2021 – Reflections

I haven’t blogged since September 2020 and since that time, I’ve had the thought that maybe this blog has run it’s course. What is the half-life of a blog, anyway?

There are no rules, of course. I have been cycling – more this year than any year in the past. The pandemic has hit all of us in different ways. Many people have lost their job and others have changed jobs. Working from home has changed my view of life and I’ve made some job changes as well. Covid has given me the opportunity to evaluate my priorities. I have been very lucky and privileged through all of this.

These changes include my cycling habits. In 2020, I went on one bike packing trip and I cycled about 3400 km (outdoors). Including indoor training, I spun my pedals 110 times and nearly 200 hours. After seeing these numbers a year ago, I decided to set some goals for 2021, I wanted to reach 5000 outdoor km’s and 150 days of cycling – either indoors or out. And I’m happy to say that I’ve accomplished both of those goals, with 5079 km and 216 days of cycling (a lot of those days were in the dark days of winter back in January through March. My “moving time” was abut 260 hours. I thought these goals were lofty, but attainable, and I hit my distance goal in November. Then I got lazy. The cooling temperatures and shortening hours of daylight acted to de-motivate me in the last couple of months.

So as we stumble through another wave of the pandemic into 2022, I’ll set the following goals: (1) 5500 outdoor kms, (2) 240 active cycling days.

The other thing that I’ve noticed about my cycling habits is that my rides are shorter and usually by myself. I’ve enjoyed riding along because I don’t have to worry about keeping up with others, and I can explore wherever I feel like going. Many of my rides have been with the city limits, along new (to me) trails and paths. And my work-from-home status has allowed me to go for an hour-ish ride before dinner (which never happened in the pre-pandemic days, unless I cycled to/from work).

Here’s a list of cycling and non-cycling things I’ve done since the start of the pandemic:

  • Sold four (4!) bikes and purchased one
  • Seen four live, in-person music concerts:
    • Boreal, outdoors, summer 2021
    • Kobo Town, outdoors, summer 2021
    • Scott Cook, outdoors, later summer 2021
    • Danny Michel, indoors, early December 2021
  • Sold one guitar and one mandolin, purchased one guitar and one bass guitar
  • Said goodbye to my 12-year-old pup Lucy and said hello to my new puppy Charlie
  • Changed my job status to hourly and picked up a part-time hourly contract
  • Celebrated two Christmases without my extended family
  • Flew to the Rockies (September 2020)
  • Enjoyed two group bike rides on July 1 (2020, 2021) – I’m going to make this a tradition
  • Vacationed near Mono, Ontario and rode some of the best gravel roads in the province (summer 2020)
  • Bikepacked once (3 days, Simcoe County Loop Trail, 2020)
  • Joined bikepackers on three occasions in 2021 for a day of their multi-day rides

I’ve been trying to focus on my mental health as well. The pandemic is affecting all of us in many ways, including our mental health. I have been keeping a journal and I try to focus on gratitude and all the privileges that I have benefit from.

I’ll end this blog post with some of my favourite cycling photo from 2021, and I’ll wish you all good health and a happy 2022.

July 1, 2021 – Kate leading the way – the rest of us are skeptical… (the map showed a trail, I swear!)
September 2021 – Cruising the Lazy Lizard trail in Fernie, BC.
August 2020 – The amazing gravel roads of Mono, ON.
September 2021 – Stopping for a photo with Michelle and Leanne who were on Day 1 of their Grand-with Ramble bike packing adventure.
Some of my best rides have been on trails close to home.

3 thoughts on “2021 – Reflections

  1. Thanks for posting Steve! I echo your feelings about riding alone. Over the last (14?) years I’ve enjoyed the cameraderie of riding with fellow cyclists in our local cycling club. The pandemic changed everything. Since I didn’t have a “riding bubble”, I needed to ride mostly alone – bummer. On the other hand, I grew to appreciate the flexibility of riding when I wanted (and when it was convenient for my household), when conditions were optimal (no appointed time), and being able to ride at the pace I wanted, taking breaks when I wanted, etc… One is not better than the other – just different. I’m riding strictly on the trainer over the winter until things improve enough to ride outside again. My injury in the last year has also prompted me to re-evaluate what I want to focus on in my fitness regime, etc…
    Have a good winter!

    Like

  2. Nice summary of your riding! glad to have joined you on a few of those kms. I think COVID has messed with your time perspective…all those live shows were in 2021 ;^)

    Liked by 1 person

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