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2012 – The Year in Review

How best to sum up 2012? Perhaps with many words and stories. Perhaps with few words, but lots of pictures. Or, as is most likely for me, some numbers.

I failed at writing consistently again this year, but still kept regular stats on most of my riding and other activities. I’ll try to sum up the year that was using some of those stats. I know numbers alone never tell the whole story, but they at least provide an interesting summary that can be compared across time. Let’s take a look at the year that was 2012.


2012 was another great year on the bike, with many of my highest highs and lowest lows happening on two wheels. I rode a bike 140 times over the course of the year (excluding my very short commute twice a day for much of the year.) Over those 140 rides, I covered 6046.76km, which is down for the second year in a row, from 6882.96km last year and 7846.97 in 2010. I can’t say that I like the trend, although I feel that I had a lot of quality miles in this year, and that’s very important :)  Overall time spent on the bike was down to 220.27 hours, or 9.2 days, or 2.51% of the year. Average speed for all rides works out to be 27.45km/hr and the average ride length I did was 43.19km. I also did 21 spin classes or roller rides for a total of 29.27 hours indoors.

My first ‘real’ (outdoor) ride of 2012 was February 22nd, and my last was November 25th. I rode at least once outside in every month except for January and December. I rolled 4682.11km (77.4% of my total) on the Colnago, 607.8km (10.05%) on the Time Trial Bike, 58.4km (0.96%) on the Mountain Bike, 323.25km (5.34%) on the old ‘cross bike, 330.2km (5.46%) on the new ‘cross bike, and 45km (0.74%) on a rental track bike at the Forest City Velodrome. The one thing that really stands out to me here is the increased time spend on the TT bike (from 345.84km/5% last year) which fit with my goal of improving my TTs and getting more comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately, it did not result in success in The 40km Project yet again, although I did do my first ever sub-hour 40k on the Heckston course.

‘Lowlights’ of the year for me this year included Paris-Ancaster. My allusion last year that it would be hard to keep improving year over year came true, although due to a mechanical rather than having poor legs. You can read that story here. If you were paying attention to the above paragraph, you’ll see reference to ‘old ‘cross bike’ and ‘new ‘cross bike’ – this is as a direct result of said story. I made the plunge and bought myself a very sweet Specialized Crux (thanks Greg at Sport X!) I’m very happy with the bike, and it’s given me a bit of extra confidence on the ‘cross course. Failure to successfully wrap up The 40km Project was also a lowlight, although the positive Heckston run, and the mental boost that has given me look good for next year :)

Highlights of the year were once again many. I didn’t blog about Tour de Brew this year, but it was once again fantastic! We returned to Sterling Ridge Resort in Vermont for the second year, and did some more epic rides. Shawn and Luke got enough of a vote in to convince us to take mountain bikes as well as road bikes this year, so we loaded up 4 guys and 8 bikes for the trip. We rode the incredible Kingdom Trails, where I reminded myself just how much I suck at mountain biking. However, it was a blast! We did some epic road rides, including Smuggler’s Notch again, but also Lincoln Gap (outstanding, leg searing climb…and we went the ‘easy’ way up…) and Middlebury Gap, which has possibly the most fun descent ever! The Lincoln/Middlebury day alone saw 1361m of climbing over 91.24 km of riding.

Another highlight was my first ascent of Whiteface Mountain. I won’t go into detail (I did that here) but suffice to say it was a fantastic experience, and I hope to go back again this year!

It turns out that 2012 was a year of new toys. I bought the aforementioned new ‘cross bike, but also dipped my toes in the Power Meter arena, with the purchase of a cheap old used wired PowerTap. Unfortunately, the PowerTap only worked for me for about 6 rides before it died just as we arrived in Vermont (damn! I wanted to see numbers for those climbs!) I bit the bullet early in 2013, so now have a fully refurbished (now ANT+) PowerTap and a new Garmin 500 to go with it. I’m pretty excited!

What I’m excited about for 2013:


This was a slightly better year for paddling.I managed two canoe trips; one to Puzzle Lake PP again for the May long weekend with Matt and Randy, where we once again failed to find the caves. The second one was a new experience; Krystelle and I went south for Canada Day, hoping to avoid the crowds by paddling in the Adirondacks. We had a fantastic trip paddling in the St. Regis Wilderness Canoe Area, and a cool hike up a mountain. Very un-Canadian of us to leave the Country on our National Holiday, but for a last minute trip, we certainly avoided the killer crowds that would have been any easily-accessible Canadian canoe areas!

What I’m excited about for 2013:

  • Finally finding the Puzzle Lake Caves
  • Getting in at least one additional trip


2012 was an excellent ski year for me, despite the winter being kind of…lame in the snow department. Steve,Donny and I got into a good routine of skiing in Gatineau Park on Saturday morning, where if there’s any snow at all, the conditions are good. (Thanks to the awesome grooming!)  I finally got the hang of skate skiing; it really ‘clicked’ after Rick gave us a few lessons and told us what we were doing wrong. I can now safely say that I love skate skiing, and rather than dieing after 10 minutes, can go for a couple of hours and only be dead at the end!

What I’m excited about for 2013:

  • More great skate skis, and refining my technique


This blog saw only 14 new posts (lame!) but still a fair bit of traffic, with 17,696 visits (up from 10,131 last year) from 14,420 unique visitors. All visits totaled 26,292 pageviews (up from 16,454 last year.) The 10 most popular pages, in order were:

  1. Sigma Rox 9.1 – Initial Review and Thoughts
  2. QGIS Topological Editing
  3. Map Books in QGIS
  4. QGIS Trace Edit Tool
  5. QGIS Diagrams – Pie Charts for Symbols!
  6. Merge A Directory of Shapefiles Using OGR
  7. QGIS Can Now Delete Columns In Shapefiles!
  8. Sigma Rox 9.0 – Part II
  9. Renaming Fields in a Shapefile
  10. Sigma Rox 9.0 Follow-up Review – One Year In

What I’m excited about for 2013:

  • My new Cycling Software page. It’s a bit of a new thing (started just days ago) that I hope will really pick up. I’m discovering all sorts of awesome software that I didn’t know about, and hope to share it with my fellow riders!

I  think that’s it for 2012 in review. As always, thanks for reading, and have a fantastic 2013!

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