Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Rewind

2016 was a spectacular year of many firsts. From a record number of bike overnights to a new bicycle purchase to B&B touring in Canada, it gives me great pleasure, emotionally and physically, to expand and explore this bike universe, one singular moment at a time.

At 54 years old, let it be said that my thoughts on cycling and motivation are still evolving, and have been affected by recent changes: the rise of winter commuters, broad acceptance of cargo bikes, fat bike craze, improved infrastructure, inexpensive and better light systems, and increasing number of local social events. And, of course, there is the impact of the Internet, not only for the spread of information but also for purchasing, which - for better or worse for LBS - opens up a world of choices and options to accessorize, maintain, and/or buy a bicycle. So, with that said, here's my recap of 2016.

In January and February I surprised myself by periodically commuting during an unusually mild and snow-free winter. I also repaired much loved panniers and re-used bicycle tubes for an interesting do-it-yourself project plus continued my annual ode to bike bloggers, now in it's 4th edition.

During March and April I completed the Errandonnee, started experimenting with my first, nicer poncho in place of typical rain gear, and got caught in an April snow shower. I also bought my first non-tour type pannier, which has fulfilled my needs, though I had to repair the bag later in the year. I completed my first intentional spin during my lunch hour.

In May, after much research, I ordered a Rivendell Clementine, my first new bike in thirty years. I am still getting to know this bicycle so expect to hear more in the coming year.

Adele and I started our September trip with a great cup of coffee.
In June I began the first of a series of four (one for each summer month, a record for me) bike overnight/adventures, two of which included staying in B&Bs (thanks Adele, for another first!): 4-days in Canada, 3-ferry tour,  Grand Isle State Park, and Salaberry de Valleyfield with Adele.

Are you getting sick of me saying "first"? 

View from Day Mountain with The Cranberry Isles in the distance, Acadia National Park.
In July we explored more of Acadia National Park's carriage roads plus two trails in Portland, Maine. We spent more time as a family at our camp, which allowed me the wonderful opportunity to experience what I consider as the ultimate bike commute.

Clementine and Boda Boda.
In August, at about the same time as my Clementine arrived and I installed fenders and a rack, I had an opportunity to try my very first cargo bike and couldn't help comparing the two.  As both bicycles used platform pedals, in September I removed toe clips on my commuter bike and have been happy ever since. Also of note, our youngest son, who gained confidence after taking a bike mechanics class, began fashioning an old mountain bike into a single speed. It's nice to see one of our children taking to cycling and exploration.

Coffeeneuring #7, Battery Park.
The autumn months were a whirlwind of Coffeeneuring adventures, experimenting with a lightweight folding chair, Girls Ride Out fun rides, exploring the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail with my husband, attending fat bike demo day, and, to come full circle, transitioning back to riding in colder weather. And somehow, I managed to surpass the 3,000 mile mark for the year.

Having a year of firsts has broadened my bike horizons. I now own two different helmets (another first), one with less ventilation for the colder time of year. I learned that someday, I would like to have a cargo bike to share with our family, and that winter commuting is only a process, and not a weird transport option. Though 2016 is nearly behind me, the year's events felt like the beginning of something very exciting, an awakening of sorts, and so I look forward to the events that unfold in the new year.


  1. annie -we pedal on the Arcadia trails back in 1987 when we traveled the country looking for a new place to live. such luxurious trails meandering around, unlike the Erie canal trail which knows where it's going.

  2. Enjoying your blogs. The Clementine looks great.

  3. You did have a lot of "firsts" this year! I hope the new year brings you more great cycling adventures.

    1. Kendra - Happy New Year to you.

      I had some amazing opportunities, especially with the cargo bike. But also, I set some goals and also decided to try new things. When I started writing this post it became apparent that there were quite a lot of "firsts", but as I stated, the world of bicycles is changing and providing new avenues for cyclists. And fortunately, winter cycling is not an oddity anymore so a lot folks are trying it out.

  4. Interesting post! The world of bicycles and cycling is certainly changing, and for the better! It is great to see so many more people out on the road. I just hope that more people start getting out of their cars and begin to realize that a bicycle is a great method of transport. Re setting goals - I got a bad cold on 27th (everyone seems to have had one in some form or another, even the healthy outdoor cycling and running types, some worse than others) and thought I wouldn't achieve my target of 100 miles in December, but yesterday I felt well enough to go out and do the 15 miles needed to achieve it, combining it with shopping, even though it was raining.

    Thank you for writing such an interesting and useful blog.

    1. Lizzy, how wonderful that you were able to fulfill your cycling goal. And thank you for reading my biking thoughts! I write to connect with other cyclists (and sometimes just to ramble on) so it's wonderful to "meet" someone new, and that you sew is a bonus. Happy New Year!

  5. I loved reading your recap of the year! So much fun (and I truly couldn't help but grin ear-to-ear seeing the photo of you and Adele above -- something about smiling faces just makes me smile in turn).

    It's always wonderful to have firsts (I think) and to have so many of them rolled into one year? Even better.

    Happy New Year!! I hope you continue to enjoy the ride, in whatever form it takes. :)

    1. Thanks GE. Since These year-end posts have made me take stock in my bike accomplishments but also what's happened in my personal and family life, and how much they're a reflection of each other. If I'm happy on the bike I'm a much better partner and mom.


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