Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Highlights

Living in the present is difficult for me as I'm constantly evaluating the past so I can use that experience to improve the future. 

A year ago today, I reached a goal that I'd thought impossible: I rode the nearly 46 mile round trip from my home to the western trail head of the W&OD trail.

January: Flexed connections by busting a delivery driver for aggressive driving and received an apology from the regional director and a promise of educating area employees.

February: Attended the Stop, Swap, & Save event and enabled a friend in the purchase of her very own bicycle. Purchased the speedy Specialized Dolce so I could ride farther faster.

March: Started using clipless pedals on the Dolce. Purchased the adorable Trek Cruiser because I was overcome by the cute. Went to BicycleSPACE for the first time and test rode a Pashley Sovreign.

April: Rode the "Arlington Triangle" during a 40-mile training ride from Sterling. Rode in Paul's Ride for Life. Watched as the space shuttle Discovery was flown directly over my building during its tour of the DC area before being parked at the Air & Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center. (My employer's campus is directly north of Dulles Airport and Udvar-Hazy.) Crossed paths with a turtle during the morning commute. My first turtle!

May: Rode the streets of DC and Arlington with Scott and several hundred of our cycling friends during the Bike DC event. Met a couple of bike commuters I pass every day at the Sterling stop for Bike to Work Day. Hopped the Metro with the Ariel and rode the streets of DC by myself  to test ride upright bicycles from District Hardware, BicycleSPACE, and City Bikes. Visited New Orleans, took photos of nearly ever bicycle I saw there, and noted the presence of bike lanes and sharrows throughout downtown.

June: Rode 55 miles in the American Diabetes Association's National Capital Area Tour de Cure and raised $1200 thanks to generous friends, family, and blog readers. I cannot say THANK YOU enough. Purchased the Public Bikes C8 and immediately began customizing her.

July: After reading so much about the Memphis/Shelby County Greenline, I rode from the eastern trail head in Germantown to the western trail head and then braved the mean streets of mid-town Memphis to ride to my best friend's house (where I promptly collapsed from heat exhaustion). I look forward to doing that again, minus the heat exhaustion.

August: Took a couple of rides with Bike Me DC and broke a spoke during the last one. Most of the month was too blasted hot for being on a bike.

September: Another commuter I recognized from Bike to Work Day (and had been calling Bike-to-Work-Day-guy in my head) turned around and rode a couple miles with me so we could become reacquainted. Rode the 30-mile route of the Backroads Century with Scott and a couple of friends. Rode both the C8 and Cruiser on the Outer Banks.

October: First cold ride of the season.

November: Met another bike commuter while waiting at the stop light at Waxpool. Met him again at the bike rack in the garage for my building.

December: Completed the upgrades to the C8 and turned her into my dream upright bike. Completed the polka dot taping of the Ariel. Took many solo and accompanied-by-Scott nighttime rides through Sterling to look at Christmas lights.

My riding has slacked off considerably at the end of this year. My bicycle resolutions for 2013 are to ride even more in 2013 and not buy any more bicycles. I hope that all of my readers are able to get out and ride in 2013 and enjoy a safe and prosperous new year.


  1. I'm curious to hear how you are liking your new handlebars on the C8. I've been contemplating changing the bars on my C8 but don't want to wreck the handling after reading how G.E. from endlessvelolove thought that a similar change to her Public made the handling squirrely.

    1. So far, so good. I'll admit that the new bar shape makes getting up hills more strenuous because it's harder to lean in and get more leverage, but I really like the feel of them on flats. The curve of the handlebars is also helping keep wrist pain at bay. I have some carpal tunnel injuries which makes riding with flat bars a literal pain and the new geometry is a blessing for my hands.

    2. Thanks, Melanie! You've given me the courage to give it a try.

  2. What a great bike year, Melanie! I like seeing the break down of each month... very official/ledger-like. :O) Here's to even more biking in 2013! Now that you have the Public fixed up, I'm sure she will get even more time too.

    Happy 2013!

    1. Thanks, G.E. :) I do love list-making. I'm eager to take Beatrix into DC and ride her in a real, live urban environment this spring and am already jotting down group ride dates in my calendar.

      May you get to spend many happy hours in the saddle this year!