A Year In Review

Everesting on Skyline Drive

2018 is coming to a close in just a few short weeks.  Outdoor rides are shorter and further between, and indoor riding on the trainer is picking up. I thought I’d look back over some of the highlights of my riding this year.  What were some of your cycling highs this year?

This year was a little tough for cycling, as there was so much rain.  Certainly the wettest year I can remember.  Out of all the events I attended or organized myself, I think only about 2 or 3 did NOT rain or at least threaten to rain.  I still managed to put the miles in:  I have over 5,000 miles so far this year on the bike, 3,700+ of which were outdoors, and I’m closing in on 300,000 feet of elevation gain.  And I cannot stand rain, so I avoided riding in the rain as much as possible!  Of course, I did get wet a few times!

One of the biggest highlights of the year was the Triple Peak Gran Fondo that we put on.  The inaugural event was very well received, and well attended despite the predicted rain and overcast day (thankfully the rain held off until after everyone finished!).  Cyclists from all around came out, and it was neat to talk with them all.  Everyone agreed we have some great roads to cycle on!  I cannot wait for next year.  https://www.elementsport.com/triple-peak-gran-fondo-2019/

 

We had some other great rides like the Gritventures and the Southern Traverse mountain bike epic, as well.  Definitely keep an eye on our events for next year. https://www.facebook.com/pg/elementsports1/events/

This year we also helped build new mountain bike trails at Cacapon State Park.  For those who love mountain biking, be sure to check out the new trails.  Mark Hoyle did most of the coordinating with the Park to get things moving forward, and the trails have come a long way in a short time.  We look forward to how we can help in the new year!

Scouts at work on the new trail

Standing next to the trailhead workstation

Speaking of mountain biking, I attempted the Shenandoah Mountain 100 mountain bike race again, hoping to finish under 10 hours.  The trails were extremely muddy, and I was hampered by flats, so the low was that I did not make my goal.  However, it wasn’t without reward: I got to ride a significant portion of the course with my son; it was so cool he was up to attempt the challenge.  He was not able to make the time cut-off at station 4, but we still got 75 miles and some quality time together (not to mention drenched, as we got caught in a hellacious downpour!)

Not only did we have a good time at the SM100, my son Benji made me proud by winning the King of the Mountains for his age group and route at Jeremiah Bishop’s Alpine Loop Gran Fondo!  It’s a hard ride, and he rode the 78 mile loop and put up the overall best time for the timed segments on the mountains.  Way to go, Benji!

And, of course, I cannot forget the Everesting I completed back in June!  29,029+ feet in one ride.  Took me over 24 hours, and almost 25 times up and down the first climb on Skyline Drive to reach that goal.  One of the toughest things I ever did on a bike.  But it was much more about mental toughness than physical limits.  I put a super low gear on my bike so i would never have to pedal that hard, so I never really struggled physically.  But reps 18-20 in the middle of the night were hard!  I almost thought about throwing in the towel, but I was glad I did not!

Of course, I had hundreds of other great rides with family and friends, as well as on my own, but I don’t need to detail all of them.  Now I’m working on putting some goals for 2019 together.  Some will be easy to reach, some will be a stretch, and some may not even be possible.  I know I will be attacking the SM100 again, and Benji wants to complete it this time.  I may even shoot for 500,000 feet of elevation gain. But set those goals!  You’ll be surprised what you can do!