View looking up a gently hill on a lightly snow-covered road, with only a few bicycle and animal tracks. Sunshine and cold

At least I accomplished *something* this year

Published 2021-12-30

Early in the year I resolved to ride my bicycles at least 6,250mi (10,000+ km) and climb at least 500,000ft (150,000+ m) in 2021. I was on track to make this goal through the entire year. Over the spring and summer I built a sizable lead but lost most of it after I injured my back in September. The lead narrowed but I always had about a spare week of mileage in the tank.

The week before Christmas I crossed the line and made my goal. The snow since then slowed me a little & I doubt I will get out for another ride before midnight tomorrow, so here’s my report.

mi km feet m
Annual goal 6,250.0 10,058.4 500,000 152,400.0
Achieved 6,347.1 10,214.7 504,381 153,735.3
(over) (97.1) (156.3) 4,381 (1335.3)
Pace/day: 17.4 28.0 1,382 421.2
Pace/wk: 122.1 196.4 9,701 2,956.4

I thought distance would be more effort to achieve than elevation. The most I have ever ridden my bike in one year was about 6,000mi, in 2014; in 2020, with no particular extra effort, I climbed more than 560,000ft. Not coincidentally, I have done way more summits of Council Crest than usual during the Pandemic:

Chart showing total number of summits of Council Crest, by year. 2021: 190 summits. 2020: 185 summits. Third highest year was 2012: 168 summits.

…but as 2021 faded I found my elevation lead shrinking. That left me with 17,000ft to climb in the last two weeks, during the darkest, coldest, wettest, and as it turned out snowiest part of the year.

I made a sustained effort however, and on December 23 I crawled through the tape and topped 500,000ft.

Will I do this next year? I doubt it. One thing my back injury (and subsequent physical therapy) taught me is that my non-cycling muscles are pretty underwhelming. I will spend 2022 prioritizing something other than my quads.