Happy 2014! A Quick-ish Summary of 2013 - Riding, Gear and More.
Happy New Year, world!
It's been another fun year on the bike - for those not following me on the Strava (my profile here), it's been another great year - got out 4-5 days most weeks, really started logging more distance (including several 5-6hr rides!), and average ride length grew as well, as i felt stronger. (For example, instead of a more direct route to the velodrome, i'd add in some extra distance so my ride there was over an hour.)
Lost some weight as well - usually am in the 162lb range, and for more than six months i've been down around 152lbs. Still kinda surprised when i step on the scale, i keep expecting to float back up, but this seems to be my 'new' weight, and i'm not complaining as much on the hills..haha..
My power has been good - it hasn't dropped any since i lost weight (which was a concern, often weight loss also means power loss).
I didn't focus quite as much on racing, probably the TT got the most focus - and it payed off! Got my Sidney Velo PB from 2012 (24:49) down to 24:31. Bummed i didn't crack 24:30, but one more goal for next year! Didn't do too much on the track, and cyclocross was going well until i got sick in early October, and that lasted nearly three weeks (a few days i was on my butt, but after it just sort of lingered.) So that fouled my fitness (which seems to drop quickly if i'm not out riding a lot....grrr...) Oh, and in the VCL i tied for 12th (or 11th depending on how you score it). Very surprised by that, as i only went to a few events...but it really helped by winning one of the Hill Climbs! haha - that's right, for 2013 i'm somehow the KOM for Neild Rd!!
Had no problems completing the Festive 500 again, that'll be my third patch! Weather was especially nice this year, don't think i got rained on for a single km of it!
Gear-wise, my favorite new items are the Specialized Purist bottles, the Bell Javelin TT helmet (lets you keep your head low with the full visor, essential for being more aero, imo). Similar feature with the Smith PivLock V2 shades - never want to have glasses with a frame again!! I can keep my head low, and still see ahead of me. My latest fancy purchase is a Sugoi RSX jacket, with a new PolarTech material (Neoshell?) - it's like GoreTex, but significantly more breathable. And it really is! I freaking love this thing! When it's wet, it keeps the water off, but when it's dry, it breathes so well that i'm a LOT drier than i am wearing any other shell in cool weather. It's not quite as wind-proof as GoreTex, so you also want slightly warmer layers, but it really pays off. Speaking of GoreTex, my Gore booties (GoreTex) have been AMAZING - they make a huge difference and am often surprised my feet are still dry when it's pouring out, and they've held up really well too.
Looking ahead, i'm hoping to pick up some of the new Specialized Turbo tubeless tires. A bit worried as they 24cc, and my fenders are already pretty tight with 23's. But the Hutchinson tubeless tires have got to go - they have horrible grip in the wet. For bigger purchases, i'm considering electronic Campy, probably the Chorus....the nicest thing being that i can put my aero clip-on bars, and still shift with the remote plug-ins...that would be swell. =)
I've been riding in Vancouver a lot, as my sweetie Lesley lives there (and our 6 month anniversary is in January, woowoo!) - we come back and forth between cities, and it's been cool to ride new roads, and one real stand-out feature are the mountains - Cypress and Seymour. Rode up both a number of times over the summer, pretty amazing to train on, wish we had something like that near Victoria. Also joined up with the Mighty Riders group there, really nice people if you're looking for a firm Sunday ride.
Of course the Oak Bay Bikes ride is a staple, joining in the Saturday ride when i'm here, and the Sunday ride is really great too, lead by Joe and Kim - easier pace, but usually turn off up towards Durrance, and the pace picks up...which makes for a nice warm-up. Great people on both ride as well.
Been rocking many of the same supplements - Vega is still a big staple, the main products i rely on are the Sport Protein (vanilla) and Recovery Accelerator (tropical mango). I'll usually mix both into orange juice after a ride, very tasty!! Maca is also REALLY amazing when i'm particularly stressed (either from training, or life-stuff as well.)
I'm also still finding the Purica Recovery to be very beneficial, especially when i'm logging more miles and it helps keep the fatigue at bay! And their Cordyceps i think help add some endurance, perhaps helping with my TT training, and keeping the legs turning over during long rides.
Those are the highlights, off the top of my head! It's been good to see veganism in more and more headlines, and with people out highlighting that they're vegan, hopefully it's helping to make it more accessible to people, and show companies that there is a demand for vegan people.
One wacky area is 'gluten'. Personally, i have no issues with it, and enjoy my fair share (avoiding processed foods, but there are lots of healthy whole foods with gluten, like Silver Hills Bread, one of my favorites!) Somehow GF foods are EVERYWHERE, despite the fact that about 1% of the population has a sensitivity. On the flip side, over 2% of the population is vegan (and upwards/above 10% in a lot of areas are vegetarian) yet we don't see 'vegan' sections in the grocery store. It's bizarre how it's taken off, despite having a smaller population base.....shows just how powerful trends can be. (And no, many GF foods are not vegan...you'd think they would be tho. Lots of egg and dairy allergies too.)
Gonna wrap it up there, but let's take a peek at my year in numbers, according to Strava!
Distance 13,244km (2012 - 12,944.4km)
Time 498hrs (2012 - 482hr 42m)
Elev Gain 117,420 (2012 - 103,583m)
Rides 285 (2012 - 216) (bunch more commuting!)
Bikes (Total distance)
Niner RIP9 551k (2012 - 357.3km)
Ridley Noah 14,517km (2012 - 7,294.9km)
Ridley Orion 11,232km (2012 - 6,633.3km)
Ridley X-Night 2,952km (2012 - 1,914.3km)
* note - totals are cumulative, so the '2012' number actually includes 2011 as well.
Ahh..stats. Rode a bit more this year...significantly more elevation.
I seem to be averaging 1000km a year on the CX bike, but again you can see the importance of a nice winter bike - i still spend nearly half my riding on it!
That's a wrap, thanks for tuning in, and hopefully i'll blog again before 2014. ;)