Best Rides of 2016 (What I’ve Learned)

According to RideWithGPS.com, I’ve been on the bike 409 times so far this year.  Come New Year’s Eve, I will have covered close to 9,500 miles this year.  Maybe that sounds impressive, maybe not.  If you get on the bike every day like I do, it just sort of happens.

That said, I’ve seen a lot of cool things along the way and I thought it would be fun to look back and identify my favorite rides of 2016.  I sifted through the thousands of photographs I’ve taken this year and came up with 20 absolutely memorable rides.   I didn’t plan on a top twenty list or anything like that.  It’s just the way it worked out.  I’m going to share the top ten with you before the end of the year, but for now I want to share some observations I’ve gleaned from the data I collected.  This is what those rides have taught me about my cycling…

Weather Doesn’t Much Matter To Me

A surprising number of my favorite rides were on days that most people might consider less than ideal.  I rode the Cardinal Greenway in Indiana on a chilly mid-March day with rain and snow mixed.  The same is true of my ride from Echo to Park City Utah on the Union Pacific Rail Trail.  Of my top ten rides, I got wet and/or cold on five.

Neither Does Distance

My longest favorite ride was 102 miles.  My shortest was a quick tour of downtown Lincoln that only lasted about 4 miles.   Both were great fun.  So was everything in between.

I’ll Ride Anything With Two Wheels

I don’t have a favorite bike.  Some of my rides were even on other people’s bikes.   In Pittsburgh, I was on the clunkiest rental bike imaginable and it was awesome.  In Boise, we used bike share.  If it rolls sort of straight and stops when I want it to, it’s good enough for me.

And Pretty Much Anywhere

A surprising number of my favorite rides were through the central business districts of one city or another.  Some were big, others small.  I’ve discovered that it’s easier to ride in these places because traffic moves more slowly than it does in suburbia.  I also enjoy rural two lane roads and I don’t much care if they’re paved or not.  Trails are cool, too.  I can interface from trail to road pretty well.

So…

I’ll be starting a series of posts in the next couple of days that breaks down these top ten rides.  I have an all time favorite, but rather than rank them that way I’m going to do it chronologically.  More soon.

 

 

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