The end of BaseCamp and the start of a new cycling year

One year ago last month a lot of things changed. I’d just come home from a trip to Portland, OR where we were planning for the World Domination Summit in June 2020. Lots of group interactions, eating at restaurants, and occasionally mentioning that “new coronavirus” and wondering if we might want to add hand sanitizer as a swag item. Fast forward a month and we were all staying inside, trying to find toilet paper (forget finding hand sani or wipes) and anxiously wondering what the next year would bring.

April in particular brought a lot of new things — a sourdough starter named Louisa (RIP), awkward masks made out of shirts and rubber bands, a missing car key (never found), and Paul’s broken clavicle. That last one, combined with a desire to avoid people, started my deep dive into the world of cycling.

I’ve been a pretty dedicated cyclist in some form or another for about a decade. But for years that was just a whole ton of dedicating commuting. Then it was a 40mi fun ride. Then my first bike packing trip (read: one overnight in a campground with friends and a dog). My first 50miles (before my first bike, a hybrid, was stolen). My first century in 2015 (thanks to Reach the Beach). Cycle Oregon in 2016 (thanks to a gifted entry from a friend), and lots more riding after that. In 2019 I first completed The Picnic with Paul and then bought my first pair of chamois (no, I honestly don’t know how I lasted so long without them either). But through all of that, I was still climbing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, running, swimming, and generally doing other sports.

But with the pandemic and socially distancing biking became the easiest option. And when Paul was out of commission, I decided to start doing long rides. I had a goal to get a Strava badge for doing 800miles of riding in April 2020. I made it, just barely, doing all my rides outdoors. If you look at my 2020 training, it’s a sort of flat line from Jan. 1 – March 31, and then a steady increase straight up through the Everesting ride on August 31.

I took a bit of a break after that but then, very last minute and on a whim, I signed up for BaseCamp. I was very dubious. In fact, I laid out all those doubts in a post here. But BaseCamp turned out to be one of the highlights of the winter. I signed up for the science and training (which was 10x better than I could have imagined). But I also got an incredible community of like-minded riders, all ready to push each other, support each other, and share tips and encouragement.

And now I find myself staring down a BIG year of cycling. My original plan was to emerge from the COVID lock down and restart activities like climbing. I miss climbing! But, with all this newfound cycling fitness, I’ve decided to dedicate another year to pushing hard on the bike. I’d like to see what I’m capable of. I’ll share more about my plans in an upcoming post, but suffice it to say I’ve got EVENTS and RACES on the calendar. Things start up in June and will go through end of October.

OH!!! And the most amazing part?!?! I WON A GRAVEL BIKE! But I’ll save that for another post. I need to post more often anyway ? Plus I need to get some rest, I’ve got a 3hr 45min progressive tempo ride tomorrow, and it looks like I’ll be on the trainer since we just got 6″ of ❄️ here last night.

Author: cartwheelsandcake

Cyclist, climber, hiker, trail runner, back country skier, dabbling mountaineer Lover of cake, chocolate, brownies, and sweets. Excellent napper.

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