In no particular order:
- 4510 miles- my highest mileage year ever. I had a slow-ish start to the year but finished quite strongly, totaling 3400 miles since the beginning in June.
- The "Most Trips" award goes to the JonesATB with 52 trips, and that is from early August. I had a really nicely balanced year of bike usage with 6 different bikes with 30 or more trips. Share the wealth. The "Most Mileage" award rightfully goes to the IF with 908 miles.
- In February I picked up an amazing new ride, My Jones Diamond+Truss. My previous mtbike rig was a 10yrold Cannondale that had seen its better days. I wanted something fun, interesting, and capable on the trails and I found it in spades with the Jones. I love the Jones. It makes me want to ride the bike, which I think is the point. My trails rides increased significantly with this new rig, and my long-term ambitions are that much greater with its capabilities. AZT? CT? Maah Daah Hey? Big Bend?
- In August, heavily influenced with my love of the truss Jones, I got another Jones, this time a steel unicrown Jones ATB. I love the Jones' position, security, footprint, comfort, comfort, comfort. I loved it so that I wanted to translate that feeling onto all aspects of my riding, not just on the trails. I didn't want to have to constantly bounce between set-ups. I wanted to jump on and use it, so Jones for trail, Jones for everything else. I was also influenced by an article I saw in Bicycle Times, a review of a "Jones ATB" as a city/tour/trail, as the article states, "anything short of road racing". Jeff Jones himself is also marketing his machines in this way, obviously trying to expand into new markets.
- The most memorable cycling experience of the year was our DBNF modified bikepack all-terrain tour in June. Again Patrick and I visited that area as we had done in previous years. We spent 4 days on a mixture of pavement, forest, gravel, trail, 4x4, and bushwack. Write-ups can be found for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4. If I could capture the essence of cycling in a bottle of magical elixir, it would be the 15 or so miles of ridge-running on day two, paved mind you. Empty roads, great flow, good company, good temps. What it's all about.
Found this spot nestled deep in Rockcastle Co., KY. This is my off-the-grid dream.
- While not "epic", our S24O to Lake Shelby on my birthday weekend was deeply satisfying. I felt great on the bike both days, slept great, and generally had a wonderful time exploring this new doable campsite.
- In keeping with the theme of bike camping and such, the Ferdinand SF camp-and-bike in February was another highlight. We car camped on a very cold night and the rode FSF's old-school trails. Other than belching a rear tubeless tire that I'm still confused about, it was a fun first test for the Jones.
- Yet another off-road ride of note was my and Dave's another round of DBNF exploration in January. I had forgotten this trip a bit until looking back, but the memories and textures remain strongly embedded, aka I liked that ride a lot, a whole lot. And the Mukluk was entirely in its element.
- My mileage was predicated mostly on small and medium trips, but I did pull off a nice Spring Break 70 from the in-laws down to Lexington. I felt so beat up the last 15 miles of that ride, but it was a fun experience and the longest ride of the year.
- Another memorable road day was my "Sunday Service" ride with a mix of local strong riders I sort of know. It was a fast 50-miler on which I sucked every wheel I could find. For them it was just a random semi-easy training day. For me it was proof that I could attain another level of fitness if I really applied myself.
- Louisville hosted the NAHBS show in March in the middle of an enormous last season storm. Incredibly, I never did a post of pics from the show. Weird. I volunteered to work the door and later even wrote some copy on adventure bikes. I don't remember where that article ended up. Suffice to say that was an excellent bike weekend, albeit in 10" of snow which basically shut the city down.
- And finally, I can't say much more than that we all lost a great person in Drew in June. He inspired me to ride 3 BiketoBeatCancer rides, including the one this year with a sizable group of his former classmates. He was a good man, a good friend, and an inspiration regardless of activity. I am better for having know him and spent time riding bikes with him on his quest. Peace, my friend.