It’s time once again for my yearly review wrap-ups. Starting as always with my biking year in review! Despite everything bad that happened in 2020, biking saw one of the biggest upturns of any industry. People decided that they wanted to get outside more as well as avoid public transportation, and a bike is a perfect way to do just that. The bike shortages of 2020 are going to be talked about for decades. Finding any type of bike, let alone doing any big comparison shopping, was a monumental task this year.
Thankfully, I had already procured my trusty Salsa Vaya, and so I entered 2020 with a full head of steam. In fact, 2020 was a break-out year for me when it came to riding. I committed to the #30daysofbiking challenge in April, and because of cancelled race, I was actually able to get it done. From there, I just kept upping the mileage, and continuing the streak. In fact, I kept up a daily ride from April till August, only breaking it by accident, forgetting to get out the door one afternoon. Even a broken toe didn’t stop me from getting out and riding.
I racked up multiple 50 mile bike rides throughout the year, and tackled my first 100K with some friends. A ride of 25-30 miles because easy, and I would often head out for long trips without any worry about how far I could go. It’s really similar to how my running switched over a few years ago. Eventually, my body got used to running 30 miles a week and it wasn’t a big deal. Even now, a short run for me is usually no less than 3 miles. The added benefit of biking being that I can get to places really far away much easier than running.
I also got a chance to do some more bikepacking this year, and a group of us did a fun weekend at Carver Park Reserve in Victoria, MN. Despite what I said before, even a 35 mile ride can wear you out when you load up 22+ pounds of gear on your bike. I did learn a lot though about what works and doesn’t work for me, and I can’t wait to do more trips next year. My wife even got a head start on me by doing her own 3-day bikepacking adventure to all the Three Rivers Park Reserves, camping out at each and carrying all her gear for the trip.
From a mileage perspective, I blew away anything I’ve done in the past. As of today I’m at 2310 miles for the year (might squeeze in a couple more before Friday). This is nearly double of anything I’ve done before, and it felt great. In retrospect I wish I had thought more ahead and planned to get to 2500, but I’m not complaining with where I landed.
I also got to spend a lot of time this year biking with my Beer & Bikes crew (always masked, outdoors, and socially distant). We kept up our Wednesday adventures, as well as numerous weekend trips, including my annual Fall Fifty+ Five brewery bike tour.
I also tried to use my bike to do more errands, and commit to driving less this year. Even into the colder temps of the year I decided to bike for coffee instead of driving, or run to the grocery store on two wheels. I spent time thinking about how I wanted to get places, instead of just jumping in the car.
Finally, I finished up the year with a new fat bike, which I’m really excited about getting out into the winter weather. I got the tubeless tires set up and so now all that’s left is to start finding good snow to ride. I’ve done a few short adventures, but I’m anxious to find some more opportunities when I can.
So that’s 2020 in biking for me. Lots of miles, great times with friends, awesome adventures, and feeling great. I can’t want to start out 2021 right and get right back to pedaling.