I guess with 2013 right around the corner, I should probably do one of those look back things. Then again, I deem my year-in-life a bit differently, so all I’ll talk about is cycling… unless you’re reading my words elsewhere.
Cycling.. bicycling, has been a particular passion for me this year. I estimate that I’ve probably ridden about 25% more this year than I did last year. And probably haven’t ridden this much since being in/near college. Outside of a few moments, I’ve enjoyed what’s happened on two wheels, and look forward to growing in this space in 2013 and beyond. Till then, a few highlights.
Making New Friends, Revisiting Stereotypes
Earlier this year, after being invited to a fashion show, I made a few new friends and one of them was looking to get back into biking. She and I took off on a ride one Sunday and I ended up with my steel road bike getting a broken derailleur. Freak accident, but I was helped by a fellow cyclist and then invited to his church. It was at his church that I realized that it wasn’t just them, but myself that had stereotypes concerning cyclists that made for some uneasy and unhealthy moments. I’ve learned a bit since then… and adjusted not just my perception of cyclists, but of all interests that end up with some kind of focused fan-base.
30 Days of Biking Challenge in April
In April, I participated for the first time with the movement called the 30 Days of Biking Challenge. The goal was to get on the bike every day for 30 days, and I didn’t do too bad. I did have a bit of a moment when I couldn’t bike due to a major flat taking out my primary bike (the backup bike mentioned earlier had not yet seen repairs). But, I did make good on getting on the bike 23 days, and it gave me a chance to just develop a new habit of using my bike for shorter trips rather than my car. I also found that I could be a bit of a bike-snob to many. Something about getting on the bike so much really does something good and bad to you.
Late in 2011 I added a nice steel bike to my stable. It was a gift from a mentor-friend of mine. After it breaking down on me, I got a bit sad, because even though it was a small bike (about 2-4cm too small in the frame), it was still quite enjoyable to ride on the weekends. I called it my <em?Porsche – harking back to a friend of mine who used to drive his Porsche on the weekends only.
That bike went to the son of a friend of mine. I guess that I could say it was a sale or a trade, but really, I didn’t want anything for it. The bike is missed (it was a steel, classic road bike), and maybe 2013 or close thereafter will see me acquire something similar and get back into a pure road riding affair.
Cycling in 2013
I’ve been asked a good bit this summer and fall if I would continue cycling around Charlotte. I will do so. I don’t see a point in keeping things so driving-oriented. I do think that work activities will make me adjust some of that frequency, at least until the weather warms. In the meantime, I want to explore different technologies to enhance my Trek Valencia.
For one, I want to dig into integrating a smarter and better lighting system on my Valencia. I really liked Project Aura, but see even smarter, and better integrated ideas. Perhaps 2013 will see me move on these integrated lighting ideas a bit more.
Besides the 30 Days Challenge in April, I ended up becoming the winner of a Bike2Power generator for my bike. I really like the idea of having a self-generated source of power. However, some structural decisions made with the Bike2Power generator made for a mixed experience on my end. I would like to do something a bit more integrated such as the generator hubs that I’ve been looking at for a good while.
Lastly, I’d like to do something to integrate my mobiles more into the cycling. I don’t know if I want to be as integrated as what happened with the Prius Bicycle Project (neural tracking, whew), but I do want that contextualized following of my rides and adaptability of the gearing that such a measure offers. I want a smartwatch, but I should probably look at integrating one of those with my bike (that’s not something I thought of before).
All in all, I just see more pedals, more tech, and a bit more advocacy going forward. There are some neat things that can happen on a bike. And perhaps I’ll be amicable enough to those around me to have a few folks join in some of the travels.