Been a weird year for me.....have been living abroad in Europe for nearly 3 years, before returning back to NorCal nearly exactly 1 year ago today. The re-entry / reverse culture-shock has been real...
1 year ago today I had a broken femur. I broke it in Denmark just a few days prior to moving back, which caused all kinds of mayhem. But once I returned to NorCal, rehab and recovery and getting stronger again was the name of the game. So January and most of February 2021 were not the best months physically and mentally for me, but was good to be back 'home' (even though I had just left a place that had become 'home' for me during the few short years I was there).
Anyway -- I ended the year with a few miles short of 8,000 miles. I ride road, gravel, and MTB and these miles are spread pretty evenly amongst my rides. I love to race (dirt) and knew I wouldn't be anywhere near the level I was at in the past, but did race have the Mother Lode Epic race (mentioned above) and scored a 4th in Pro division just off the podium, and more recently (October) raced the Moab Rocks 3-day Stage Race, and scored a 3rd overall in the 40 - 49 age group...so getting on a podium in a rocky technical stage race like Moab was a major 'win' for me and helped me get over some fears I've had about crashing and re-injuring my leg.
In June, I attempted the Trans North California bikepacking 'race', from Reno to Mendocino, point-to-point. This is a 400-ish mile gravel & MTB route that can be ridden on any bike, but IMO favors a MTB so you can rip the gravel roads, but also have fun on all the single track bits of the route that include Forest City, Bullard's Bar, technical dirt in the Stonyford moto area, singletrack around Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, and then finishing off with Mendocino singletrack just before the finish in...Mendocino. I wanted to beat the current FKT which sits around 40 hours and has last about 6 or 7 years. Halfway through the race I was on pace to beat that, but GPS issues and the savage SAVAGE heat on Day 2 left me unable to keep fluids down after suffering up Goat Mountain in Stonyford where the my Garmin recorded 120 degree temperatures for most of the day. I ended up getting a ride out in the back the back of a good samaritan's pickup truck where I sat and bounced around in the bed of his pickup truck, dry-heaving & puking off the side as he barreled down a dusty dirt road to drop me off (literally) on the pavement of a gas station in Clearlake where I could then get a cell phone signal
Anyway -- 2021 was the first year in 3 years, where all my miles were in the US, not in Europe. That was both good and bad.
Looking forward to more adventures, and taking another crack at the TransNorth California FKT this summer I hope.