Bikes and Biking Year in Review: 2022

North Beach, Orcas Island. 5 August 2022 Looks dreamy, but this serene image was hard-earned from a challenging day biking the island. Olympus XA2/Fujicolor 100

Hello, friends. As another year comes to a close, it’s customary for me to look back at the past year and reflect on what’s happened, then ponder what may come in 2023. I’ll be breaking down these “Year in Review” posts into separate categories; in the week between Christmas and New Years (and probably a bit beyond) expect to see posts about photography, art, and life in general. And then I’ll talk about goals and hopes for 2023.

First, bikes. This year saw the fleet stay at four bikes, no new ones came in and none left. Here’s a blow-by-blow by bike:

  • I thought that I would purge the Heavy Duti from the stable, but I made a recommitment to it, for now. Its role is still beater/bar bike, which came in handy for my darkroom class–leaving a bike on a college campus for hours is always a bit stressful, so I don’t want to ride a nice bike to class.
  • The bike that got a lot of play this year was the Brompton, as it’s the newest (arrived last October) and it’s the most versatile due to it being a folding bike. I took it on several trips this year, sometimes on planes, sometimes on trains. I really like this bike a lot.
  • The Raleigh Superbe continued in its designated role as “classy daily driver”. This is the bike I grab for commutes, errands, and many a fun ride. It’s probably the bike that I used the most.
  • The Bantam retained its role as nice ride/adventure/touring beast. It saw the most action when it came to things like tours and rough stuff.

All of the above bikes need a little something done to them, but I’ve not had the energy. My days of endlessly fussing with and tweaking bikes are over, so I really need to motivate when it comes to this kind of stuff. As it is, I have plenty of parts that need to be sold, and I’ve thought about it all year but never got around to it. Hopefully I’ll muster up the energy by spring to make a bike parts/accessories sale happen. (Stay tuned!)

As for riding itself, this was the first year that I logged my miles. It’s been fun, and it’s given me real numbers of what my biking looks like. And those numbers are still pretty low. On average I ride half of the days of the month, though it can be as low as 10 and high as 19. August saw the most miles at 250, November was a paltry 83. I’ll have complete figures after the year ends. I anticipate the “count-the-miles” project to continue through 2023, and I hope that I ride more miles and more often.

That brings us to bike camping and touring. Despite hoping for something like a 2012 again, that didn’t happen. There were only four trips this year:

  1. Cabin Camping at Stub Stewart in February
  2. An overnight to Champoeg in April
  3. Midweek group camping in the Columbia Gorge in June
  4. The week-long San Juan Islands tour in August

Only two of the above involved sleeping on the ground. And it’s the first year that I haven’t used my one-person Marmot Eos 1 tent since I purchased it in 2014, as I used my Mountain Hard Wear Bivy at Champoeg and the three person REI tent when I camped with Emee in the Gorge.

I do wish that I got more bike camping/touring adventure in, but I’m also not beating myself up over it, either. There’s always 2023. I’ll try my best.

Finally, a quick reflection on the bike rides I led this year. There was eleven total:

After the ride freeze from March 2020 through June 2021 due to pandemic, having almost a dozen rides in a year is good. And that’s about as many rides I can realistically do in a year without feeling overwhelmed. I’ll probably aim for a similar number of rides in 2023. I’m also happy with having most of my rides require registration, and am over doing a ride against all odds–if it’s too hot, too cold, too smoky, or too wet, the ride won’t happen.

And that wraps it up! This will be the last post before Christmas, so Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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3 thoughts on “Bikes and Biking Year in Review: 2022

Add yours

  1. Brother, do I ever feel that “days of endlessly fussing with and tweaking bikes are over”… and the problem with having TOO MANY BIKES is that when one breaks down, I tend to just grab the next one and ride it until IT breaks down and eventually ALL THE BIKES need repair!? I’ve been trying to motivate myself to off-load a few that haven’t seen much use the last few years… but dealing with used bike buyers around here… ugh… I just can’t even. Maybe I’ll just donate them somewhere…

    1. Yeah. Selling bikes is no fun, and I live in what’s probably one of the biggest bike markets in North America. One of the reasons why I decided to keep the Heavy Duti was the negative experience when I tried to sell it. (I love the guy who thought offering me half of asking price AND ship it was “reasonable”.)

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