Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cold December Riding


There's not a Top Ten ride in here. There's no great performance rides in here although the day after Christmas I had a personal best in D.C. And I had one on the W&OD near Leesburg. But riding this month wasn't about performance.

Ashburn, Va. To left turn or not to left turn.

December should be a slow month. It is a cold month and this month was cold.

Train Station in Benson (Holsopple) Pa.

On June 2 I rode with Jamie Roberts near Bedford, Pa. We were talking about many things. She asked me how far I normally ride (year). I told her I like to get around 6,000 miles. But I was off to a slow start (then on pace for less than 3,500 miles). I expressed my doubt. She said "I think you can do it."
W&OD decorated for Christmas, Herndon, Va.

I didn't promise Jamie I would get to 6,000 miles. I sort of shrugged and we talked about eating at Panera in Altoona. 

The Grinch, Vienna, Va.

Going into December I was far off pace when I remembered that conversation. So I rode. And rode.

David Vito, Barry Sherry
Reston, Va.

In one stretch of 11 days I covered 400 miles. I fought the winds but mostly the cold. December miles are tough miles. But I covered more in December than in January, February, March, April or November. I rode the same distance (592 miles) that I rode in May.

Early morning on W&OD, Dunn Lorring, Va.

The day after Christmas, inspired by our conversation of six months ago, I reached that "goal" that I never really set out to achieve.

Four Mile Run Trail, Alexandria, Va.

It took a lot to ride long miles in December. An hour in the cold is OK. But two to three (or longer) and it's just cold. Fingers freeze. You think about being cold.

Union Station, Washington, D.C.

Many people ask me how far do I normally ride. I never know what to say. My average ride this year was 27 miles. In other years I think I was around 26 miles. But I don't ride every day.

Can you guess what this is?

In December my average ride was 33 miles. That's two hours, without stops, being outside in the cold. But I stopped. I took a lot of photos. By contrast, my average November ride was 21 miles. June was my best month, 39 miles per ride, but that was bolstered by six days of Ride the Rockies in which the average daily ride was 71 miles.

Stoney Creek, Hooversville, Pa.

Many of my descriptions of my December rides include the word "cold." Yet I kept riding. I am sure it was my "best" December ever and if November through February constitute cold-weather months, it was my best cold weather month ever.

Stoystown, Pa.

Almost 600 miles. Had I known today I was only eight miles short of 600 for the month I would have ... parked the bike anyhow. I was freezing.

Built 1813, Stoystown, Pa.

My "6,000" mile day was memorable in that I rode to Catholic University to honor Jamie. And my Pennsylvania ride on December 27 was pretty good. I forgot leg warmers and rode in the cold Pennsylvania air - planning to ride 10 but rode 27 miles - just an average ride in 2014.

The Miller Farm
Plank Road, Davidsville, Pa.

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