Racking up the Miles: 2015

Yes, yes, I know it’s a cliché.  Anyone who has a blog does a “Year in review” type of post.  Hell you might even think its a blogger law that says we have to.  Well, in my case, if comes down to this:  My blog, my rules, and its been one helluva year for our hero.  So, since I am in charge of  Mountainstroh.com, a recap is in order!

Simply put, this has been a year to remember when it comes to two-wheel travel.  The funny thing is, I didn’t plan to make 2015 anything special. But, like most memorable years in our lives, it’s the ones we don’t plan that seem to surprise us.

This time last year, I was still getting used to being 50.  Michelle had gathered the clan in November to celebrate,

image

and it was time to plan what was next, while thinking I was an old fart!

First of all, it was the year without a winter.  No rain, clear skies, warm weather, a cyclist winter dream.  I was able to start cranking out serious miles from day one.  Shoot, the only real rain I remember was riding past the Oso mudslide in March

image

Soon after this ride, I learned that I had finally been selected for the RAMROD (Ride Around Mt Rainier in One Day) I had been trying for 3 years to get this ride, and my name had at long last been picked.  But one does NOT simply ride the RAMROD!  These old legs needed to be in SHAPE!

In May, I signed up for 4 century rides to help get in shape.

The Mayday Classic

image

The Reach the Beach

image

The Seven Hills of Kirkland (only did a Metric on this one, the legs were fried! from shoveling 6 yards of bark the day before!)

image

And old Reliable, the Flying Wheels.  (no pictures, but I averaged 15 mph for that ride, a new record!) I also ended up with 602 miles that month, the most ever for this cowboy!

Centuries are all well and good, but friends and neighbors, if’n you want to ride in Mt Rainier you gotta TRAIN in Mt Rainer!  June and July found me doing just that and LOVING it!  One day I made to Sunrise AND Chinook pass on the same day!

image

Mt Rainier and Tipsoo lake, Hwy 410

Mt Rainier and Tipsoo lake, Hwy 410

Just an aside: Even though I was training, you have to stop and enjoy the things one can only find in Mt Rainier

image image image image

It all paid off, in July, after 13 hours of pedaling, hot sun, steep hills and epic descents, I crossed the finish line on the RAMROD!  A dream I have had for over 1o years, and a personal vendetta against an arrogant ass I don’t even know anymore.  I was told  by him “Until you ride the RAMROD you aren’t a true cyclist”  Well BOOYAH asshole (wherever you are) been there, done that AND got the shirt!

11792084_10205736397622906_1244260442268146532_o image image

image

This ride retired the original COUG jersey.  It lived hard, and died well.

After this ride, relaxation was in order!  The Oregon clan and we went to Santa Rosa

image image 11924948_10204835230336173_7211616213890827574_n

There was wine tasting, pool time AND a ride through the vineyards with Rob and Kim!

image image IMG_1663 IMG_1671 IMG_1668

Michelle and I moved to a new office 5 miles away from home, which meant I lost commute miles, but she kept pushing and encouraging me to ride, rain or shine, warm or cold

image

IMG_1724

IMG_1913

The miles kept growing, and in November, on a VERY cold day, I hit 4000 miles for the year, the best ever!

December was wet, and the eye of the tiger lacking, but with bike commutes, riding on the rollers and a long WET ride Sunday last, I ended up with 206 miles this month.  Respectable.  For the year? 4209!!!  Hell yeah!! My new record!

BUT, folks, my riding is NOT the big accomplishment of the year.  Michelle rocked three half marathons this year! I was able to give back all she does for me! The Seattle Rock and Roll, the Santa Rosa

image image

and the Portland!

image

Folks my wife kicks some serious ass! I am so proud of her! She is tougher than I will EVER be.

But wait there is more, the Math Major graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Washington University

12345480_10207100314960165_4985447699649083649_n

The kid rocks! (and is smarter than I ever was or ever will be!)

But let us not forget the little things as well.  Michelle and I had some fantastic times away!

Port Townsend

image image

Langley

image image

The Oregon Coast

image image image

Santa Rosa

image image

Portland

image

And Vancouver BC for the Foo Fighters!

image image

I love the time we get to take away together. We always have fun, and we simply enjoy each others company. I just wish there was more.

Speaking of company!  We met our gorgeous niece in person this year.  On the crappiest, rainiest day ever to hit Seattle, our Abby toured the city and saw the bubble gum wall, the troll and took a ferry ride!

image

I am very proud to be her uncle!

We also had to say goodbye to a dear friend this year. The green station wagon, after 18+ years finally gave up the ghost. This was a sad day, this car has gotten me to untold adventures, and there will never be another green wagon…

image

In other news, I did NOT stand up paddle board nor hike this year.  I also did not learn the knots I said I would, or go sea kayaking….  I might have to do so in 16.

However, I DID read 35 books this year (fewer than normal).  Some notable ones are 1984, Walden and Robinson Crusoe.  I was also asked by a friend to be one of the first readers of his second book, and help choose the ending. I can’t tell you how honored I am to have been asked.

I also took and survived my first spin class!  But LORD have mercy it was NOT pretty

image

Blog wise, there were, counting this one that will post in the morning, 134 post this year with 6100 views.  Now granted MANY of these are from Michelle, my kid sis and my mom, but that leaves thousands of others who took a look at my attempts at story telling and entertaining.  Makes me feel kinda special.

Folks, like every year, 2015 has had some great times and yep, some serious suck ass times.  I’ve had fun and been stressed beyond belief.  There is no telling what 16 will bring. there will be joy and hardship, successes and pain, but Michelle and I will hit it head on, support each other and make sure he other is as happy as can be.

Like the wind y’all!  and thanks for visiting!

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Life in General and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Racking up the Miles: 2015

  1. For 2016 there’s a good app ‘knots art’, maybe knock that one on the head next year?

  2. And well done with all that positivity!

  3. What a year, Tony! Congratulations to Math Major and a Happy NewYear to you all. 😊

  4. sevencyclist says:

    Congrats … excellent blog. And big congrats on RAMROD … I guess you’re the only true cyclist … I haven’t done that … although it would be a long commute for me to do that 🙂

  5. OK, enough “racking up the miles!” In 2016 I want to see more bird photos and more book reviews from you!

  6. Pingback: It’s all about enjoying the ride | 20,000 Miles of Experiences, Adventures and Thoughts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s