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.