This year was another great year for me when it came to biking. Although I had to take a break in the middle, due to my surgery, I still managed to have a solid year of riding.
The year started out with some riding in the desert as we brought our bikes down to Nevada for a couple weeks in February. I got to do some awesome rides like the Hoover Dam trail and the River Mountains Loop. Had a solid 72 mile week while avoiding the snow and cold back home.
I meant to do more fat biking in March, but ended up just not feeling motivated enough. Plus, the conditions were mediocre and after my DNF at Tuscobia I wanted a little break from the big tires. By the end of March though we were back at it with long weekend rides across the midwest.
We had some solid rides on the Canon Valley Trail, including some gravel roads to make a fun loop out of it. We headed west on the Dakota Trail into some brutal headwind, spent time on the Gateway Trail, and even ventured over into Wisconsin for the Old Abe trail. Since my wife has had to give up running as a sport, she’s fully embraced biking, and I’m thrilled to join her on some of her adventures. Plus, biking has turned into great cross-training for me to help keep me running longer and healthier.
Beer and Bikes continued to be a big part of my life this year, with regular Wednesday rides to various breweries. That always helped pad the mileage for my week with some casual miles, and it was nice to spend time with friends.
I did finally sign up for my first gravel race this year, and I completed the Freedhem 46 mile ride in July. I had a ton of fun, and did better than I thought I would. However, I decided that I also wanted a different bike for events like this and that led me to buying another steed, a Surly Ghost Grappler. So far I’m really loving the bike, and it’s a really interesting mix between a gravel bike and a mountain bike. I’m still overdue on writing a review of it for this blog, but hopefully that will be coming in 2023.
We also tried to bring our bikes with us whenever we traveled. That meant that even on short weekend trips I would get in some miles, and could extend our range for exploration without using a car. It also meant that we got to see more of our destination at a slower pace than if we were just driving from sight to sight. It made the travel even more immersive, and rewarding.
Speaking of not using a car, I also tried to commit to using my bike more often when running errands. Even though I’ve not been as consistent in the winter time, I did manage to do a lot of running around on two wheels and avoid using the car on quite a few occasions. I really wish we had a few more things closer to us in our area, but for the time being I’m making do as best I can.
I managed to finish out the year with 1684 miles biked, which isn’t my highest ever, but it’s not bad considering all the down-time I had this year. I do need to get out on the fat bike more in January/February, and once I’m past the long walk at Tuscobia this weekend, I’ll have more motivation and opportunity to.
Next year has lots of exciting plans for both running and biking, and I’m looking forward to sharing more. Let’s just say that some distance records are going to be broken, and hopefully a lot more fun on two wheels!