Year End wrap-up

I experienced two cycling rites of passage this year: I started shaving my legs, and I broke my collar bone. Guess which one was more enjoyable?

Equipment wise, I rode tubular wheels exclusively all year. I had 5 flats over 3752 miles; nothing to brag about, but nothing to whine about either. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: why don't more people ride tubulars, especially in view of the hassle & mess that are tubeless tires. People think tubeless is an improvement over tubular?

The shifters on my bike needed to be repaired after the STP crash. Thankfully they are Campagnolo so they could be rebuilt instead of replaced. It still wasn't cheap, but I also had everything overhauled so it should be good for several more miles.

According to my Garmin, I spent 8 hours, 42 minutes in heart rate zone 5, climbed 181,597 feet, and burned 219,848 calories. My longest single ride was 141.75 miles, my shortest recorded ride was 9.79 miles.

I switched from using energy powders in my water bottles to just using electrolyte tabs. The catalyst for this was Cytomax changing the sweetener used in their drink; I don't care for the new taste. I finally gave Nuun tablets a try and was instantly enamoured with them. They're easier to carry and refill, and the bottles don't get sticky goop all over the bottle, my hands, and the bike when they inevitably dribble. I get most of my calories via Hammer Gel, I'll also occasionally use EFS LiquidShot.

I also discovered Stinger Waffles. The hard part about having these around is not snacking on them all the time. They're a little pricey, but taste great.

My fitness and training sucked. Too many chest colds in the spring and then I lost almost two months due to the broken clavicle which unfortunately was just about the entire summer.

Lessons learned this year:

  • soda water, ice cubes and a couple of Nuun tablets in the water bottle is insanely exquisite on a hot day.
  • leave an unglued gap opposite the stem when installing tubulars.
  • don't get in pacelines with strangers.
  • if I'm in a pace line with strangers, don't ride as if I'm by myself; pay less attention to external traffic and more attention to the person in front of me at all times.
  • keep the rubber side up.

Goals for 2011 and how I stacked up against them:

  • compete in the Tuesday @ PIR series: I competed in three races. I enjoyed the races, they were VERY challenging, but even before my accident I was nervous about pack riding. I think I'll pass on this for next year, I'm just too worried about hitting the pavement again.
  • compete in Lewis & Clark Ultra 24: only did 12 hours and even that was basically a DNF. But DNF > DNS, so it wasn't a total failure.
  • ride the STP in one day: I just checked my ride log and I made it exactly 18.97 miles before *splat* my ride came to an end. But DNF > DNS, so it wasn't a total failure. It was just a miserable failure.
  • maintain membership in century-a-month club: I missed July and December but otherwise was on track. But since the idea is 'a century every month' instead of 'a century almost every month' I'll have to put a checkmark in the 'did not meet expectations' column.
  • RAO team member: I don't recall why I didn't do this. I'm sure I had some weasley  excuse, but a DNS nonetheless.
  • Ride around Mt. Hood: DNS.
  • Oregon Stampede: DNS.

Goals for next year:

  • Increase my 20 minute max power. It currently is (well) below 200, I would like to increase it to a consistent 220+ by the time LaC rolls around. Note that I'm not using a power meter, just the built-in guessing algorithm of the Garmin 500. That works for me because I don't have $2k for a power meter sensor, and I'm not really interested in an accurate real-time number, I just need an approximation in order to gauge my progress.
  • It looks like my strength is climbing hills, so I need to work on the flats.
  • Related to that, I want to find stronger riders to ride with.

My definite ride goals for 2012:

  • century a month
  • Lewis & Clark Ultra 24
  • STP one day
  • OUCH (Larch Mt. Time Trial)

I heard that there might be a new ultra event in the Willamette Valley put on by the RAO folks, if that happens I will consider it. I also would like to compete in RAO but that will depend on how well I do at the LaC and if I can find a team to join.

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