A look back at 2011

It’s that time of year again.  In just a few days, I’ll have to start training myself to write 2012 instead of 2011.  It used to be that I would do it wrong on the first several checks I wrote in January, but since I rarely write checks anymore I just write the wrong year at random times and places along the way.  I never know when I’ll do it wrong….

Anyway, like a lot of people, I’ve been reflecting back over the past year and thought I would share some of my cycling related hightlights for you.  If you’re bored already, simply hit the back arrow on your browser and you can end your misery now.

Still with me?  OK.  Here we go.  In no particular order, I give you the best cycling moments of 2011 here at SpringfieldCyclist.com.

Pedal Across Wisconsin - 

I had never been to Wisconsin before, and was impressed at how pretty the scenery was.  Not necessarily “knock your socks off” pretty like Colorado, but “sneak up and impress you” pretty.  For sure, the quiet country roads and rolling hills and valleys dotted with farm after farm made for a very pleasant week.  I met some great people and had a wonderful time riding with Don and Phyllis H. most of the week.  This is a top notch tour that I highly recommend.  One of their other tours could possibly be on the agenda for 2012. 

Saturday Rides with Mike -

Our good friend Mike L is a pleasure to ride with.  He’s agreeable and enthusiastic and willing to try just about anything.  We had lots of Saturday morning rides to just about every destination I know around here as we worked on increasing our mileage throughout the spring and summer.   As I think about it, we only had one day that was a bummer.  As the summer started, Mike was motivated to ride just for the fun of it, but as the summer progressed, he discovered the joy of riding to eat and was often steering our rides to coincide with a well planned food stop at some cafe or diner we had discovered.

Winning a Really Nice Bike -

It’s hard not to call winning a Trek Madone 5.2 in a raffle for a $100 donation a highlight of the year.  I was quite content with my Giant, but Dad was going through some cancer issues at the time so I was very happy to make the donation to LiveStrong.  I couldn’t believe I won the bike!  Then, I decided to take it a step further, sell my old bike, and donate the proceeds toward tornado relief in Joplin.  I’ve not actually ridden the Madone a whole lot, but I really like it!

Austin LiveStrong Challenge

The dream to go down to Austin for the 2011 version of the LiveStrong Challenge was actually born way back in 2010.  We pretty much met our fund raising goal by making our own donation, but by making a vacation out of the trip, we had a really good time.  After all, it’s not every day you can say that you’ve “ridden with Lance”!  We joined Team Fatty for the event, and while the contingent was pretty small for the Austin event, we enjoyed meeting and spending a little time with our new teammates.  In addition, riding in the Texas Hill Country west of Austin was a real treat.  I really enjoy riding in new places, and I’ve got to say the scenery was different and unique.  LiveStrong puts on a first class ride and was well worth the effort required to get to Austin.  

Commuting by Bike -

In spite of all the riding I do, the bulk of my annual miles comes nine miles at a time in the form of commuting to and from work.  I’ve got a dedicated commuter bike, and never want to go back to driving to work on a daily basis.  I feel good that I’m doing something beneficial for my health, for the environment, and for my pocketbook every time I ride.  Sure, there are some days that are cold, wet, and generally ugly, but those are far outweighed by days with bluebird skies and sun on my shoulders.  I’ve learned to ride defensively, and feel quite safe and comfortable on the streets of Springfield.

So, there you  are.  So long to 2011, and bring it on, 2012!

God bless…


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7 Comments on “A look back at 2011”

  1. nacho243 Says:

    Happy New Year Tracy!

  2. thepelaton Says:

    Come on back to Austin in 2012! It was in the 70s today, and will be tomorrow. Then back to 50s or so for the start of the new year. Both MJs and BSS are putting on a n.y. ride, I think I might sleep in, or more like, just do my own.

    Have a good and safe New Year!

  3. Hey Steve!

    Good to hear from you….thanks for stopping by.

    Please don’t rub it in about the weather! We’re looking at mid-60′s tomorrow with 30-35 mph wind gusts. I guess I’m gonna try to get out with a buddy. Pam has enough sense to stay home! That’ll have to count for my New Years ride cause we’re gonna make a quick run up to St. Louis on Sunday and Monday.

    Take care.


    Tracy & Pam Wilkins Springfield, MO 65809 http://www.springfieldcyclist.com

  4. rlhoover Says:

    A good overview and I have enjoyed the ride with you!. Yes, the commute eats up most of the miles, but that makes me enjoy the weekends and evenings that much more. Regards, -Ron

  5. jeff Says:

    Happy New Year! And while I agree that Wisconsin isn’t exactly Colorado, your pics in those posts showed it’s charm and beauty. And meeting good people is one of the best parts of bike tours.


  6. Zeke Says:

    Happy New Year to you and Pam! I hope 2012 brings you many cycling riches…

    - Zeke

  7. Steve Says:

    Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to many more excellent reports on your exploits in 2012.

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