Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 cycling review

The year is not quite over yet, but I'm not expecting anything significant happening in the last few days of 2010.

Despite having set no explicit goals for this year, this year has been similar as the previous two years: start out ok for the first 3-4 months, considering it is still winter or just rainy season, then fall off the cycling earth for two months due to travel, and come back with a vengeance (or at least try) for the second half of the year.

2009 / 2010 comparison:
- Jan-Mar: 465 / 518 miles
- Mar-Jun: 388 / 475 miles
- Jul-Sep: 1235/ 841 miles
- Oct-Dec: 1053 / 725 miles

So 2559 miles for the year, which is about 600 miles less than last year, but somewhere in line with the years prior. Clearly, I started out better this year than 2009, but then lost out in the second half. The reason for the August slump was a trip to Germany for two weeks. November was again the best month (2009: 507 miles, 2010: 421 miles) due to my annual cycling camp in Maui, but overall mileage in those last three months still suffered.

In September I decided to add bike racing to my resume, so I joined the Peninsula Velo Cycling club, and participated in two races, the Oakland Grand Prix Criterium, and a week later, the Central Coast Circuit Race in Fort Ord on the Monterey Peninsula. It was a great experience and I was hooked.

My goals for 2011 so far: participate in as many races as possible in the first three months, and move up to Cat-4. After that, either the familiar, annual pattern (travel and forget how to ride a bike), or something new, will happen ... and after getting back to "normal" by mid-year, I will define my goals for the remainder of the year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wed, Dec 8

So what has been happening since I returned from sunny, warm Maui to the rainy and cold Bay Area ?

After struggling several days with the shock of the 35F+ drop in temperature, I finally convinced myself to a 1 1/2 hour ride, which left me with cold feet and no desire to ever ride again at anything below 75 degrees. Alas, this is where I live, so what can I do, considering my 2011 goals.

The first step was to renew my 2011 USA Cycling racing license, and then sign up for "Right Start Beginners Clinic" on Dec 5, held in Livermore. This 6-hour clinic covered some indoor, and mostly outdoor training, from becoming comfortable riding shoulder to shoulder, bumping handle bars, crossing wheels and doing emergency stops. All those exercises were held on a soccer field to avoid any injuries in case of falls or crashes. After lunch, the exercises moved to the road, to practice doing left and right U-turns, even one-handed (!), cornering alone and with one or two more riders, riding in a paceline, and sprinting. Apart from getting this valuable information and practice, I enjoyed the comraderie among like-minded cycling enthusiasts. Joining the cycling club and participating in a couple of races already made several new friends.

A day later, the PV Performance Racing Team kickoff took place, introducing our coach and presenting details about the upcoming season.

So now the race is on, literally. I will start the season with the Early Bird Crits in Fremont, starting on January 9, and running through Jan 30, and ending with the last race in that series on Feb 13. Along with all the upgrade points collected by then, plus some races in February, I should be able to move up to Cat-4 by March. So this is it: the goal. The only thing left to do for now: get back on the road ... despite the cold !