2012 was a reasonably good year from a biking/camping perspective. Sure, there could have been more miles, more day trips, more overnighters, more tours; but for what there was to work with, I think we did OK.
I managed a few more S24Os that were both fun and challenging at times, but the weather worked against me both in the beginning and in the latter part of the year to get away. It just seemed like whenever a window of opportunity opened up, rain was in the forecast.
The microtour was a crowning achievement, and has whet my appetite for more. Sloth and I had a good trip despite the heat and the hills. It was great to get away!
Riding for the sake of riding is not something I like to do, but sometimes you have to ride to get into shape for longer rides, so…I don’t think I was where I should have been before taking on some of the longer rides. Finishing a few of them was painful.
The gear (biking and camping) worked out pretty good. The new acquisitions fit well into the game plan, and I find myself getting more selective with things I’m hoping to add to the collection. The B67 saddle is working out great, and I’m still fiddling about with GPS, but I know a lot more than I did last year at this time.
So where would I like to go in 2013?
- More day trips going out 60-80 miles where my schedule allows. These can’t be hammerfests, but are more of the “toodling” variety. My recent trip to Kings Gap comes to mind; and I’d like to try out and backs to Gettysburg, southern York County, Shippensburg, etc…
- Getting fit for that is going to require riding more often to develop an aerobic base – I need that, and that means getting out more often than I do, even if it’s not necessarily biking.
- We’ve gotten past the “let’s see what this is about” phase to “S24Os are fun” phase. So let’s plan on a couple more S24O’s. Some gear upgrades to extend my season earlier into the spring and later into the fall might be in order. Michaux is probably the best bet because its known territory, but I’d like to get further back into the woods, and also try some new spots around the mid-state.
- Yep. I said touring. Another microtour (3 day) is on the bucket list, along with what I hope to be a 5 day. There is no real game plan for either at this point, but the road beckons, and I didn’t buy all this gear so I could continue to admire it in my garage.
Fitness in General:
- I’m only mentioning this because I have two unstructured goals. The first should be addressed with more biking; and that is to build back a strong aerobic base. When I was rowing, I had a resting pulse in the low 30’s. I’d like to get back in that direction. If I can get back on the bike more and steadily build up my distances, it should work.
- The other things is weight training. For some reason, this current weight routine has me bulking up a bit more than I’ve experienced in the past. I’m going to continue with that and now focus on my core a bit. My hope is that I can actually drop an inch or two of my waist. I’m careful not to mention weight loss, because I’ve actually gained some pounds on my arms and shoulders without needing to let my belt out a notch.
- But since I have mentioned weight loss, I’m going to gradually get back into the Primal/Paleo/Taubes diet. I figure I can’t go cold turkey, so I’m just going to focus on replacing certain meals and snacks with no carb options. Hopefully I can have things turned around by summer.
- I’m really happy with the camping kit that I’ve assembled. There is a fear, though, of getting caught out on a cold night that gets down lower than my bag can handle. I think I can greatly extend the range of my bag with both my liner and the down jacket, but I want to complete the package with a pair of insulated lightweight pants. Something like Mountain Hardwear, or even Montbell. This would also extend my camping season, and give me some lightweight packable kit to wear in the evenings, after the temperature has dropped, before turning in. What I’ve seen is pretty pricey, so I’ll need to keep a look out for spring clearances.
- For the two bikes I have, I’m not planning much in the way of changes. I’ve got the LHT for touring/camping and the X bike for day tripping/go faster riding. The LHT needs some drivetrain work, which I better get done soon. I might upgrade the lighting, again. I’d really like to have a USB power source for the Garmin, my phone, my Nook, and my rechargable batteries; and I have been lusting over a B&M Luxos. My biking budget for 2013 is whatever is in my change jar, so if this does happen, I’m torn between either selling the Cyo, or installing a dynohub on the X bike and selling the Airstream. Either way has big dollar signs in my future.
- And finally, the whole idea of rough trail biking camping is gaining appeal, and I have been going through the mental exercise of building up something like a Fargo. Ideally, I could have one frame with three different wheelsets for fast road, road touring, and rough trail; and get the stable down to one bike (really?). But we know it never works that way, and the idea of starting over with dialing in a bike just doesn’t excite me. At the most, I might play around with rebuilding a mountain bike into an adventure tourer with help from the parts box.
So 2013 should be a good year. Lots of miles, lots of camping, lots of fun. See you out there!