Saturday, December 14, 2013


I've never been one to set specific goals at the beginning of the year. This is primarily because I haven't really ever planned a "season" out that far in advance. There are certainly a few events I plan early on every year, but as far as a full season goes, I don't really set a detailed plan at the start of the year. I kind of go by "feel" with that stuff, and always have. I've had seasons where I raced more than 30 races and season where I did less than 10, but I'm pretty liquid when it comes to planning how many or which ones I'll do in a given year. And one thing I've never done is set any kind of goal for non-race riding. I've never really even given that any thought. And that, it turns out, makes this year kind of unique.

Now, to be fair, I didn't plan anything at the beginning of the year. But I happened to notice something at the end of September this year that helped frame a vague goal in terms of total mileage. I broke my Garmin 500 back in August of 2012 and didn't replace it until late February of this year. But by the beginning of October, I noticed that I was right around 2000 miles on the single speed for the calendar year. I knew at the time I was already training decent mileage for the Something Wicked  6 Hours of Cathedral Pines and the autumn is always my favorite times to ride, so I decided that fitting in another 1000 miles was entirely doable for the year. And thus the last quarter of the year suddenly had a new goal - I wanted to hit 3000 miles on the single speed this year. I know for a fact that I've never done 3000 single speed miles in an individual year before, so this would be a new achievement if I could pull it off.

Friday, I crossed the 3K mark.

1Speed, happy to hit a goal half a month ahead of schedule
It wasn't easy. As anyone in the region is aware, we got hit with some snow last week. Normally, I love riding in snow, but this wasn't fresh snow -- by the time I got a chance to get to and ride in it this week, it had been three days since the storms, and the local trail were in one of two states -- packed down and frozen or soft and three inches deep. Neither is easy to ride in -- the frozen has hidden patches of ice that make you slide out of control, and the deeper snow is a slog (at least in my opinion -- I hate "loamy" trails, and deeper snow feels the same way -- it sucks your wheel in and makes you work for every pedal stroke. But last night, I got out for my regular Thursday night ride in Wissahickon, which left me 32 miles away from my goal. I'm currently burning vacation days by taking every Friday off, so I knew it would be another chance to get out on the trails. I also knew that I had two weeks to do 32 miles, which meant it was really just a matter of time before I'd get it anyway. Still, I decided Friday morning that I was going to try to knock out the remaining miles all in one ride.

Rolling full douchebag with yellow shoe covers  ...
After riding on Thursday night in Philly, I decided to head out to the Perkiomen Trail for Friday. I thought that it would be a good ride for a hard pace and anticipated that the snow would be well packed down. 

One out of two ain't bad.

The Perk Trail is pretty flat -- the only real climb is when you go up over Spring Mountain. So it's possible to keep a pretty good pace. The snow was - well - the snow was "inconsistent" to say the least. Some parts were well-matted down and easier to ride, but more often it was either icy and slick or frozen and bumpy. And most often it was the latter. After 20 miles, I felt Like I'd been operating a jack hammer all day. My hands were numb and my upper body was begging for me to just stop. It reminded me of riding a Michaux rock garden, but only if it was 30 miles long. In hindsight, choosing the rigid Misfit for the day was probably not the most inspired idea.

But I managed to stick it out and I rolled back into the lot with a little over the 32 miles I needed. Despite the fact that I hadn't really planned this as a goal, it felt pretty good to hit that number.

So there it is … kind of a nice way to close out the year. My focus is shifting to next year now, as I mentioned in my last post, but I may take a more complete look back at '13 before the end of the year. It's been a pretty fun year for riding and, even it's just for myself, it might be fun to look back at everything before completely switching gears to 2014.

In case I don't get a chance to post again before Xmas, hope you all have a great holiday season and I'll see you out on the trails. Happy Holidays!


  1. saw you out in the wiss satuday ruining the trails @sshat...

    if you have a blog don't act like a fuckin idiot. people will recognize you and call you on your dumb@ss behavior.