2012 in Review: Variety is the Spice of Life

Another December passes, the sun sets on 2012, and I find myself reflecting about the activities of the past year.

Sunset on Day 1 of the Colorado High Country 1200K

While Felkerino and I focused on preparing for and completing Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011, our 2012 cycling proved more varied.

We commuted, completed a Super Randonneur series with the D.C. Randonneurs, trained to ride the Colorado High Country 1200K, rode more dirt roads, and planned a weeklong bike tour of Southern Virginia.

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Happy Holidays (and a Book Recommendation)!

Co-Motion Tandem in Rock Creek

Happy holidays!

If you have any breaks from the hustle and bustle this week, I recommend a read of this lovely book, The Velocipede: its History, Varieties and Practice , by J.T. Goddard.

Written in 1869, The Velocipede offers an informative look back at the bicycles and bike culture of the time. It even includes a chapter of comprehensive instructions for the beginning rider, and another that focuses on the possibilities of cycling for ladies, i.e., velocipedestriennes.

Those who like bicycles and have any interest in their history will enjoy Goddard’s book. Also, what do you have to lose? The book is absolutely FREE from Google Play. I love how accessible publications like this have become.

All the best to you this season, dear readers. I hope you are surrounded by peace, love, friendship, bicycles, and good coffee.

WABA’s Women & Bikes and the Hains Point 100

Megan of WABA, completes the Hains Point 100
Megan completes the Hains Point 100

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) recently launched a Women & Bikes initiative. WABA describes the intent of Women and Bikes on its website, stating:

The mission of Women and Bicycles is to get more women on two wheels through mentorship and peer-to-peer learning, between those who already ride and those who would like to ride. The program consists of dinner parties, workshops, bike rides, and celebrations.

Megan, a member of the BikeDC community, organized a century ride on Hains Point to raise money and awareness for Women & Bikes on December 23. Hains Point is a well-known 3.2-mile loop located in the Southwest quadrant of Washington, D.C., and is a popular training spot for the area’s roadies road riders.

Megan’s organizing impressed me. She encouraged people to show up and support the event, even if they did not or could not ride the full 100 miles.

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Unintended Consequences of Not Setting Goals: A Century a Month

Harpers Ferry, with Barry (c) Felkerino

Lately, I have been mulling over the question of what we can accomplish even when we do not set specific goals. This is a concept I was first introduced to when I read an interview with Leo Babauta, the author of the Zen Habits blog.

Babauta writes that goals foster inflexibility and turn activities into work, but that if you act on what you are passionate about, you will find yourself achieving even in the absence of goals. Also, because a life without goals is more flexible and open, you may find yourself accomplishing things that you did not even know you could.

Babauta’s ideas throw me off-balance. Life without goals?! How can you achieve anything if you don’t know where you want to go?

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A Return to the Single Bike Lifestyle

A weekend century on the Rivendell Romulus (c) Felkerino
A weekend century on the Rivendell Romulus (c) Felkerino

This past year, we retired our custom-fit Co-Motion tandem. It wasn’t by choice. Over the six years we had owned it and an estimated 25,000 miles, it gradually developed a crack in the area near the stoker seat tube. Felkerino wrote a post about it complete with a photo of the crack, here.

As you can see in the post’s photo, the crack was located right at the stoker seat tube weld. I’ve been trying not to take that too personally. Co-Motion diagnosed that the crack emerged because the weld was not strong enough and we have since been working with them on a replacement tandem.

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A Coffeeneuring Map Made by a Pro

COFFEENEURING OFFICIAL BUSINESS: If you were a Coffeeneuring Challenge finisher or honorable mention, please send me your snail mail address via my gmail address OR the “Contact” page so that I may send out your PRIZES!

Earlier this week, I received a note from a North Carolina randonneur and blogosphere buddy. Andy had used the Coffeeneuring Challenge data as the basis for his on-line tutorial, “How to plot points on a map using Google Fusion Tables

The result of his plotting is a world map that shows the home cities of all 62 participants.

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The People who Coffeeneur: Participation Rates of Women and Men

As I looked through the coffeeneuring submissions, I thought it might be fun to share a few more facts about the 2012 coffeeneuring community. So hang onto your helmets and be prepared to be wowed by my data mining skills.

Julie S. coffeeneurs (c) Julie S.
Julie S. coffeeneurs (c) Julie S.

The first topic I thought I’d cover is the participation of women versus men in the challenge.

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