|Mt. Rainier National Park, January 1, 2013|
2012 was a strong bicycling year, with 3,560 total recorded miles and almost 320,000 vertical feet. It was a year of my first loaded bicycle tour, my first bike overnight trip, my first 8-hour mountain bike race and one European bike marathon race. It was also a year when I could go for a bike ride pretty much any time I wanted during my six months of unemployment, in a state when there is always a good riding weather and dry trails. Yet towards the end of the last year, I realized that while riding my bikes is fun and thoroughly enjoy it, it does not really fill my life with a purpose. Moving to Washington state also made me realize that eight months of no rain was boring, skiing and snowshoeing is what I love to do in the winter and mountain biking can easily be the sport I do in summer months (it used to be when I lived in Connecticut and it was perfectly fine). I even think bike commuting to work in rain is OK and hubs, bottom brackets and other bike parts can and should be replaced sometimes.
So 2012 was really good for me getting in shape, yet happiness does not get measured by miles ridden or feet climbed, or races won or lost. And I hope 2013 will be a happy year full of new roads and trails discovered, but mainly one filled with a sense of doing something useful, for myself, for my family or for the humanity, and not just riding along.