego and Los Angeles appointments. Then there'll be the repeat of last year’s successful Levi’s Gran Fondo (October 9). An appointment not to be missed with the better part of California.

I hope to make it to 2 out of 4 events, 3 if I’m lucky (and in good shape). However I want to spend 2010 touring as well. I plan to do my first (and second!) overnight tour, starting with an early spring S24O in the Ojai area with my brand new touring bike.

2009 made me finally understand the difference between pedaling as a sport and as a fun and healthy way of life. Next year I’ll try my best to practice both.

And if anyone needs further sources of inspiration check out the Adventure Cycling suggestions for New Year's Cycling Resolutions.

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