Monday, January 7, 2008

Gearing up for 2008

On a personal basis, 2007 was a fairly good year on the bike. Mileage-wise, I logged 4,068 miles on the road and mountain bikes, a personal best, and nearly 1,500 miles more than my previous best years. Bad/cold weather got me off to a slow start, but I was able to get and keep up some momentum this summer and fall.

I started 2007 with three goals: to complete three specific events (the Tour de Rock, Hotter ‘n Hell 100, and the Big Dam Bridge 100). I did those, and in addition, took an opportunity to be a little more productive in the local biking community by seeking and attaining a Cycling Instructor’s certificate from the League of American Bicyclists. I took the Road I course in September here in Little Rock, then went out to Louisville, Kentucky for my LCI certification course in October. It was an educational and eye-opening experience, and I’m a lot better rider now for the experience.

2008 has opened a little slowly so far, having had to deal with some family health problems here and there. But it’s still time to set a few Big Hairy-Ended Goals for the coming year to firm up the resolve.

I use a software program called CycliStats ( to keep track of my rides and mileage, and after losing data in a computer mishap a couple of years ago, keep a backup of those logs over at Looking thru the numbers for 2007, there were 9 weeks where I didn’t ride my bike. When I did ride, I started using the middle chain ring a lot more and spinning, rather than trying to push a big gear all the time in the past. My average speed went down about a mile and a half per hour, but then I nearly doubled the mileage from 2006, when I was still thinking myself just about as much a riding fool.

I rode my first century in August, rolling up 103 miles at a whack at the Hotter ‘n Hell Hundred, and added a few more miles on top of that toodling around the event site and downtown area afterwards. Not half as hard as I had thought it would be, and a whole lot more fun… not only the ride, but also the friends from the ABC that I went down there with, and others met along the way.

So, for 2008, here’s the initial goals:

  1. Mileage. Trying for 4,000 miles again… but more than that, I want to focus on those 9 weeks of the year where I didn’t ride at all: The primary goal is to have zero weeks in 2007 when I don’t get at least one good ride logged in. Ride my bike to work a lot more. And to focus more on the joy of riding, instead of just being out there pedaling along to roll up some more mileage.
  2. Group Rides: Definitely the Hotter ‘N Hell Hundred again… in fact I already signed up, the 57th rider to do so for 2008. Other priorities are to keep the streak going by doing the CARTI Tour de Rock and the Big Dam Bridge ride. I’d like to do the whole BDB course this time around, just gotta keep working on my riding partner! Other rides in the plan include the Tour da Delta over in Helena and the Pineywoods Purgatory down in Texas, both of which had scheduling conflicts with other stuff I was expected to do this year.
  3. Share the Joy of Cycling. That’s a big reason I went chasing off after LCI certification this past year… After lots of time playing with PowerPoint and cutting lots of circles in local parking lots and cutting up tennis balls, I’ll hold my first Road I class next month, and plan to offer it at least every other month or so during the year. Also in the works are Group Riding seminars in late March or early April to get folks ready for the season, as well as the Commuting course in conjunction with Bike-to-Work week.
  4. Ride a race somewheres. Time to do some intervals here and start building up a little more power…

So there… I’ve come out and bragged about it, so now you folks can hold my feet to the fire…

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