December dreaming

On the surface, December is associated with things like snow, and windchill, and balaclavas, and booties. But you know what? This month’s not so bad. I know, I know; just hear me out.

As much as I would cherish an eternal summer or even a few extra weeks in the 60s, this time of year plays an important role. For me, December is all about laying the past season to rest and dreaming of what lies ahead. Suddenly I’m not bogged down by the pressure of group rides that are too fast because my life was so hectic in the spring that I didn’t get in enough base miles. I don’t feel the constant nagging pains in my muscles from going too fast too soon and never fully recovering. Poof! It’s all gone. Every Spring is a second chance to make good on all of our past wrongs. It’s a well-deserved fresh start. Continue reading

What’s your number?

Mine is 1,620.

That’s right, I logged 1,620 miles on my bike this year. And I spent 117:45:45 doing the thing I love most. And for those who need a little more convincing, I’ll also add that I burned 60,728 calories. That’s a lot of cheesecake.

This number isn’t so bad, considering that I was sidelined for a few months because of an injury, and I was planning a wedding. It also doesn’t take all of my mountain biking into account.

As for next year, I’m hoping to tackle another century, though I haven’t firmed up any goals just yet. Am I planning to break 2,000 miles? You bet! I can’t wait to see what the future brings.

The year in review:

  • 110: Total rides
  • Max speed: 47.1 mph
  • 55,631 ft: Elevation gain

What’s your number? (Bragging is definitely allowed!)

Six holiday gifts for cyclists

While I may not be first in line at the mall on Black Friday, I do love to get my shopping on—at the local bike shop, that is. Here are a few of my favorite finds, which are sure to please any cyclist on your holiday list.

GARMIN EDGE 500

After going through two Edge 305 cycling computers in three years, I was thrilled when Garmin released this model at the beginning of 2010. The Garmin’s new twist-lock-mount is a major improvement, as are the simplified side buttons. The 500 generates the perfect training log, tracking things like distance, total ascent, percent grade, cadence, and heart-rate, while producing a detailed map of the route. It even displays the temperature. While this model doesn’t have live mapping, users are still able to plot routes online, upload them, and then program the unit to give turn-by-turn directions. Not bad for such a tiny gadget. Continue reading

How to dress for winter cycling

You don’t have to freeze to enjoy riding your bike year-round

There’s nothing worse than pushing the pedals a few times only to discover that you’re over or under dressed for the weather. After sliding on ice and freezing my butt off more than I care to admit, I’ve created a few guidelines for facing Old Man Winter:

1. Avoid riding when temps and wind chill are below freezing. You can’t predict when a stream of melting water will trickle onto the road and freeze, spinning you out of control, so pay attention to the thermometer before you venture outside. Stay alert, looking for wet pavement and any shady spots on the road that might freeze first. Continue reading