In the past two days I achieved two personal milestones: yesterday I turned 69 years old and today I achieved a new yearly high of 2,800 miles on my bicycle for 2014. Of those miles, nearly 1,000 were on tours. The remaining 1,800 miles were training miles. The total is 1,000 miles more than in 2013.
A good draw in the gene pool lottery and the mild fall and winter weather can be credited. I’ve also developed the attitude that as long as there is no snow on the ground, I can endure the cold down to some yet undetermined low temperature. Today it was around 25 degrees F and it felt great to get outdoors and ride 23 miles.
My 2014 tours were the Adirondack Loop in June; the annual Erie Canal Ride organized by Parks and Trails New York in July; and the Great Allegheny Passage / Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath in August.
The Adirondack trip taxed my patience and judgment. My patience was challenged by the rain that I endured for much of the trip. The trip was ended prematurely when I decided that my injured big toe might be infected since it was painful and ugly looking. I also found that many of the roads were not very bicycle friendly and made for some tense situations.
The Erie Canal Ride from Buffalo to Albany is an annual event and 2014 was my third time on that route. Parks and Trails New York, a advocacy group, does a great job in planning and managing the event, which draws about 500 riders from many parts of the United States and other countries. They provide most breakfasts and dinners as well as two rest stops with treats each day. The riders stay together in tent cities each night.
The Great Allegheny Passage / Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath trip took me from Pittsburgh to Georgetown. I had been on the GAP once before and this was my first trip on the C&O Towpath. It’s is probably the longest off-road cycling trail in the United States and I logged over 350 miles on it. In my view, it gets high marks for both scenic and historical attractions along the way.
For 2015 I’m planning a series of videos on the topic of bicycle touring and the preparation needed to have a good touring experience. Those will be posted on my YouTube channel. Of course, I’ll be on the road as much as I can. I’m tentatively planning to get the year started right with a ride on New Year’s Day.