Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: A Statistical Review

As 2017 began, my mileage goal was a modest 3,378. That was the number I needed for 60,000 lifetime miles, and I reached it easily. But as 5,000 came into view, I decided to go for it. That meant riding on some pretty cold days after the cyclocross season ended, days that I would have skipped otherwise. I will remember 2017 as another good year on the bike despite coming up short of that 5,000-mile goal. If only the weather had not been so cold lately: below 32° since December 22, and below zero for much of that time! I finished the year with 4,933 miles, the 6th highest total in my 14-year cycling career.

Here’s the breakdown by month:

120 January
285 February (PR)
158 March
439 April
516 May
615 June
727 July
694 August
583 September
425 October
260 November
111 December

If March had been even close to normal, then I would have wrapped up a 5,000-mile season before December arrived. Oh, well. And it should go without saying, but all of those miles are real miles. I would count miles around an indoor velodrome if I had that option, but I don’t count “miles” on a stationary trainer.

I did 21 races in 2017: 11 on the mountain bike (6 WORS, 4 WEMS, 1 unsanctioned short track race), 9 on the cyclocross bike (7 WCA, 2 HICX), and 1 on the road bike (Race The Lake). I won’t count my 9 practice cyclocross races at Royal Oaks Park in August and September, but those efforts were every bit as hard as some of the sanctioned races in which I competed.

While my 2018 competition goals are still forming, I can say that I won’t be as heavily involved in mountain bike racing as I was in 2017. Right now the only WORS event on my calendar is the short track race at the WORS Cup. That’s July 8. I should be good for 3-5 WEMS races. On August 26 I will be at Race The Lake for the third straight year. It might be my only road race again in 2018. Cyclocross will be the focus, and it could be months before I know that schedule.

I plan to spend more time on the road bike in 2018, and that should result in a higher mileage total. My goal is 5,000 miles. I have averaged 5,177 miles over the last 7 seasons, so that seems like a reasonable level. And I want to return to my roots as a cyclist by taking a series of long rec trail rides. I missed the Wild Goose State Trail this year. I also have unfinished business with the Wiouwash State Trail. I would like to see the Mascoutin Valley, Ahnapee, and Devil’s River state trails for the first time ever, and I would like to return to the Glacial Drumlin State Trail for the first time since 2009.

It’s hard to predict the future, but I expect to race a little less in 2018 and to spend a little less money on cycling. There are a couple of significant home improvements on my To Do list—expensive and time-consuming tasks that I will try to complete before July. With them behind me, the second half of 2018 will belong to bike racing!

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