Friday, January 02, 2009

Cycler's '08

It's fun to think back over a year's worth of riding. Even for a person that doesn't ride all that far all at once, those little rides add up to something pretty satisfying. This year, I got down on riding a little when school and work whittled away at my exploring time. I also think my 6-7 days a week commuting was a bit much. For the first time, I woke up one morning and just didn't want to pedal the 5 miles to downtown. I walked to the bus stop and just kept walking all the way in. I saw all the things I used to see on my bike and realized I'd started riding with my head down.

Since then, I've slowed down some and enjoyed things a lot more. I also started mixing up the commute a little more. I'm lucky that I have 4-5 reasonable routes from here to downtown. I didn't take the hilly, 8-mile Terwilliger route as often as I'd wanted, but I did ride it in yesterday to start the year off right. I found it hard to gear myself up for the Riverview Cemetary climb in the morning, and I didn't feel entirely safe on Terwilliger at night coming home. Still, the Brooklyn neighborhood route, the west side river trail, and the Corbett route have kept things fresh. It's almost like getting work done, too, since I'm currently working on a project to model cyclist route choice here in Portland.

Overall, this was my lowest mileage year of the past 6. I don't use computers consistently, but I'm pretty good at keeping track of the miles, in a rough sense. My rememberings put me at about 3,000 miles for the year. About 2,500 of those miles were commuting! That leaves a scant 500 other miles!! I guess I am officially a slave to the man. Hopefully I'm missing some fun miles in my stack of scribblings here.

My big accomplishment was getting out for a great overnight camping/fishing ride to the Upper Clackamas. My best cycling memory of the year though was on one of my fire road explorations out beyond Forest Park. It was steep, grassy two-track for about a 2 mile circuit with the ripest, best (invasive, exotic, but who cares right then!) blackberries I've ever found. I would go all out up the hills on my singlespeed until I blew up, then hop off and gorge on blackberries. Eventually, I made it to a clearing with awesome panoramas of the Cascade peaks north of Portland beyond the Columbia. What a great ride!

I hope to do more exploring this year and definitely another camping trip or two. I like Tarik's goal of averaging 10 miles per day on the bike. I think that's doable. I'd also like to run more. I've never been a runner, but I started running with Rachel once or twice a month and sort of like it now that there's no coach making me. Once a week seems like it might be a decent goal.

Oh, yeah, and update this blog more regularly. I'll shoot for a post a week, although I think recent posts show pretty clearly that this blog is powered mainly by snow, so that may be tough. Happy New Year of cycling everyone!


Blogger GenghisKhan said...

Great miles (got me beat, for what that's worth)--those blackberries sound great!

Peace and Happy New Year!
Ride One or Ride None!

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I'm a little envious of your long trip!

Like you, most of my riding is commuting. It's not hard to keep me motivated at least during the warmer months as the bus service to my workplace takes me almost twice as long as my ride.

2:03 PM  
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