2011... For the world at large was kind of a bummer year. A lot like 2010. There is still a global financial crisis. I'm losing more faith in the white house every day. Wait, I lost all of my faith sometime last year. At least the war in Iraq is over. Or is it? A lot of natural disasters. Sometimes it seems like the wolves are knocking at the door.
Luckily for my family, in the northwest, it was a great year. We all have jobs we like, awesome kids, good food to eat, and good health. I count those blessings every day.
The bikey highlights of 2011, from my perspective:
1. Increased number of people riding bikes out there, and increasing blowback from the media and car culture as a result. I guess that is to be expected. One fundamental problem is that the vast majority of cyclists also own cars. The reverse is not true. When I drive I have no problem whatsoever sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists. For a lot of motorists it doesn't work that way. They probably have never ridden a bike for transportation in their life, and can't see it our way. The solution? Support your local bike advocacy groups, ride a lot, especially for errands/commuting, and always be courteous and wear a smile. Lucky you, you're on a bike and having fun! Invite a non cyclist to go on a casual fun ride.
I intended to spend 2011 getting acquainted with the track, but managed to get some good results and was booted up into the elite category. For better or for worse, Viking Sport split up- the triathletes and some of the cyclocrossers will stay with Corpore Sano, the track and road racers are now First Strike Racing. I felt somewhat caught in the middle as I focus on both track and cyclocross, but it was natural to go with First Strike as we picked up a lot of great riders in 2011 on the track and have even more for 2012, including a guy named Kenny Williams that some of you may know. First Strike is looking to dominate elite/masters track racing in Seattle. For my part, I'm going to have to change the way I "train" to keep up in the elite races. By train I mean busting out the heart rate monitor and doing intervals or something. Something more than the ride easy in the winter on my commute, then ride harder as the days get longer that I did last year. No power meters or fancy stuff though- just can't do it.
3. I snagged a podium finish in a Cat 3 cyclocross race this year. I wanted an upgrade to the elite category but it didn't quite happen. I had fun racing cyclocross this year- it might be better to be an instigator in the Cat 3 rather than a clinger-on-for-life in the elite race.
4. I accepted a position at a great veterinary hospital that is much closer to my house. Gone is the 2 hour daily bike commute- its now 10 minutes each way. Its already made family life so much easier. The kids respond differently to me when I am at home so much more. l aim to get in some more longer training rides in the morning; hopefully I can maintain fitness with the reduced commute time. I still don't subscribe to the "junk miles" theory of road snobs. No such thing as junk miles. Any time on the bike is worthwhile.
Happy New Year!