Just when you thought you had seen the last 2011 retrospective…
2011 was a big year for me as a cyclist. Cycling through all the months of the year I was able to pedal 5800km in 313 days of riding. This is up from 4450km in 212 days in 2010.
2011 was my first year of riding through the winter. And what a winter! In my decade of living in Edmonton I have never seen so much snow. Heavy snowfalls alternated with unseasonable thaws, resulting in endless sheets of ice. Of course, we also had our customary days with temperatures plunging to -30C . I skipped three days of bike commuting because of heavy snowfalls, but none due to frigid temperatures. It was quite the learning experience for me and I enjoyed the challenge. I commemorated this first winter of cycling by penning “The Ballad of the Winter Cyclist“.
In 2011 I joined the Edmonton Bicycle Commuter’s Society, volunteering as a mechanic and general helper through the summer months. My normal circle of friends aren’t much interested in bikes, so I enjoyed the opportunity to meet other bike enthusiasts. Volunteering required me to talk to lots of people I didn’t know, not something I have ever been great at, and that was probably good for me. I went to the fabulous EBC Bike Art Auction and while I didn’t win any of my bids, I did help to power the music by pedaling one of the bicycle powered generators. The artists in residence used a lot of my pictures in a photo installation, which was pretty cool.
2011 was a good year for pulling wrenches. I extended my mechanical knowledge and tackled a number of bike rehabilitation projects. I also fabricated a few tools, most significantly my DIY Dishing Tool and DIY Wheel Truing Stand. These allowed me to complete my first ever wheel build. My ’08 Kona Jake was pleased to receive the newly laced rear wheel and I was happy to not pay someone to make a wheel for me. This process has also made me feel much more confident in my wheel truing skills. I also completed converting two kid-hauling trailers into cargo trailers.
In 2011 the household bike fleet grew by leaps and bounds. Notable acquisitions included the MEC Dahon Origami folding bike and the Apollo Super Sport. Including children’s bikes, the total now stands at 14! How the heck did that happen?
In addition to my normal commuting I managed to do more recreational riding this year which was great. Aside from the Tweed ride and my 100km ride, my favourites were the large number of rides I did with my 9 year old daughter. She only learned to ride her bike this year (shame on me, bad cycling Dad) and she’s been doing fantastic. My 3 year old son accompanied me on a 2km walk pedaling his tricycle all the way! That was pretty amazing, too.
Finally, 2011 was the year I stared this blog! This was no doubt a relief to my friends and family as it gave me a place to share my bike obsession, preventing my boring them to death. My heartfelt thanks to all those who read Tuckamoredew for your encouraging comments.