My 2014 cycling year in review; Thoughts on my Ride Everyday challenge.
2014 was, by far, the most memorable, challenging and rewarding of my relatively short cycling career (I didn’t take up road riding until late 2012, and had only been mountain biking a couple years at that point).
I had three major cycling goals for 2014: ride at least 20,000 kilometers/12,428 miles, ascend a minimum of 360,000 feet/109,728 meters and ride my bike every single day, without fail, in 2014 (a minimum of 10 miles for a day to count towards this goal).
I’m happy to report that I was successful in reaching all three of these goals! The most difficult goal was my “ride every day” challenge, and I’ll talk more about that below.
Distance: 20,146.25 kilometers / 12,518.3 miles
Elevation: 383,133 feet / 116,778.94 meters
Time: 648 hours
Average Daily Distance: 55.195 kilometers / 34.297 miles
Average Daily Elevation: 1,049.68 feet / 319.942 meters
Average Daily Riding Time: 1h 47m
Average Monthly Distance: 1,678.854 kilometers / 1,043.191 miles
Average Monthly Elevation: 31,927.75 feet / 9,731.578 meters
Average Monthly Riding Time: 54 hours
Longest Ride (distance): 268.92 kilometers / 167.1 miles (2014 Cross-Florida: Strava, Ride Report Part I, Part II)
Longest Ride (time): 8h43m04s (2014 Cross-Florida)
Greatest elevation in a single ride: 6,129 feet / 1,868.12 meters (Clermont Hill Training Ride)
Highest Strava Suffer Score: 245 (2014 Horrible Hundred – 21.1 mi/h / 33.96 km/h average, 5,210 feet elevation – Strava, Ride Report)
Number of Personal Records for time set in 2014: 477
Number of flats in 2014: 19
Peak VeloViewer Score: 99.01 (December 31, 2014)
Peak FTP (Functional Threshold Power): 305
Peak FTP/kg: 4.12
Power Output Personal Records as of December 31, 2014 - Weight: 79.83 kg - FTP: 305
|1 second||1449||18.15||August 9, 2014|
|5 seconds||1016||12.73||July 5, 2014|
|10 seconds||983||12.31||July 5, 2014|
|15 seconds||956||11.98||July 5, 2014|
|20 seconds||936||11.72||July 5, 2014|
|30 seconds||855||10.71||July 5, 2014|
|45 seconds||686||8.59||December 25, 2014|
|1 minute||597||7.48||July 24, 2014|
|1.5 minutes||519||6.5||October 18, 2014|
|2 minutes||487||6.1||October 18, 2014|
|3 minutes||431||5.4||October 18, 2014|
|4 minutes||384||4.81||June 2, 2014|
|5 minutes||369||4.62||June 4, 2014|
|6 minutes||350||4.38||September 19, 2014|
|7 minutes||345||4.32||September 19, 2014|
|8 minutes||338||4.23||November 19, 2014|
|9 minutes||340||4.26||November 19, 2014|
|10 minutes||342||4.28||November 19, 2014|
|15 minutes||309||3.87||November 12, 2014|
|20 minutes||306||3.83||August 20, 2014|
|30 minutes||287||3.6||April 21, 2014|
|45 minutes||281||3.52||April 21, 2014|
|1 hour||279||3.49||April 21, 2014|
|1.5 hours||252||3.16||November 12, 2014|
|2 hours||249||3.12||November 12, 2014|
|2.5 hours||244||3.06||November 12, 2014|
|3 hours||221||2.77||December 18, 2014|
|4 hours||192||2.41||October 26, 2014|
|5 hours||183||2.29||November 16, 2014|
|6 hours||162||2.03||October 5, 2014|
|7 hours||116||1.45||April 6, 2014|
|8 hours||109||1.37||April 6, 2014|
|9 hours||109||1.37||April 6, 2014|
|10 hours||109||1.37||April 6, 2014|
Looking back at the past year and my three major goals (distance, elevation and riding every day), I think I did a good job of making my goals for 2014 tough, but achievable.
My elevation goal of 360,000 feet was the first goal to fall. I reached the 360,000 foot mark on December 6, 2014. While we don’t have any mountain climbs here in Florida, many are surprised that our “flat” state actually has a fair number of decent hills. You just have to seek them out!
My distance goal was a particularly hard challenge. In order to reach my goal of 20,000 kilometers / 12,428 miles, I had to ride an average of 34.05 miles every single day of the year. It was close, but I crossed the 20,000 kilometer mark on December 28, 2014–just three days to spare! When I knew I’d crossed over the goal, a big goofy grin appeared on my face and remained there for the rest of the ride. It was a great feeling.
The most difficult goal, by far, was my Ride Every Day in 2014 Challenge. My rules for this challenge were pretty straightforward: I had to ride my bike every day in 2014, and I had to ride at least 10 miles for that day to count towards the goal. Of course my 2014 distance goal of 20,000 kilometers / 12,428 miles required me to ride much more than 10 miles per day, so the reality was I only rode close to the minimum on a couple of days. As mentioned above, my average daily ride was 55.195 kilometers / 34.297 miles in length.
In order to reach my “Ride everyday” goal I had to overcome quite a few obstacles. Some of those challenges included riding while injured (I crashed hard on a Cross-Florida training ride, and was in a considerable amount of pain–especially my back–for weeks following that wreck); I had to ride while sick; I rode in the cold; I rode in the rain; once I rode while sick in the cold rain (that ride really sucked); during a little over a two week period I had to ride while enduring stressful 70-80 hour work weeks; I rode with a badly broken toe; I rode (often) with very painful saddle sores; I rode when I had to put my best friend of 18 years, Loki, down; I rode in the dark; I rode in the fog; I rode while tired and I rode when I just flat-out didn’t feel like riding.
While I had to work through a few difficulties, I also enjoyed several advantages; I would be remiss if I did not mention them…
First and foremost, I had the support of my beautiful wife, Lisa. Lisa encouraged me and was 100% behind me the entire year. Without Lisa’s support, there is no way I could have done this. Thank you, Lisa! 🙂
I work full time as a Network Administrator and, of course, I own my own business. While those two jobs keep me very busy, I do enjoy a fair amount of flexibility with my schedule. I generally can ride in the mornings at will (but rarely in the afternoons), and that is a very nice benefit. One of the downsides of my position is that I have no backup. I’m on call 24/7, and I have not had a real vacation in almost 15 years. So there were times when I had to ride over lunch, at 4:30 in the morning or whenever I could sneak away from my desk. But, overall, working from home is certainly something that helped me get my rides in.
Another advantage is that I own multiple bikes, I have a nice home bike shop, and I am able to do all of my own repair work. There were times when my main road bike was out of commission while I waited on parts that were worn out, broken or destroyed in wrecks/mishaps (I think I went through 4 derailleur hangers this year). Having backup bikes saved my streak on several occasions.
Last, but certainly not least, are all the awesome people with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to ride. Over the past year I’ve shared the road with some of the coolest and most inspiring cyclists around. While I had to do quite a bit of solo riding to reach my goal, the group rides were the highlights of my year and kept me going. I could not have reached my goal alone–thank you all for your support and encouragement–it really helped.
My 2015 cycling goals are going to be a little more open-ended, and not quite so restrictive. While I’m sure I’ll be putting up some nice numbers with regards to millage and elevation, my main focus will be getting even faster, and finally getting into bike racing. 🙂
I’ll sign off this report with some of the ride photos, in no particular order, I took over the past year (click any to enlarge)…