As 2015 comes to an end, we begin to reflect on what we’ve done throughout the year… Did I follow through with my New Year’s resolutions? What did I accomplish? Do I have any regrets? But most importantly, am I happy and satisfied with 2015?
This year, I had the pleasure to ride the beautiful Specialized S-Works Venge that was on display at our Altair Headquarters in Troy, MI. In January, I set a personal goal to ride 10,000 miles by the end of 2015. Throughout the year, I’ve rode through various weather, mechanical, and health conditions. I participated in several amazing charity events. I made new friends and pushed my body and capabilities. I’m extremely thankful for all those who have accompanied me throughout this journey and supported me along the way! Today, I’m proud to share that I’ve completed my 10,000-mile goal!
Michigan blessed us cyclists with beautiful and comfortable weather to ride in this November and December. My trip to China in September had absolutely no cycling or exercising at all, so I took off one week in early November to adjust my routine back to normal. I started with a solo 126-mile long ride to Lake Erie Metro Park in West Bloomfield. I also took time to ride with my team in the O2/Cadieux Bicycle Club from Birmingham to Detroit; the weather was sunny, but cold. There was a car show tour at Eastern Market in Detroit on November 8th, which I rode to as well. It was a great show!
Mid-November rides were quite windy! I enjoy long rides, so I went for a solo century loop on November 13. The wind was strong and the weather became quite hazardous with rain and snow. The roads were slippery and natural light was limited. I ultimately had to cut the ride short when the battery for my flashlight died. The next day I went on a long ride again, which was still extremely windy and cold. Regardless, it was an enjoyable ride in the sun on a smooth and dry trail with low traffic! I was only 900 miles away from my final goal at this point!
We got hit with a big snowstorm right before Thanksgiving! We had a full day of heavy snowfall with over a foot of snow reported the next day. Of course, I couldn’t resist going outside, so I went on my first snow ride of the year. Winter Wonderland indeed!
I usually cover about 100 miles every weekend. Although this month has been unusually warm in Michigan, the beginning of December was very chilly! The conflicting temperatures produced a lot of fog. I would strongly recommend avoiding riding foggy conditions. I tried to ride in the fog to see how well I could do. My glasses kept fogging up, so due to extremely poor visibility, I had to cut down my ride. At this point, I was within a couple miles of completing my goal.
Thursday, December 10 was a big day! I rode in a 30-mile CX loop with my buddy Chris, who joined me to celebrate my 10,000-mile achievement. This special ride brought my total miles-to-date to 10,015! I was ecstatic to share this on my Strava page and with my friends. I was very touched and thankful to receive so many well wishes and congratulations! I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that I completed my 10,000-mile goal for 2015.
I’ve faced many health challenges in the last few years. I still remember the months of recovery from spine surgery due to a broken disk and laying in the hospital motionless, unable to straighten my back for the longest time. And the times that I had a broken fibula, torn ankle ligament, and atrophy in the peroneus muscle in my leg. I’ve had Type 2 Diabetes for decades. At the age of 62, I had also faced open-heart surgery and now live with a synthetic mitral valve. I had thoughts that this would be how I live the rest of my life – I would no longer walk again or enjoy my daily life like I used to. It was as if my entire life had flashed by in front of my eyes. But now here I am, cycling 10,000 miles in a year and enjoying health and happiness every day! I am amazed at the strides I have been able to make in my health. I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends and family and a great company that allowed me to transform my life. I hope my experiences might also inspire and impact others to make positive life changes for their health. I truly and deeply thank every one of you for supporting me on this journey. It has certainly been a pleasure to ride on the amazing S-Works Venge bike with wonderful people and for worthy causes, all throughout this beautiful state of Michigan.
Reaching 10,000 miles doesn’t mean I have quit riding! I am committed to maintaining my health. I just completed my last long ride of the year – 83 miles along the I-275 trail. This brings my total miles to nearly 300 miles past my goal. The Specialized S-Works Venge is ready to be cleaned and lubricated for a nice long rest until spring of next year!
So what now? I am very excited to share that I’ve been invited to ride for Rolo Bikes next year! I’m looking forward to testing their bicycles out on fit, handling, and performance for another 10,000 miles in 2016. I look forward to new goals and challenges in the New Year. Stay tuned for more cycling adventures in 2016 and have a wonderful holiday season!