Simone over at “From Meltdown to Ironman” bestowed upon my blog the WordPress Family Award. I am, as always when receiving recognition for this blog, grateful. The first time I was given the award I wrote about it here.
Simone is some kind of special though… Check out her photography skills here. I wish I could take pictures like that, what an eye.
Also, Sandra at A Promise to Dad bestowed upon me the Versatile Blogger Award. This is my second go at that one as well… Wait a minute! Sandra, you nominated me for the first one! Goodness, color me blushing. Thanks again Sandra. 😀
I think for this go-around with the WordPress Family Award I’d like to nominate a few I haven’t featured here (with the exception of chatter – I’ve given him more than one award because I dig that dude).
Chris Collins at NZmultisports
Kevin Kidder at Cycling in NY
This season was far better than I ever could have imagined. A shiny new steed, my 5,000 mile goal virtually in the bag (less than 200 miles to go in two and a half months), and personal bests abound, better than a 1 mph gain on my Tuesday club rides (I went from 19.6 – 20.6 mph in 2012 to 20.6 – 22 mph average speed on open roads) including my fastest century ever, by about a half-hour:
- One hour 23.64 miles (38 km)
- 10 miles 24m:28s
- 20 km 30m:58s
- 50 km 1h:20m:37s
- 50 miles 2h:10m:03s
- 100 km 2h:44m:25s
- 100 miles 4h:36m:00s
All things considered, I’m quite pleased. I went out for my normal afternoon ride yesterday and I realized about two miles in that my Venge, after a bunch of tinkering with shifting cable tension, much-needed new wheels and a few saddle adjustments, I’ve got it absolutely dialed in – it’s perfect and feels exactly how I’d imagined a high-end race bike should. It’s so perfect, I abandoned thoughts of upgrading some of the components to shed a little more weight. Unless I can get components that already match what I’ve got on the bike it simply wouldn’t be worth it.
As far as fitness goes, there’s no doubt I’m stronger (at least as far as cycling goes) and much more able to ride a long haul. My confidence was way up from last year also, when I consistently struggled mentally to get a long ride done (call it 80+ miles). While there have been times when I’ve thrown in the towel on the Tuesday night club ride, I was hopeful that I’d be able to start keeping up this year but never under the delusion that it was a lock – I am, after all, trying to keep up with legitimate racers. There’s definitely room for improvement and I can work on that.
Finally, and I kept the best for last, my wife really picked up cycling this year. I’ve been doing everything I can to not only be supportive but keep my distance as well so she could develop her own enjoyment of the sport. Curbing my enthusiasm at times, especially when she starts talking cycling, has been a little more than difficult. That said, it certainly appears as though she’s been fairly bitten and riding with her has been vastly more enjoyable than I ever anticipated. Between riding in the mountains on vacation and our little treks while the kids are away, being able to ride as often as I have with Mrs. Bgddy has really helped me with my end of the marriage. We did well before cycling but what we have now is next-level awesome.
This certainly isn’t the end of cycling for the year by any means but as of Tuesday, I’m calling the season a wrap. From today through the Thanksgiving Weekend (end of November), I’ll keep heading out as often as I can but I’m certainly not going for any personal bests. Then, come December 1st (or so), it’s time to prepare for an even better 2014.