Photo by Jason DeVarennes

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 - In Review

2012 was an amazing year for me on the bike. Due to a lack of any type of weather that would normally pass for winter in New England, I logged a lot of early season bike miles, and then just kept going. A Strava climbing challenge in March and April saw me accumulating some big climbing numbers, and well...  I kept going with that too. By the end of the year, I'd clocked up over 18,000 miles and over a million feet of climbing. My only resolution for 2013 is to do less! This should actually be an easy resolution to keep! Check back in January 2014 to see if I did!

But it wasn't numbers that made my year on bikes an amazing one. It was the new and old friends that I rode with, the cool places that I explored and the spectacular scenery that I encountered along the way.

The lack of a proper day job and a very understanding spouse, Fear Rothar, made it possible for me to do a lot of exploring by bike last year.  Using a cool tool, created by Jonathan O'Keeffe, I was able to overlay all my rides for the year on a single map. While I did ride back and forth to Ride Studio Cafe enough for Google Now to decide that I work there, I also managed to cover a lot of other ground in eastern Massachusetts last year.

I also got out to the Berkshires as well as up into NH, Vermont and Maine.  (I also did some riding around the Finger Lakes in NY and near my Dad's place in NC).

We spent a week out in California in March.

And flew to France to tour the Cevennes for a couple of weeks in September

Things really started to get fast and furious for us in May.

The fleche team, Misguided Angels with Dena Cohen, Norm TenBroek, Dave Cramer and me, rode from Provincetown, MA to Portland, ME.

DROVES came next as Fear Rothar and I christened our brand new tandem.

Then Dena and I had a great time on the dirt roads of southern Vermont riding the Green Mountain Double Century.  We followed that up by doing our first ever tandem ride together the following weekend at the Rapha Gentlemen's Race, with Dena, Patria Lanfranchi and Rebecca Fetner stepping in at the last minute when half our original team was felled by injury.

July saw us (Fear Rothar and me)  riding the tandem on the GranHundo and then I put some of my climbing training to use on Newton's Revenge. August was very busy with Quadzilla and a few hillclimb races, including Ascutney, Equinox and Mt Washington, which went well for me, and gave Fear Rothar something to write about!

Burke, as always was great fun. We then did a new dirt road event around Mt Kearsarge, before heading off to France.

Dena and I hopped on the tandem together for the Great River Ride. And then Fear Rothar and I took part in a very fun stage race put on by RSC, called the Fall Five.

Our final ride ever was to World's End, except it wasn't because the world didn't really end. However the Festive 500 did almost do me in!

Despite claiming exhaustion after that last Festive 500 ride, it was as if someone hit the reset button when the ball fell in Time Square to welcome 2013, and I was happily out riding again on New Year's Day, with renewed passion.

It's been fun for me to look back at last year and see how much we packed into 366 days. What will 2013 bring? Stay tuned...


  1. It looks like one of your rides took you past Bash Bish Falls. I've done several rides in that area - it is lovely out there.

    So you only rode 8 times as much as me and who knows how many times more vertical gain. My goal for 2013 is to cut the difference but it still won't be close.

    If I count correctly, you have 7 bikes, plus tandems.

  2. We love the Bashbish ride and the area nearby. I also plan to help you cut the difference this year. And I'm off to a good start, having x-c ski'd instead of riding 3 days last week!

    I admit it is a little excessive to have a bike that is only ridden 13 miles a year, but I did average 600 feet of climbing per mile with it :-)

    Not all of the bikes listed actually belong to me or are still in the stable. One of the tandems has been sold. Another tandem is about to be posted for sale. One of the fixies was a loaner for a week, and thanks to that very positive test ride, I'm now in the planning stages to get a new bike that will replace THREE current ones, which will also soon be posted for sale. Finally one of the fixies lives at my father's house. So I'm really not as bad as the list makes it seem!

  3. Hey, you can have as many bikes as you can afford and fit into your house! That's my policy. My number is much smaller but then I have two boys under 5 keeping me busy and filling my house with toys. And my total of bikes that I rode this year is n+1 (1 being that same cafe racer).

    13 miles must be Mount Washington. It's assumed that you might have a special fixie just for that ride.

    I'm off to a slow start - 16 miles (running), 0 on the bike. But I am on the path to a dynamo hub so I can extend the time that I can ride.

    1. New England Bicyclist,

      The 13 mile bike is indeed the one I used for Mt Washington and Mt Equinox. But I've long felt guilty about having such a fine machine collecting cobwebs most of the year. I had long planned to convert it back to a *normal* fixie, but have just started the order process for its replacement, so it will soon be made available to go to a new loving appreciative home. Once the new machine becomes real, you will see some for sale postings here. John is also planning something new, so there will be different sizes of bikes available.

  4. Congrats on the year of record setting! Also the commitment to do less this year. The question is how much less 10 or 100 Km?

  5. Ah Dan, you've discovered the technicality!