My 2015 was a triumph of consistency. I rode 6,236 miles to establish a new personal record, beating last year’s mark by exactly 1,000 miles. I rode on 215 out of 365 days this year, beating my old record of 204 (set in 2012). But that works out to just 29 miles per ride, which is no great feat. My longest ride was 69 miles, one of only six metric centuries. Getting to 6,236 was a slow, steady climb. Here’s how it happened, month-by-month:
241 January PR
538 March PR
816 June PR
826 August PR
350 November PR
According to Garmin, I rode for a total of 396 hours, 9 minutes, 6 seconds. That’s almost 59 more hours than last year (337:16:12).
I competed in 10 WCA cyclocross races and 3 mountain bike races (2 WEMS, 1 WORS). Moving up to Cat 3 for cyclocross—which in Wisconsin means racing against Cat 1 and Cat 2 guys as well—was an interesting challenge for me … with no noteworthy results. But my victory in the Reforestation Ramble mountain bike race was enormously satisfying!
For what it’s worth, I set new best times on my most often repeated training rides. In April I covered the Eisenbahn State Trail from Main Street in Campbellsport to my home in West Bend in 48:25 (15.6 miles @ 19.33 mph), and in July I went from my house to Campbellsport in 51:17 (15.6 miles @ 18.25 mph). Those were cyclocross bike efforts on a mostly-gravel trail. In September I recorded my fastest-ever lap on the mountain bike trails at New Fane: 24:27.
I spent just 2 hours on the indoor trainer this year, and I’m totally OK with that. The mild weather of January 2015 called me outside more than ever before. I might have done more on the trainer in February, but by then I was scrambling to find a new job. I went hiking just 7 times in 2015, down from 12 last year, and I went snowshoeing just 2 times, down from 8 times in 2014. Those stats, too, were influenced by the greater frequency of my bike rides. I completed 124 upper body strength workouts, down from 135 last year. In November I had a little crisis of motivation in the home gym. Things are back to normal now.
I hesitate to set any mileage goals for 2016. This year’s grand total went so far beyond my previous record that I may never reach it again, much less surpass it. Given that the bike riding will more-or-less take care of itself, maybe the only number I should worry about is my weight. As 2015 ends I am 193 pounds. I was 198 on this date last year. In 2015 my weight ranged from a high of 204 in March to a low of 185 in November. As extreme as that sounds, it’s normal for me. Gaining weight since the end of the cyclocross season—especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the interim—was not a surprise. My first challenge in 2016 will be to hold off any additional pounds!