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My 2014 cycling year in review; Thoughts on my Ride Everyday challenge.

Friday, January 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Cycling Year In Review, Daily Blog

January
2
2015

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.

Before I get into some of the specifics, here are few of my cycling stats and figures for 2014, as well as some of my more memorable/noteworthy rides. These numbers came from Strava and VeloViewer.

Distance: 20,146.25 kilometers / 12,518.3 miles
Elevation: 383,133 feet / 116,778.94 meters
Time: 648 hours
Rides: 378

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)

Fastest 100+ mile ride: 2014 Horse Farm Hundred – 23.3 mi/h / 37.5 km/h average (Strava, Ride Report)

Fastest metric century ride: 2014 Seminole Cyclefest – 24.4 mi/h / 39.27 km/h average (Strava, Ride Report)

Most painful 100+ mile ride: 2014 Mount Dora Bike Festival – 23.1 mi/h / 37.18 km/h average, no SAG stops, hot, ran out of water with 20 miles to go (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

INTERVALPOWER (WATTS)WATTS/KGDATE
1 second144918.15August 9, 2014
5 seconds101612.73July 5, 2014
10 seconds98312.31July 5, 2014
15 seconds95611.98July 5, 2014
20 seconds93611.72July 5, 2014
30 seconds85510.71July 5, 2014
45 seconds6868.59December 25, 2014
1 minute5977.48July 24, 2014
1.5 minutes5196.5October 18, 2014
2 minutes4876.1October 18, 2014
3 minutes4315.4October 18, 2014
4 minutes3844.81June 2, 2014
5 minutes3694.62June 4, 2014
6 minutes3504.38September 19, 2014
7 minutes3454.32September 19, 2014
8 minutes3384.23November 19, 2014
9 minutes3404.26November 19, 2014
10 minutes3424.28November 19, 2014
15 minutes3093.87November 12, 2014
20 minutes3063.83August 20, 2014
30 minutes2873.6April 21, 2014
45 minutes2813.52April 21, 2014
1 hour2793.49April 21, 2014
1.5 hours2523.16November 12, 2014
2 hours2493.12November 12, 2014
2.5 hours2443.06November 12, 2014
3 hours2212.77December 18, 2014
4 hours1922.41October 26, 2014
5 hours1832.29November 16, 2014
6 hours1622.03October 5, 2014
7 hours1161.45April 6, 2014
8 hours1091.37April 6, 2014
9 hours1091.37April 6, 2014
10 hours1091.37April 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)…

This photo is actually a screen shot from video shot on the Salt Springs Century ride a couple weeks ago. Absolutely beautiful! Also note the overlays, which add some cool context to the video.

This photo is actually a screen shot from video shot on the Salt Springs Century ride a couple weeks ago. Absolutely beautiful! Also note the overlays, which add some cool context to the video.

Another Rain ride. HTFU.

Another Rain ride. HTFU.

My friend William and I en route to another group ride. Beautiful morning.

My friend William and I en route to another group ride. Beautiful morning.

This was from Saturday morning's 170 kilometer WMBC XFL Training Ride #2. The fog took a long time to burn off. It was around 11:00 AM before we saw the sun.

This was from Saturday morning’s 170 kilometer WMBC XFL Training Ride #2. The fog took a long time to burn off. It was around 11:00 AM before we saw the sun.

The Husky's name is Ginger, and the smaller dog is called Nibbles. It was great to see the dogs get safely home.

The Husky’s name is Ginger, and the smaller dog is called Nibbles. It was great to see the dogs get safely home.

Highlight of my week right here. Rode over to Mike Simmons' house for our first spin together since his cancer surgery!

Highlight of my week right here. Rode over to Mike Simmons’ house for our first spin together since his cancer surgery!

We saw a lot of rain in November, so this photo looking over lake Apopka on a wet and gloomy morning was perfect for my November bike photo of the month.

We saw a lot of rain in November, so this photo looking over lake Apopka on a wet and gloomy morning was perfect for my November bike photo of the month.

A small swatch of the crowd just before the start of the 2014 Horrible Hundred. More than 2,000 cyclists were in attendance this year.

A small swatch of the crowd just before the start of the 2014 Horrible Hundred. More than 2,000 cyclists were in attendance this year.

The "A" group crossing the St. John's River, about 6.5 miles into the Seminole Cyclefest ride. I'm at the front of the double paceline, on the left.

The "A" group crossing the St. John’s River, about 6.5 miles into the Seminole Cyclefest ride. I’m at the front of the double paceline, on the left.

Hanging out with pro cyclist Grant Potter (Team Graner - Stradalli) and Stradalli CEO/cyclist Tom Steinbacher in Downtown Mount Dora after the "Assault on Sugarloaf" hammerfest.

Hanging out with pro cyclist Grant Potter (Team Graner – Stradalli) and Stradalli CEO/cyclist Tom Steinbacher in Downtown Mount Dora after the “Assault on Sugarloaf” hammerfest.

My friend Mark snapped this photo right before the start of the 2014 Mount Dora Bike Festival 100 mile ride. Ride Marshals had to wear fluorescent zip ties, so that's what that's about. (Photo credit Mark Schenkel)

My friend Mark snapped this photo right before the start of the 2014 Mount Dora Bike Festival 100 mile ride. Ride Marshals had to wear fluorescent zip ties, so that’s what that’s about. (Photo credit Mark Schenkel)

2014 Mount Dora Bike Festival 100 mile ride about to roll out. I believe there were around 500 cyclists on this particular ride.

2014 Mount Dora Bike Festival 100 mile ride about to roll out. I believe there were around 500 cyclists on this particular ride.

It's been two weeks and it still hurts like hell to walk...

It’s been two weeks and it still hurts like hell to walk…

Saw this beautiful scene on yesterday's ride, I had to stop and enjoy it!

Saw this beautiful scene on yesterday’s ride, I had to stop and enjoy it!

I wanted a shot with no bike and no fence. Loved the way the light looked here this morning.

I wanted a shot with no bike and no fence. Loved the way the light looked here this morning.

My favorite photo from August 2014 was this shot, which I took on the 4th. The storms rolled in towards the end of the ride, and made for a dramatic photograph (and a wet finish!)

My favorite photo from August 2014 was this shot, which I took on the 4th. The storms rolled in towards the end of the ride, and made for a dramatic photograph (and a wet finish!)

We Must Be Crazy kit!

We Must Be Crazy kit!

From yesterday's ride. Finishing up a good month of cycling with an easy spin on a beautiful morning!

From yesterday’s ride. Finishing up a good month of cycling with an easy spin on a beautiful morning!

I took this photo of my friend William as he was approaching the spot where we join up for the 21 km ride over to the group ride start. I snapped my derailleur hanger a few seconds later.

I took this photo of my friend William as he was approaching the spot where we join up for the 21 km ride over to the group ride start. I snapped my derailleur hanger a few seconds later.

From my first of three rides yesterday. This was about halfway through my first ride, just before 7:00 AM.

From my first of three rides yesterday. This was about halfway through my first ride, just before 7:00 AM.

Florida Flo - the main loop Mount Dora MTB Trails

Florida Flo – the main loop Mount Dora MTB Trails

Felt good to wear my dirt pants again!

Felt good to wear my dirt pants again!

My Bike Torture Chamber, all set for TrainerRoad's 2014 "8 Days of California"! This photo was snapped just before I saddled up and rode the first of eight grueling stages.

My Bike Torture Chamber, all set for TrainerRoad’s 2014 “8 Days of California”! This photo was snapped just before I saddled up and rode the first of eight grueling stages.

Stormy, but fun, ride yesterday morning.

Stormy, but fun, ride yesterday morning.

About 80 kilometers into yesterday's 103 kilometer ride. This photo sums up the conditions: very warm, dry and dusty.

About 80 kilometers into yesterday’s 103 kilometer ride. This photo sums up the conditions: very warm, dry and dusty.

Right after the crash. My elbow actually got off light: my right hip, glute and lower back absorbed most of the impact.

Right after the crash. My elbow actually got off light: my right hip, glute and lower back absorbed most of the impact.

Saturday's crash caused my rear derailleur hanger to snap off, ending my ride. My poor Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur has taken direct impacts in two hard crashes now, but it is still performing flawlessly.

Saturday’s crash caused my rear derailleur hanger to snap off, ending my ride. My poor Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur has taken direct impacts in two hard crashes now, but it is still performing flawlessly.

2014 Cross-Florida: just before the mass, police-escorted start.

2014 Cross-Florida: just before the mass, police-escorted start.

My patch after completing the ~170 mile journey from Florida's east coast to west coast!

My patch after completing the ~170 mile journey from Florida’s east coast to west coast!

John Stone Fitness Comments

8 Responses to “My 2014 cycling year in review; Thoughts on my Ride Everyday challenge.”
  1. Great pics. Favorite Cameo Appearance = Ginger and Nibbles.

    Personally I think it’s one of the most important aspects of riding to remember: miles, wattage, and heart rate are fine, but don’t stop appreciating where you ride and what you see. That’s what really keeps me from burning out.

    Me? I rode yesterday in about fifteen degrees on frozen mud on my cross bike with studs on. I was pretty dang frozen after about 2.5 hours and my legs are sore today, but want a great way to kick off the New Year. Beats the hell out of last year’s hangover.

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    • Speed and remaining in a nearly perpetual state of agony are two of the things I enjoy most about road cycling, and on most of my rides I don’t notice too much outside of my pain cone. Taking in the sights on recovery rides, however, is about the only thing that makes soft pedaling bearable. So I guess I agree. 🙂

      Awesome way to kick off the New Year, Neil!

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  2. Congratulations John! those are clearly some awesome goals you reached in 2014.

    As a network admin myself (also working from home), you’re an inspiration. I have to ask, you’re a Net-admin and have your own business on top of that? I’m struggling to make time as-is…

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    • Thanks!

      Yeah, my full time job is network administration, but John Stone Fitness LLC is a business and requires time and effort, too. Aside from the daily blogs and the day-to-day forum maintenance, there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff that takes up time, too.

      One of the ways I free up time for the things I really enjoy is I don’t watch much television (perhaps 3 hours every week, tops).

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