Posted by: jdantos | December 31, 2013

Looking Ahead to 2014 in Biking

Turns out that a baby can put a dent in your personal blogging time. Hence, the paucity of posts in 2013. But as I turn a new page in my bicycling life, a quick pause to reflect on the past, and plan for the future.

2013 was a year for long-distance biking for me, but it was somewhat abbreviated with a baby on the way.

  • My appetite for touring whetted by the inheritance of a finnicky 1983 Cannondale touring bike, and spurred on by Freezing Saddles, I bought a Surly Long-Haul Trucker in February, and finally I have the worry-free equipment to comfortably put in miles.
  • Freezing Saddles was crazy fun. I logged nearly 2400 miles by March 20, and things got a little nuts near the end – the height of insanity happened when I made a 90-mile “commute” via White’s Ferry. On a Tuesday. The competition’s operation through Strava inspired me to ride more, and ride new routes and places. I tried exploring areas of the city I never would have otherwise. I saw bald eagles.  I invented theme rides like biking to all Civil-War era forts within DC’s limits.  Our team came in 2nd and it was a blast – I met a crew of fellow bicyclists that make a great community, both in-person and online.
  • I tried Randonneuring for the first time, including two “official” rides. I admire their tenacity and met some great folks, but some of the rules seemed a little strict. And riding more than daylight hours seemed like too much! But the path through the Wilderness Campaign battlefield of the Civil War was beautiful – so much so that I returned to the highlights months later.
  • I had a blast riding 6 centuries – to Baltimore, Annapolis, Purcellville, and more.
  • The new bike has great racks, enabling the transportation of bags of dog food, cans of paint, flower pots, and jugs of milk.
  • I was running errands by bike within days after the baby’s arrival. My world was knocked to the ground as a new parent. Exhausted and exhilarated, getting back in the saddle actually helped me find a new equilibrium.
  • I rode the 50 States Ride and the Cider Ride in the fall and winter, but it was a little bittersweet to leave the family at home.
  • Overall mileage in 2013 was 6,090 – nearly half of which happened in the first 3 months of the year, thanks to Freezing Saddles! No crashes, no injuries all year.

After some big miles in 2013, my bike goals for 2014 are not mileage-related. Instead:

  1. My goal for next year is to figure out a fun, safe way to bike with my new son in our daily routine. And, once we’ve figured it out, to ride every day, including some weekend outings. The whole “kid on bike” thing is a little intimidating to me – so many options and new things – but all this walking everywhere is kinda making me crazy with its slowness.
  2. Second, my goal is to ride every day. Even if it’s just a short hop on CaBi from daycare dropoff to the office.  Hopefully, if I get #1 figured out, #2 will follow.
  3. My “always” goal is to bike safely and lawfully, to set an example for other cyclists in the city, and to confidently, safely, and productively stand up for my rights as a cyclist whenever needed.

Happy New Year all!



  1. Babies have a funny way of changing your routine. Congratulations on a very successful 2013 (on many levels!) and best of luck in 2014. And keep blogging!

  2. I have no doubt you will accomplish your goals in one way or another. I hope to cross paths with you sometime soon!

  3. Many congratulations on the new baby and the long-distance cycling achievements. I like your ride every day goal for 2014 & wish you well on it. However I have already had 4 nonriding days this calendar year!! Fantastic! I’ve seen parents with very young children along on tours and centuries. Sometimes riding tandems, other times with children old enough to pedal their own bikes. It’s wonderful. Great family experience and such confidence building for the children. So getting your son out on the bike early is a worthy pursuit! Let us know how it goes.

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