Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Overambitious Cycling Goals for 2011

Somehow yet another year has ended and the bright dawn of another January 1, when all things are possible, has emerged. Well, perhaps not quite a bright dawn in Düsseldorf, where the climate tends to be either rain or snow but almost always grey skies.

Looking back over 2010, I would say that it was not one of my better years. In cycling terms, with the exception of our annual Lost Boys Tour of Europe, most of my rides were not very memorable. My time trialling was genuinely terrible as I seemed to suffer from terrible congestion and/or allergies on almost every ride. I had some nice rides in Gatineau Park. I fell off my bike near Bonn. My move from Ottawa to Düsseldorf cost not only the expected one month/six weeks lost since I would have to wait for my bikes in the shipment, but in fact it turned out to be much worse as the incessant rain from my arrival in late August pretty much killed my plans and the mere 4,365 kms of riding I recorded was pretty sad compared to 2009's 6,500, not to speak of the nearly 8,000 kms I rode in 2007. And my weight has steadily climbed due to the discovery that the best baker in Düsseldorf is right across the street from my office, as well as to other stresses in my personal life.

Nonetheless, there were positive events, including acquiring new fewer than, uh, four classic steel bicycles this year and completing restoration of a fifth. I have made some new friends with whom I will be able to ride once the weather improves and there is a vast range of possibilities for riding in this region and beyond.

So, here are my plans for 2011:

1. Get my weight back under control and at around 78 kg by June at the latest;

2. Start on the High-Intensity Training Program on the home trainer. Today.

3. Get all those stories in my head and in draft form onto the blog.

4. Plan to do some organized rides, including, but not limited to:

  • Nordrhein-Westfalen CTFs (country tours, off-road)
  • the Amstel Gold Race, Saturday, April 16
  • Rund um Köln, Easter Monday, April 25
  • Josef-Oster-Bikemarathon, Sunday, May 1
  • Velothon Berlin, Sunday, May 22
  • Deutschland Grand-Prix time trial, Bad Salgau, Saturday, June 4
  • Bonn-Eupin-Bonn, Sunday, June 12
  • Lost Boys Tour of Europe, Austria, June 25-July 10
  • Badenweiler Retro-Classic, August
  • 6. Hessen Cup Bikemarathon, Sunday, August 21
  • Waltroper-Münsterland-Marathon, Sunday, September 18
  • L’Eroica, Chianti, Sunday, October 2

5. I have my brand-new Youth Hostel card, so there will be a lot of touring rides, broken into stages:
  • the Limesstrasse, 816 km between the Rhine and the Danube following the Roman defensive wall;
  • the Ruhrtal Radweg, 220 kms from Sauerland to the Rhein
  • the Kaiser-Route Radweg, 413 kms from Aachen to Paderborn, following the route of Charlemagne in his conversion of the Saxons;
  • Römer-Route Radweg, 315 kms along the route of the Romans from Xanten to Detmold;
  • Riding in the Sauerland;
  • Riding in the Eifel Mountains;
  • Riding in the Siegtal.
In addition, I will try my hand at track racing, wheelbuilding, and off-road riding. Maybe I will finally learn to ride no-handed. And, as I promise myself every single January, I will make an effort to learn Italian.

I am a bit concerned about the second half of the season. Biblical "scholars" (here and here, for example) are claiming that Judgment Day will be May 21, which would probably mean the cancellation of the Velothon and subsequent events. However, it seems from this that the world will not be destroyed until October 21, leaving enough time to ride l'Eroica after all.