The main thing that sucked about 2020 was a virus that, ironically, looks like a loogie. Of course, not everything touched by the virus was bad. In my home state, the governor paid most of the state to take at several weeks off work, though I won’t bother with the politics of it in this post. It was my first non-vacation stretch off work since I was fifteen and COVIDcation meant a lot of cycling. For the first time since I’ve been paying attention I put in a thousand-mile April – virtually impossible while working because the weather’s so sketchy that early in the season.
It was a lighter than average year in terms of blog “hits” with 94,500 and some change, but it was a big improvement over last year (22%), and that’s still a lot of hits, baby. The blog is around 931,000 hits since I started it in 2011 and I’m looking forward to crossing 1,000,000 sometime in 2021. I published 407 posts this year and took about 231,000 words to get them done. Also, I passed the 2,000,000 word mark for the blog in October. In terms of content, I think I did what I was meant to, though I’ll always look for ways to improve.
On the fitness front, I’ll end up with 9,828 overall miles, 8,370 of those occurring on a road surface of some sort, outdoors. To put that in perspective, that 8,370 outdoor miles is better than my overall mileage for 2019, and I’m digging that. Better, while the virus messed up a lot of good things, it only slightly affected cycling. We rode solo through March and much of April (I was fortunate to be able to ride with my wife almost every day), but come May, we were starting to group up again. If memory serves, we started Tuesday nights up in June and we put in our best B Group effort ever on my birthday: 24-mph average for a little more than 28 miles (and it happened on Strava). We had some great rides together over the late spring/summer/early fall months, though we did keep the groups fairly reasonable in size. In fact, I followed all of the rules with social distancing and wearing a mask outside of cycling, solely so I could ride with my friends without. Throughout the entire season, not one case was passed between us (though a few in our tight-knit group did come down with COVID and recovered). All said and done, it was a banner year on the bike.
Sure, they canceled our Kentucky trip and DALMAC was pushed off till next year, but other than a few road trips, I didn’t miss out on much. As 2020 closes, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2021. And I’m counting the days till I get vaccinated – and back to normal. In the meantime, it’s time to start training for spring 2021. It’s time to up the intensity on the trainer and doing some weight workouts. I’ve picked up a speed sensor for the Trek, so I’m going to stick only to Strava rather than mess around with posting trainer miles on one app and outdoor miles on Strava.
As recovery goes, this has been an awesome year – much better than most. The year wasn’t without its challenges and I hated Zoom meetings, but we started up bandit outdoor meetings almost immediately after the lock down started and that got me in touch with just how far I’d go to stay sober. Michigan in March and April isn’t kind and we spent a couple of meetings under umbrellas, shivering in the rain, sleet and cold drinking coffee for warmth. I’m still attending in-person meetings in the proper setting, with distancing measures in place and masks a requirement (though you’ve always got the knucklehead who refuses to cover their nose). 2020 turned out to be a “go to any length” year for recovery and I definitely made the most of the $#!+ show in that regard. Perhaps, out of everything that went on last year, this is what I’m most grateful for.
Finally, there’s my family life. 2020 was a challenge in every way, including with our family. We had some massive struggles as anyone would expect. My wife and I, cooped up together in the same house without the distraction of me being at the office or on a jobsite between nine and eleven hours a day was… difficult on both of us. We kept the main focus in front of us, though, and pushed through it. For me, the hardest part was being pissed at my wife for slights I was guilty of myself. It was almost impossible to see in the mirror until just recently. I’ll keep the explanation simple; I asked God to open my eyes to what I was missing. Within twelve hours, I got it. I made my direct amends immediately to a tearful wife and now my job will be to remember this day and change my behavior. This is why I continue to attend meetings. Today will be a much better day.
There’s no doubt I’ll keep coming back. Just for today. Good times and noodle salad, baby.