Tag Archives: statistics

2015 a year to remember

30,000 miles of riding in 2015 - annotated US county map. 23 states and 203 counties covered in 2015. Click to enlarge.topocreator.com map showing 30,000 miles of riding in 2015. 23 states and 203 counties covered in 2015. Click to enlarge.

Every January I look forward to writing this blog post with a summary of all the statistics, data, and maps from the previous year’s racing. This year’s summary took a bit longer because I wanted to add a new feature to topocreator.com where you can isolate and retrieve only the elevation data for the counties entered on rides. This makes it easy to see and count the number of counties entered on rides. Using this feature, I determined that I rode in 23 states and 203 counties in 2015 as shown in the map above. In Alabama alone, I rode in 52 of Alabama’s 67 counties as shown in the map below:

topocreator.com map of all my rides in 52 of Alabama's 67 counties. This map also includes rides that started at home and went into neighboring states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia.topocreator.com map of all my rides in 52 of Alabama’s 67 counties. This map also includes rides that started at home and went into neighboring states of Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Finally, veloviewer.com makes it easy to see everywhere you’ve ridden. Here’s an annotated map of my riding since November 2008 when I first got a GPS, plus a comment about some of my riding pre-GPS (i.e., 15 years from 1993-2008).

Annotated map of all my rides from November 2008 until December 31st, 2015 with note about rides pre-GPS. Source: veloviewer.comveloviewer.com annotated map of all my rides from November 2008 until December 31st, 2015 with note about rides pre-GPS.

Alabama the Beautiful
Why counties? When I was training for RAAM, I wanted to showcase the beauty of “Alabama the Beautiful” by visiting as many counties as I could during the lead-up to RAAM. I ended up covering most of the state, but the bottom counties were just too far to get to on out/back rides from my house. To get to all those counties, I did one 500+ mile ride (Heart of the South 500), six 300+ mile rides in Alabama, and thirty-three 200+ mile rides in Alabama. Alabama truly is a beautiful state, and I could not be happier living here. You can’t ride half a mile in Alabama without seeing something cool and different. It never gets old! The biggest surprise for me while exploring counties was Natural Bridge up in Bankhead National Forest northwest of Birmingham. The only reason I was riding up there was to hit four counties in Northwest Alabama (Winston, Lawrence, Franklin, and Marion). Along the way I stumbled upon natural bridge.

Natural bridge #alabama #teamtoone #raam2015

A photo posted by Brian Toone (@kartoone76) on

Race Across America (RAAM)

The highlight for this season was definitely finishing 7th place in my rookie attempt at the Race Across America. I didn’t meet my time goal or finishing place goal, but I was very happy to exceed my fundraising goal for Nuevas Esperanzas. Thank you everyone for the huge amount of support I received in this race. I wish I could have done better, but I am happy to have finished and hopefully represented Alabama well.

Statistics

With RAAM my racing/training became an all-year effort with no offseason. So I’m updating all of my past statistics to a calendar year instead of a racing season year. Veloviewer and Strava have implemented all the features for end-of-season analysis that I used to do with the Polar Protrainer software. Unfortunately, I did not get a GPS cycling computer until November 2008 so that is as far back as my data goes.

Annotated veloviewer.com 2015 graphic - 30,130 miles and 3,323,393 feet of climbing.Annotated veloviewer.com 2015 graphic – 30,130 miles and 3,323,393 feet of climbing. The max ride distance and max ride time are both off because I split up the Heart of the South race in early April into two separate rides. The 426 mile ride was immediately followed by an 85 mile ride with a couple miles of warm-up on the way over to the start for a grand total of 513.8 miles in just over 30 hours with no sleep.

2015 Statistics

Statistic Avg Max Min Total
Weekly training time (hours) 37:52 100:57 (RAAM) 0:00 (Post-RAAM) 1969:51
Weekly distance (miles) 579 1660 (RAAM) 0.0 (Post-RAAM) 30,130
Weekly climbing (feet) 63,911 ft 122,283 ft 0 3,323,393 ft (1.01M meters)
Ride distance (miles) 92.4 513.8 (HOS) 0.6 30,130

Comparison to past years (updated to calendar year)
All these stats are based on the calendar year January 1st – December 31st.

Statistic
(total)
2008
Total
Avg/Max
2009
Total
Avg/Max
2010
Total
Avg/Max
2011
Total
Avg/Max
2012
Total
Avg/Max
2013
Total
Avg/Max
2014
Total
Avg/Max
2015
Total
Avg/Max
Time (hours) 712*
13.7/20.2
617
11.9/19.2
766
14.7/21.3
1,146
22.0/28.2
1,427
27.4/45.2
1,417
27.3/39.6
1,551
29.8/40.0
1,970
37.9/101.0
Dist (miles) 12.2k
235/337
11.5k
221/361
13.9k
268/378
18.1k
346/503
20.7k
399/650
20.5k
394/587
22.1k
424/632
30.1k
579/1,660
Climb (feet) 642k
12k/20k
859k
17k/32k
963k
19k/34k
2,135k
41k/58k
2,611k
50k/100k
2,522k
49k/80k
2,757k
53k/89k
3,323k
64k/122k

* Using Polar Protrainer software to calculate data based on my Polar Heartrate monitor (without GPS) for the 2008 season. This software doesn’t distinguish between “moving time” and “elapsed time”. The 2008 figure is “elapsed time” whereas all the other years are moving time as reported by Strava and Veloviewer.

End of the year milestones
November and December were quite busy for me as I pursued three major calendar year goals – 1,000,000 meters of elevation gain, an Eddington number of 100, and 30,000 miles of riding.

I crossed over the 1,000,000 meter mark on December 23rd during the middle of a very hot (temps in the 70s) and wet week of riding down in Alabama. My original goal had been 3,000,000 feet of climbing, but when it looked like I was going to blow past that near the end of November I thought I would up my goal to 1,000,000 meters (3,280,839.9 feet). I tracked my progress on a website I created (howmuchtogo.com), and no matter how much I was climbing I seemed to be stuck in the 10,000-11,000 foot range per day in order to meet this goal. But after a fun 10,000 meter (~33,000 feet) adventure to Inland Lake on Pine Mountain, the goal started to quickly come into focus with me chopping hundreds and eventually thousands of feet per day off the requirement. See graph below.

The last 16 weeks of my progress on howmuchtogo.com towards my 2015 elevation climbing goal of 1,000,000 meters of total elevation gain.The last 16 weeks of my progress on howmuchtogo.com towards my 2015 elevation climbing goal of 1,000,000 meters of total elevation gain.

The Eddington number was tougher to get because during the year I had several 99 mile rides, which don’t count towards the 100 number. Finally, after two back-to-back centuries on December 24th and 25th, I hit 100 centuries for the year. Lifetime, I’d like to get my Eddington number up to 200 but it will be many, many years before that happens. It currently stands at 118, but to give you an idea of the deviousness of the Eddington number, I need two more rides of at least 119 miles to reach 119 and six more rides of at least 120 miles to reach a lifetime Eddington number of 120. To reach 200, I need 142 more rides of at least 200 miles.

In addition to 100 centuries in 2015, I hit a number of other benchmarks:

Benchmark Quantity
500+ mile rides 1 (Heart of the South 500, 1st place, 30 minutes off course record
400+ mile rides 1 (although I came close to a 2nd one with a 398 mile ride during RAAM)
300+ mile rides 12 (including 6 during RAAM)
200+ mile rides 45 (including 9 during RAAM)
100+ mile rides 100 (including 5 Alabama Backroads Centuries plus riding to/from the start of each!)
Everestings 1 (Everested Clingman’s Dome, the highest pt in TN, by climbing it 5 times)
Cheaha Rides 32 (All of these rides are round-trip from Hoover to the highest pt in AL)

Location based milestones were many. First, I rode across the entire country. Second, I made it from Birmingham all the way up to Nashville having failed to do that in 2013. Prior to that, though, I rode all the way from Birmingham up to Cave City, Kentucky through some very rural and fun ridges and hollows of Tennessee. Another goal was to do rides starting and ending at my house that hit all the neighboring states. I did a 295 mile loop to Tennessee, 263 mile loop to Mississippi, and a 244 mile loop to Georgia. I didn’t make it to Florida, but the loop I did to hit some of the South Alabama counties was 313.5 miles long!

I rode around the earth 1.2 times this year, and climbed halfway to Medium-Orbit around the earth approximate 2.5 times higher than the International Space Station.

Strava Challenges
This was also the year for the Strava challenges for me, especially the climbing challenges. Also, I’m pretty sure I completed every Strava challenge this year.

Challenge Place Participants Goal Actual
January climbing 2nd 77,697 6,142m 96,761m
January distance 29th 114,440 1,250km 3,277km
January granfondo 100 22nd 90,930 100km 395km (15)
January granfondo 150 26th 49,600 150km 395km (7)
February climbing 2nd 67,442 8,535m 97,255m
February distance 12th 109,059 1,250km 3,447km
February granfondo 100 42nd 87,625 100km 397km (14)
February granfondo 150 50th 45,862 150km 397km (9)
March climbing 20th 79,449 4,096m 32,964m
March distance 7th 138,026 1,250km 4,419km
March granfondo 100 11th 109,030 100km 499km (15)
March granfondo 150 11th 58,209 150km 499km (13)
March Adventure Cycling 1st 48,636 24hr 23h7min
April climbing 11th 110,373 9,000m 67,765m
April distance 2nd 164,906 1,250km 4,392km
April granfondo 130 2nd 142,817 130km 686km (12)
Specialized Spring Classics 3rd 103,612 1,225km 6,345km
May climbing 10th 117,803 6,000m 53,338m
May distance 5th 194,006 1,250km 5,177km
May granfondo 100 16th 213,114 100km 504km (18)
Giro climbing 22nd 94,623 10,000m 62,983m
June climbing 21st 114,072 8,848m 57,892m
June distance 6th 195,034 1,250km 6,011km
June granfondo 115 165th 148,725 115km 500km (9)
July climbing 129th 121,124 1,860m 21,003m
July distance 501st 184,651 1,250km 2,524km
July granfondo 130 18th 123,643 130km 525km (9)
The Tour de France 681st 75,636 1,680km 1,890km
August climbing 9th 113,690 11,000m 82,543m
August distance 42nd 193,286 1,250km 3,703km
August granfondo 150 355th 115,352 150km 342km (12)
The Paris-Brest-Paris 38th 68,584 1,200km 3,703km
September climbing 1st 123,699 9,000m 100,091m
September distance 19th 190,124 1,250km 3,863km
September granfondo 120 64th 158,106 120km 406km (14)
October climbing 3rd 116,195 7,500m 100,926m
October distance 6th 168,270 1,250km 3,871km
October granfondo 120 55th 107,529 120km 410km (17)
October Adventure Cycling 47th 93,386 24h 17h10min
November climbing 2nd 103,582 6,000m 101,902m
November distance 21st 151,224 1,250km 3,392km
November granfondo 100 28th 105,732 100km 417km (16)
December climbing 2nd 100,596 5,000m 113,204m
December distance 10th 138,630 1,250km 4,403km
December granfondo 100 31st 104,937 100km 429km (23)
Rapha Festive 500 424th 72,286 500km 793km

The #’s in parentheses are the number of rides in the month that met the minimum Gran Fondo distance.

Huge thank-you
So this post has been just a bunch of stats and maps, but the real story is all the people who made it possible. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to so many people, and I want to thank so many people, but it really is too many people to thank by name. Know that I am deeply appreciative for all that everyone has done for me this year. I do want to thank one person, though, my beautiful wife Kristine Toone, who has put up with all the hours on the bike and endured nights of troubled sleep waking up frequently to check the Garmin tracker to make sure I’m still moving in my overnight and all-day rides. Also, during the Race Across America, I got to a point where I really just wanted to talk to her all the time so she dealt with a lot of the stress of the race and helped me through it amazingly. My favorite picture from RAAM is this one where I realized how madly in love with her I still am 14 years after meeting her at Mercy Ships in Texas.

2014 Season Summary

An epic season

I’ve been on many rides and raced in many races I’d classify as “epic”, but this is probably the first season I’d classify as “epic”. Lots of epic rides and races, but also one epic crash completely changed the course of my season. I’m super thankful to be able to write this post at all after slamming into the side of a car on a 25% section of a descent on South Cove Dr on a Monday commute home from work, waking up in the hospital, and then spending the rest of the week there. In addition to all of that, I created two new websites: di2stats.com for analyzing shifting data from Shimano Di2 shifters and howmuchtogo.com for tracking progress towards goals.

I had again this year been planning on targeting the SRS series on the road and the UltraCX series off-road with an additional goal of qualifying for the Race Across America for 2015, but when my good buddy Kyle Taylor asked me if I wanted to race 24 hour mountain bike nationals, which would lead to several conflicts with the SRS series, I decided to switch to a season with more of an off-road and ultra distance emphasis. This started out well with Rouge Roubaix followed up by an epic Hell of the South race. One week later, I won the 500 mile Heart of the South race. Things turned upside down just after the Cohutta 100 mtb race where two days later I had my bad wreck on the way home from work.

When I woke up in the hospital, I didn’t know what all I had broken, but I was sure that my season was over. Instead, the only long term consequence was broken ribs and a broken jaw. Even after surgery, my jaw still had to be wired shut for nearly two months. But since my legs were OK, I could ride again only a week after coming home from the hospital. Riding with my jaws wired shut was quite disconcerting because there was no way to get any more oxygen if I ran out by climbing too steep a hill or pushing it too hard to make a traffic light.

I think in the end this helped me out at 24 hour mtb nationals which was held at 8000′ of elevation in the beautiful enchanted forest in the mountains above Gallup, NM. I had almost two months of riding with my jaw wired shut before begging the surgeon to remove the wires the week before the race. I never noticed the altitude during the race, but I did have to sleep for a couple hours in the middle of the night, which dropped me from the top 5 out of the top ten. I woke up feeling really refreshed though and passed several people to end up 7th by the time the race was over.

After this race, I switched gears thinking about qualifying for RAAM and started doing long adventure rides as training (and for the adventure, too, of course!). This included four weeks in a row of back-to-back-to-back epics totaling almost 1200 miles in just 4 rides – starting with one of the crazier adventures of the year – racing elite amateur nationals in Madison, Wisconsin followed by a 315 mile ride through the hills of southwestern, western, and northwestern Wisconsin leaving at 1 in the morning barely 10 hours after finishing the 90 mile road race. One week later, I reversed the route and headed back down towards Madison but got caught in a bad thunderstorm that dropped the temps down into the lower 50s. Here I am in Wisconsin absolutely frozen trying to drink enough coffee at a gas station to try to warm up in the middle of July!!!

The next weekend back home in Alabama I rode down to the beach for a beach vacation via Alabama and Florida’s high points. It was a tough ride with 16,000+ ft of climbing with a painful leg infected from a bee sting on a ride the day before. The swelling was bad enough and getting worse after the 310 mile ride that we ended up in the emergency room the next day (three days after the bee sting) to scan for blood clots. So this year already had two emergency room visits by the middle of July.

After a fun beach vacation, I rode 333 miles back home hitting the Florida and Alabama high points again. This concluded four weekends in a row of long adversity rides done on very little sleep.

So less than a month later, when it was time to race the Mid-Atlantic 24 hour time trial to qualify for RAAM. I felt more than ready. I ended up leading for a good portion of the race, but fading by the end after pushing the pace way too hard to see if I could break 9 hours for 200 miles. I knew that it would cost me by the end, but I figured you don’t get too many chances to do that, given how flat and fast the course was. I ended up 3rd riding 444 miles over the 24 hour period, which earned me a spot in the 2015 edition of RAAM!

After one more trip to the beach (this time in a car) to race the Pensacola Cycling Classic, I switched into mountain biking and ultra cross racing mode, racing the Fool’s Gold 100, Oak Ass 100, and Gravel Grovel. In the middle of all that, I won the Alabama state road race, a couple of really cool Gran Fondos, and the Tour de Cullman. This year I rode up from Birmingham to Cullman, won the race, and then rode back home – a 209 mile adventure with a race in the middle!

One final addition to this year’s season was a pair of everestings – riding repeats on a single hill enough time to climb the height of Mount Everest on a single ride. Strava put out a climbing challenge in November, and the Hells 500 guys upped the ante by offering a special medallion for those who completed an everesting during the climbing challenge. Scott Cole from up in Vermont completed THREE everestings during the competition, whereas I was only able to complete one everesting – karl daly. Even so, I was able to place 3rd in the world for the climbing challenge and 1st in the US based on many, many, many, many repeats of the double oak roller coaster.

Towards the beginning of December after the climbing challenge was over, I looked at my stats on veloviewer and realized I could possibly hit 2.75 million feet of climbing for the year if I climbed a lot in December — which is tricky because of our annual trip up to Wisconsin for the last week of December. I created a spreadsheet to help me track my progress which eventually led to the creation of a new website (howmuchtogo.com). The picture below is after I completed the goal via everesting Mount Cheaha climbing 33,330 feet (over 10,000 meters) the night before and into the day we left for Wisconsin.

howmuchtogo.com - 2014 elevation goal 2.75 million feethowmuchtogo.com – 2014 elevation goal 2.75 million feet

Calendar year statistics

I compiled these statistics and graphs from the cool strava api app called veloviewer.com. These statistics are from the 2014 calendar year. Probably the most notable part of these stats is the two weeks off the bike after my April 28th accident on S Cove Dr. I was so fortunate to not only be able to recover from that crash, but also set new yearly personal records for most distance (22,056 miles), most climbing (2,757,359 feet), most 200+ mile rides (11), longest ride (516.8 miles), but surprisingly not the most monthly climbing (April 2012 – 310,000 feet) or most weekly riding (July 2012 – 649.5 miles).

2014 annotated distance graph2014 annotated distance graph – this is probably my favorite graph because you can most clearly see all the epic rides from this year plus the back-to-back-to-back-to-back weekends of epics in the summer.

2014 annotated elevation graph2014 annotated elevation graph – the pair of everestings at the end of the season really stand out in this graph.

2014 annotated time graph2014 annotated time graph – one trend to note here is how this more closely relates to the elevation graph than the distance graph. in other words time and distance aren’t as closely related when you are climbing a TON. in other other words – you can spend 4 hours riding 80 miles in flat ground or 4 hours riding 40 miles in extremely hilly terrain, but it will still on average take 4 hours to climb 10,000 feet no matter the distance.

2014 ride count2014 annotated ride count – you can see the start and finish of the semesters at Samford based on when I switch from 1 ride per day to 2 rides per day. Thanks to the gran fondo challenges introduced this year on Strava, I decided to keep my fall commutes as one ride which dramatically reduced the count of fall rides for this year.

Season statistics

The statistics below all run from October 28, 2013 until October 26, 2014 – 364 days worth of riding and racing. In the past I have defined my racing/training season from the Monday closest to Nov 1 of the previous year to the Sunday closest to Oct 31st of the current year for all of these statistics and reports. But with the addition of late fall mountain bike and ultra cross races, it no longer covers the entire season. This will probably be the last year that I calculate the statistics on a non-calendar year.

Statistics Summary
October 28, 2013 – October 26, 2014

Statistic Avg Max Min Total
Weekly training time (hours) 29:56 41:32 0:00 1527:11
Weekly distance (miles) 415.2 631.9 0.0 21,175
Ride distance (miles) 44.6 516.8 0.1 21,175
Workouts per week (#) 9 16 2 475
Weekly climbing (feet) 45,233 70,955 0 2,306,910

For eagle-eyed observers who note that the climbing total is lower than that reported on Strava, I will give the same explanation that I gave last year and the year before (and the year before that): I am generating these reports from my Polar Protrainer software. I wrote a converter that converts Garmin .FIT files and .TCX files into the .HRM format that Polar expects. The Polar Protrainer software then applies a smoothing filter when it is calculating total ascent and other statistics, but I can’t figure out how to turn it off so that the statistics match up with Strava, which doesn’t apply any smoothing filters.

Comparison to past years
All years run from the Monday closest to November 1st to the Sunday closest to October 31st. This should result in about 365 days for each year give or take a day or two.

Statistic
(per week)
2008
Avg/Max
2009
Avg/Max
2010
Avg/Max
2011
Avg/Max
2012
Avg/Max
2013
Avg/Max
2014
Avg/Max
Time (hours) 14.0/20.2 13.4/20.8 15.4/20.9 22.4/33.0 25.7/40.9 27.8/34.3 29.9/41.5
Dist (miles) 238/337 242/369 266/380 338/503 390/649 394/586 415/632
HR avg (bpm) 137/165 139/161 136/176 131/178 123/156 122/162 123/166
Workouts (#) 11/15 9/14 11/14 11/17 12/19 11/17 9/16
Climb (feet) 13k/20k 14k/29k 14k/23k 31k/52k 44k/89k 42k/70k 45k/71k
Statistic
(yearly total)
2008
Total
2009
Total
2010
Total
2011
Total
2012
Total
2013
Total
2014
Total
Training (hours) 726 698 798 1,167 1,336 1,445 1,527
Distance (miles) 12.4k 12.6k 13.8k 17.6k 20.3k 20.5k 21.2k
Workouts (#) 560 445 546 580 632 554 475
Climbing (feet) 661k 677k 750k 1,598k 2,298k 2,196k 2,307k

Trends

It is interesting to note from the two veloviewer graphs below how the intensity of my workouts has decreased as my volume has increased. Hidden in that data, though, is that even with a ride with an average power of 125 watts, there may be a 500 watt two minute effort or a 400 watt 7 minute effort that helps keep my racing edge in tact. But I don’t know how much longer that will last so it will be interesting to see if I can still maintain those highest intensities in races in the future once I have finished with RAAM next year. I am so excited for RAAM, though, it doesn’t really matter too much to me right now to think that my regular racing is going to take a big hit (possibly permanently, which means I may be joining the masters fields soon instead of the Pro/1/2 fields). No matter what, though, I still love to ride my bike which is probably the most important stat of all!!!

2014-velo-power-calendar

2014-velo-time-calendar