2010 was very rewarding from a cycling perspective and not so much from a health perspective. I started cycling again back in April of 2009 to lose weight, lower my blood pressure and get in better shape. That first year, I managed to lose 30 lbs and ride a little over 2,500 miles. This year, I managed a little over 5,000 miles and lost another 25 lbs (it would have been 5 lbs more if the Christmas cookies hadn’t intervened). I managed 4 rides of 100 miles or more, 3 of them on back-to-back-to-back weekends, along with quite a few rides over 50 miles. My blood pressure is in much better shape and I’m happy about the fact that I avoided the medication route with my lifestyle changes. On the negative side, I had to have surgery to repair an umbilical hernia and had a pretty bad crash whose effects still linger both physically and mentally. My face still feels like I’ve just returned from the dentist after Novocaine and I’m still a little spooked on my descents. Overall, I’m just thankful to be still riding because both of my medical emergencies came very close to ending that for me.
This year I also made some great new friends while riding my bike. In one way or another, every one of them has inspired me to improve some aspect of my cycling. It’s been fun riding in groups and meeting new people. I still ride a fair amount on my own which is OK because sometimes I need that time to decompress. Finally, I managed to get my wife out riding and she actually enjoys it. This is important to me because I spent a lot of time on my bike this year and she’s always been very supportive, but it is time where we are doing different things. I don’t expect she’ll ride at my level anytime soon, but that’s OK too, I can adjust my riding to ride with her. As she likes to say, “I’m his recovery ride.” It’s been fun and that’s the way I want to keep it.
So, what’s next for 2011?
- I need to lose another 20 lbs. So far my weight loss has come primarily from cycling and eating a little more intelligently. To lose another 20 lbs. I’ll need to start working on some other parts of my body.
- I’m going to attempt a triathlon. I’ve been swimming, running and cycling a good part of my life, why not combine all three. I’d love to work my way up to a 1/2 Iron Man before I get too old and decrepit to do it. I don’t think I could ever manage a full Iron Man because I have some lingering sports injuries that would prevent me from running a full marathon.
- I’m going to attempt Tour das Hugel. I thought about doing that this year, but health issues got in the way. After riding with my friend Mike, I clearly need to up my game in the hills. I made good progress this year, but I have a lot of work to do.
- I’m going to try some new organized rides. This year I missed out on the Ring of Fire ride. With a name like that, how could you not want to do it?
- I vow to actually attend Wurst Fest after doing the Wurst Ride. After all, isn’t that the point of the ride, aside from raising money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation?
I’m not going to set any mileage targets because I already know I’ll be spending a lot of quality time with my bike. What do you have in store for 2011?