2010: The Year in Biking
My big goal for the year was to finish the Almanzo 100 in May. In 2009, I tried riding it and got crushed so I wanted to finish it. I started riding earlier and harder this year, including a brutal ride to Osceola in the rain.
April was the first 30 Days of Biking which helped me put on some miles.
All told, I rode 666 miles before the Almanzo. I also got a new bike, a 2009 Jamis Aurora touring bike that was nicely on sale. It's much more comfortable and nicer on the gravel than my old bike.
May 15: Almanzo 100
The training paid off, and I was able to finish in 11:40, tied for DFL with Garrick. Ben fell down and broke his collar bone at about mile 60, otherwise I think he would have finished, too.
May 30: Mankato to Faribault and back
I rode from Mankato to Faribault with Jenny (70 mile round-trip). This was Jenny's longest ride. It was nice ride, except that it rained for the last 10 miles and we got completely soaked.
June 17: Westside Dirty Benjamin
This was my second gravel Century and while still painfully slow I was able to better my Almanzo time and finish the 106 mile course in 11:20.
July was hot and I wussed out on many days. We went on vacation and Jenny and I were able to take in a bit of Portland by (rental) bike.
When I got back, I knew I needed to step up my riding to get ready for the Almanzo Gentleman's Ride in September. My new laptop-friendly panier and use of the locker room changing facilities helped me get back into riding to work. September brought another edition of 30 Days of Biking, which I also completed. That month, Jenny and rode to Minnetrista for a wedding (50 mile round trip). The impression this made helped make this one of my favorite bike trips so far. The next weekend was the Minneapolis Bike Tour, a pleasant little ride around the city on (mostly) car-free streets.
September 25: Almanzo Gentleman's Ride
The Gentelman's Ride was a team event, and I rode with Ben, Garrick and Erik. Depsite all the miles I'd ridden, the lull in the summer hurt me. We were doing OK, though I was feeling it, when Garrick's seat bolt snapped off around mile 80!
He tied it back on with string (!) but by that time it was starting to get dark and we were still 20 miles out. We decided to call it. However, we were able to retain some of our diginity by riding in on our own power. Even though we didn't finish the course, we still rode about 90 miles.
In October, while visiting my mom, we took a tour of the Pike 2 Bike, the only abandoned superhighway that's been converted to a bike trail. The road is crumbling, giving it an amazing post-apocalyptic feel.
October 22 and 23: Bike Camping
My final big bike adventure of the year was going bike camping for the first time. Ben and I rode out to Carver Park Reserve in Victoria loaded down with equipment (about 50 miles round trip). However, we didn't bring any food -- we headed into town and brought pizza back to our campsite. It was probably the best tasting pizza I've ever had.
What will 2011 hold? I'm not sure, but there some more rides I'd like to do, and I'd like to go bike camping even further out. Maybe I can top 4000 miles in 2011!