2016… That’s a wrap

As I sit at the computer hacking a lung up from my cold morning ride up MOTR today, I can’t help but reflect on the last year of riding and grin a big cheesy grin. I started off the year by getting some ill fated repairs done on my Heckler and taking a cold snowy ride up in Jacksonville, attempting to descend diabolical with 3 inches of snow on it. That was a disaster, but at least everything else went better from there.

My stats, while not terribly impressive in the grand scheme of what some of you have accomplished, showed a lot of promise in regards to my plans on pedaling up more and shuttling less. I managed to bang out 1092 miles with a total gain of 167,802 feet. I had every intention of breaking 1100 miles for the year, but my lungs disagreed with that notion about halfway up MOTR today. Oh well. For not riding anything aside from trails and fire roads, I did pretty well.

My lovely fiance, Emmeline,  spent 4 months in Nepal over the summer/early fall which afforded me a lot of free time to get some other cool riding in. I “discovered” Black Rock, Alsea Falls, and a handful of unfamiliar trails in Oakridge. I did the Mt Ashland Hillclimb which was hellish, I raced the Schoolhaus Cyclocross series, and built up a rigid Toa that I’m working up the gumption to ride more often.

2017 is going to be a busy year. In addition to my busy and often overwhelming business, I’m hoping to broaden my riding both by discipline, and by adding a Tallboy 27.5+ to the stable for XC duty. I’m going to attend something called the Honey Badger in Montague which is apparently a 52 mile gravel grind, not sure how that’ll all pan out on a mountain bike, but we’ll see. I’m optimistic about hitting some enduro races, some XC races, and definitely CX come fall. I’d like to log 2000 off road miles and 250,000 vertical feet in 2017.

Unfortunately along with all the optimism of greatness, I’ve also been smacked down a bit with recurring asthma/CRPD type issues and a fun little bout of sciatica that makes longer rides difficult. I’ve accepted that I don’t quite bounce back from crashes and setbacks like I did when I was a teenager. Which of course will make me a better rider because crashing hurts more now and I want to avoid it… That’s how this all works, right? Right.

New Year’s Resolutions? Well, there’s going to be lots of exploring and relearning local trails, epic rides (30-50 miles), racing, and definitely a trip to Whistler in this coming year. I’m nothing but excited to use my new eyes (Getting Lasik in 2 weeks, no more hearing me whine about foggy glasses!) and to push the limits of my riding and everyone’s patience with my insistence on riding more, riding further, climbing more, shuttling less, and going out in terrible conditions we love to hate. See you all on the trails in 2017!

-Michael Page

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