Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Statistical Review

I had a very special year in 2012 and I knew as this year began that I would be foolish to expect as much from my cycling endeavors in 2013. By almost any measure, 2013 was less successful, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad year. If you look at two of the simplest metrics—how often I rode and how far—then 2013 was above average:

Year   Rides  Miles
2013   153    4100
2012   204    5005
2011   170    5113
2010   137    4650
2009   146    4800
2008   120    3787
2007   131    4410
2006    98    3161
2005   117    3050
2004    88    1454

I didn’t race as much in 2013. At first, that was by design: I delayed the start of my mountain biking season and then raced a limited schedule because I wanted to give cyclocross my best effort. The plan seemed to be working until Sep. 8, when I broke my collarbone. I was able to start riding again one month later, but my fitness and motivation were gone.

For the second year in a row, I rode outside in all 12 months. But I didn’t beat any of my personal records for monthly mileage. And the hours I spent on indoor workouts actually increased, partly due to colder weather and partly due to injury:

Year   Trainer  Treadmill
2013   26.5     30.0
2012   14.5     12.5

In 2013 I went snowshoeing on 6 occasions, went hiking on 4 occasions, and completed 100 upper-body strength training workouts (down from last year’s 156 because of time lost to the collarbone fracture). I went to Planet Fitness on 39 occasions this year and on 3 occasions at the end of 2012, so my membership worked out to less than $2.50 per visit. That was a good value, but the experiment is over: in 2014 I will be content with my home gym and other options.

Which bike covered the most miles in 2013? As usual, this race wasn’t even close:

Year     Diamondback     Raleigh       Trek
         Steilacoom              Competition       X-Caliber
2013     2341            1270          489
2012     2889            1462          654

I use the Trek only for mountain biking or for winter rides when I might encounter snow. I use the Raleigh only for the road. I use the Diamondback for cyclocross, for rec trails, and for the road. Considering the frequency with which I do mixed-surface rides—some combination of asphalt, gravel, dirt, turf, and boardwalk—it is no wonder that the cyclocross bike gets most of the attention.

Off the bike, 2013 was enormously successful. I was able to do a bunch of things that, taken together, I could not have imagined being able to afford when the year began:

  • Refinanced the house
  • Replaced my car
  • Repaired my wife’s car
  • Replaced the water heater
  • Replaced the kitchen range
  • Replaced the washing machine
  • Repaired the furnace
  • Replaced the lawnmower

It’s all paid in full; I didn’t go into debt for any of it. And that puts me in a very good position for 2014. There are still some home maintenance concerns—there always will be—but most of the imminent threats have been addressed. As the new cycling season begins I look forward to a few important equipment changes and a full schedule of races and other special events.

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