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.
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:
…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.
barring an injury or something I will probably ride more than 110mi in the next two weeks— Paul Souders (@axoplasm) December 16, 2021
climbing 17K feet will require a little applied effort pic.twitter.com/HohfeceaQ3
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.