My 2016 Year on the Bike

A while back, I decided to get back in the saddle and ride my bike more often. That continued into 2016, with both bike commuting and recreational cycling.

I set my goal early in 2016 to at least match the distance I rode in 2015. I passed my goal and ended up with 4,783 miles. That distance was split just about equally between weekday commuting and weekend recreational cycling.

I used Strava to track my rides and it creates this heatmap to show where I have cycled and the routes that I have ridden most often. Very light blue shows one ride, with the blue getting darker and turning to red as I bike a route more often.

The blob of red around Boston is mostly commuting routes. If you zoom in, you can see that I did a chunk of riding on the streets of Allston, Brighton, Back Bay, and Downtown Boston.

Last year I set a goal to bike all the streets of Newton. In 2016 I shifted my focus east to the streets of Boston. But Boston is big, so I took it one neighborhood at a time. I was working my way through the South End and Fenway when the year came to an end.

I definitely came to appreciate the ban on overnight parking in Newton. Boston’s neighborhood streets are clogged with on-street parking making it very difficult to get through on a bike or a car.

Some highlights from 2016:

Pan-Mass Challenge – This was the focus of my riding. I cycled with Team Kinetic Karma from the New York border to Provincetown over three days and I raised over $7,000.

Seacoast Century – A new ride for me along the New Hampshire and Maine coast, with a brief dip into Massachusetts on a beautiful fall day.

Formidable – A grueling ride of 160 miles and 11,000 feet of climbing in one day. That one nearly broke me.

B2VT – I thought this would be my hardest ride, cycling 130 miles from the Lexington Battlefield to Okemo in Vermont. The Formidable was significantly harder, but the B2VT weather was worse.

Becket or Bust – I squeezed in three rides between Newton and Becket Mass. One came after dropping The Girl off at Chimney Corners for sleep-away camp. The second was an early morning ride out to Becket for Dad’s Weekend. The third was a bike back after picking up the kids from camp and leaving it up to Mrs. Doug to drive them back. Each ride was between 125 and 130 miles.

Most of my rides were bike commutes. I still find that to be the best way to get to and from work. Yes, it takes longer. But all of that extra time, plus the commute itself, is exercise time. How well do you spend your time trapped in a car for your commute?  I get two hours of exercise each day that I bike commute.

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