Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Rewind

Step-through frame is my cats meow. What is your ideal bike?
I began 2014 evaluating what I require from The Ideal Bicycle, one that suits my particular style of riding. In the fall, I finally accept the Ross Mount Saint Helens on her own terms and treat the bicycle to decent tires.

I share my annual Blog Love list - those chroniclers of bike lore I like to celebrate every year. As some authors fall to the wayside, there are new, enthusiastic writers and photographers who enter the blogosphere.

In March I don woolies and warmers, to start the Errandonnee challenge. Also, I start a Tumblr blog for a marketing class: Upcycled Bike Bags. You might say, the subject's right up my alley.

My husband and I present our 2013 GAPCO slideshow to the community.

With an intensely cold winter, bike commuting to work starts in April, one month later than usual. Weekend rides are shining examples that Lake Champlain and its tributaries are slow to thaw.

I am proud of our children's acceptance of biking to friend's houses.
I've decided to not place my passion for pedaling upon our children, insisting instead that our boys ride for transportation. It is having a positive effect.

One satisfactory turnout in the women's ride series: a ride on the causeway.
In the summer I went on a mission to get more women on bikes by offering socially inspired rides. I didn't anticipate such a low turn out. Further thoughts resulted in How to Create More Bike Commuters. In 2015 I plan to research, revise, and offer a more diverse ride series.

My husband circles past me onto the Golden Gate Bridge.
We go on very few family rides these days—we have teenagers—so this ride was extra special and had surprising magic en route. Also, riding over the Golden Gate Bridge as a foursome kicked off our western vacation in high style.

A revitalized Peugeot UO 14.
A year for lots of wrenching.
I finished updating the Peugeot UO 14. It's now a zippy errand bike.

Turns out, this Peugeot was constructed just over the border from us in Canada.
I put together a commuter bike for our 15-year-old son. Side benefit: another 1980's bike is re-introduced to the mainstream. The Peugeot St. Laurent Express's two-tone color scheme sets this bike apart from the masses.

Franklin county farmland in early morning light.
Bike overnights rock!
2014 was another banner year: I completed 3 bike overnights. I asked for a birthday overnight and my family scrambled and helped it become reality. Have you ever seen the sun rise with pristine lake views from a peninsula campsite? Hazen's Notch/Lake Carmi's ride satisfied my appetite for fall colors while Tour de Ticonderoga makes me question why I often do solo adventures. With an adaptable and fun-loving companion, bike overnights can be an interesting and often hilarious experience.

During a relatively warm and dry October and November, I completed the Coffeeneuring Challenge, plus I explored the Intervale well into chilly December.

Again, I fell short of my 3000 mile annual goal, but it bothers me less and less—this being the second year in a row. Healing from a recent leg injury, I've come to realize my happiness stems more from individual accomplishments rather than miles traveled. In that regard, 2014 was a spectacular ride!


  1. Beautifully written end-of-year post, Annie. Wishing you a quick recovery from the leg injury and all the best in the new year.

    1. Thank you MG. I am gaining strength and limping less, day by day.

  2. Thanks for the recap. Now I'm starting to think about the future of cycling as a mum, it's very timely to reread some of your posts.
    I've just fallen short of my 4000 for the year - a cold icy snap at 7.5 months pregnant has meant that I've not been able to clock up the last couple of miles, but as you say it's the individual experiences that matter rather than counting the miles away.
    Best wishes for the new year.

    1. Georgie - Didn't you complete your first bike overnight this year? And, all by yourself? That, in itself, is a great accomplishment. You'll be onto another facet of life quite soon, a journey into motherhood. Good luck in 2015.

    2. I did - my first wild camp on the day I found out I was expecting too. Haven't had any other opportunities for wild camps, but I would love to do more of them.
      Stephen's not into camping unless we go in our grand 5-man tent with the airbed, duvet & reclining chairs... that will be what we're doing in May hopefully- I'm sure that will be here in no time.
      I suppose the timing has been good this year - I'm missing out on cycling during the worst weather we've had all year, by the time I'm ready to get going again the days will be longer and hopefully a bit warmer :-)

  3. A good year and nice year end rewind. I especially like...
    "I've come to realize my happiness stems more from individual accomplishments rather than miles traveled. In that regard, 2014 was a spectacular ride! "
    I feel the same way.

  4. A great review of your cycling year....Wishing you all the very best for 2015.

  5. Great Post Annie - get well soon. I find as I get older that its more about the smiles and less about the mileage. Hope you have many miles of smiles on the bike in 2015.


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