2016 Season Statistics – All of Alabama



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2016 Season Statistics
Being able to participate in such a significant life-changing endeavor as the 2016 Ride4Gabe was certainly the highlight of my cycling year, and that led spontaneously to the establishment of a primary goal for 2016 – to ride in every county in Alabama in one year. I set this goal when I joined Michael Staley, Wes Bates, and Payne Griffin for the Alabama stretch of Ride4Gabe – a 2000+ mile ride from the Canadian border in Maine to the USS Alabama at Battleship Park in Mobile, Alabama. I realized during the ride that if I biked back to Birmingham after the finish in Mobile and veered west along the Mississippi border, I would hit counties that I can’t normally reach from Birmingham on my training rides. Similarly, I was only able to reach the counties in southeastern Alabama via a two day 500+ mile loop during Fall Break with my 2017 Race Across America crew chief Jeffrey White providing support.

2016 county heat map - all of Alabama in one year! Numbers in parentheses are the number of different rides that enter the county.2016 county heat map covering ALL of Alabama in one year! Numbers in parentheses are the number of different rides that entered the county.
Topocreator map of all my rides in 2016 that started and/or ended in Alabama.Topocreator map of all my rides in 2016 that started and/or ended in Alabama. Click the image to zoom in or to see even more detail, download super hi-res (41MB) version.

2016 Statistics

Statistic Avg Max Min Total
Weekly training time (hours) 31:09 64:19 06:12 1628:26
Weekly distance (miles) 457 954 59 23,876
Weekly climbing (feet) 41,934 ft 79,459 ft 1,299 2,192,569 ft
Ride distance (miles) 69.8 379.3 2.6 23,876

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

Time (hours) 712*
Dist (miles) 12.2k
Climb (feet) 642k

2016 Racing Summary
With only nine races this year, this has been the least amount of racing I’ve done in some time. Still, it was a great year of racing highlighted by winning the Skyway Epic 100 mile mountain bike race in April. I’ve finished 2nd every time I raced this race, but finally pulled out the win this year. I tried to follow this up the next day with a road racing adventure by riding to the start of the Tour de Tuscaloosa Road Race, racing the Pro/1/2 road race, and then planning to ride home afterwards. I was so wiped out by the end of the race, though, that I caught a ride back to Birmingham with my friend Chris Winslett.

Another racing highlight came later in the season with a 9th place overall finish in the Pensacola Cycling Classic. I’ve included below a trimmed down version of a blog I had started right after the race but never finished.

I got burnt out on cycling after four hard years of racing and riding in Clemson back in the 90s. So for 7 years during grad school out in California, I only raced a handful of times. When I moved back to Alabama and started racing again, I remembered why I fell in love with racing in the first place. There is so much fun, adrenaline, and strategy in challenging yourself to ride faster and/or smarter than everyone around you as well as the mental fun of watching and anticipating the team and individual choices made throughout a race. This year I haven’t raced much at all so it has been quite refreshing to dive into some fast racing a couple weeks ago in Huntsville and then this weekend down in Pensacola, Florida at the Subway Pensacola Cycling Classic.

The PCC is a true timed stage race, but the time trial is only a few miles long so that those of us who aren’t necessarily that fast at time trials still have a chance of making it into a break in the road race or going for the time bonuses in the crit to do well in the overall. Plus, the road race is about 60 miles away from the beach on some fun hills so that ride from the beach to the race is a nice adventure including an optional section of a really old brick road and a nice rails-to-trail bike path. This year, the adventure also included a fire tower climb since I made it to the race a bit earlier than last year. My result in the time trial was one of my best ever, which I think is a sign of me doing longer, more sustained efforts associated with distance riding rather than the short bursts of KOM efforts and hill repeats. The road race was good, and although I missed the winning break, I was able to get into one of the first chase groups and finish 9th in the road race a minute or two ahead of the main peloton, which barring a wreck in the crit would mean a top 10 overall. I raced the crit hard, hoping to get a time bonus or some primes, but ended up just finishing. Still, it was a fun race and fun to ride hard on a fast six-corner course.

2016 Bike Trips
I made several multi-day bike trips this year summarized and recapped below.

Trip Distance Climbing Moving Time Elapsed Time
March – southern style paris-brest-paris 756 miles 57,834 ft 52 hours (14.5mph) 70.5 hours (10.8mph)
July – state high point adventure 824 miles 59,963 ft 57 hours (14.4mph) 101 hours (8.2mph)
August – Ride4Gabe and ride home 741 miles 30,503 ft 47 hours (15.7mph) 106 hours (7.0mph)
October – Dothan loop 505 miles 26,522 ft 29 hours (17.4mph) 40 hours (12.6mph)
November – Atlanta ACM out/back

410 miles 29,019 ft 26 hours (16.0mph) 47 hours (8.8mph)
November – Birmingham to Michigan 706 miles 36,247 ft 44 hours (16.1mph) 57 hours (12.3mph)
December – Nashville (RedKite) 465 miles 28,439 ft 32 hours (14.7mph) 47 hours (10mph)

March – southern style paris-brest-paris – 756 miles and 57,834 ft climbing
I blogged about this trip, but a quick summary is that it was amazing. It was my attempt to crest three state high points in a single ride (AL, GA, and SC), but I cut the ride short to make a bee-line for Clemson when I was falling asleep on the bike in Clayton, Georgia near the South Carolina border. I was eating in the waffle house, charging devices and nearly fell asleep. After a great night’s sleep in a hotel in Clemson after riding around at midnight with lots of memories of my time there as an undergrad, I rode all the way back to Birmingham the next morning covering the distance of Paris-Brest-Paris with almost 60,000 ft of climbing in just over 70 hours. It rained a lot on the second day, and I rode the entire length of the Silver Comet and Chief Ladiga trails in the dark in periodic spurts of rain that next night.

July – state high point adventure – 824 miles and 59,963 ft climbing
I blogged about this trip, too. After failing at hitting 3 states in a single ride, I tried to up the ante a bit and hit 5 state high points (AL, GA, SC, TN, and NC) on a 1,000 mile ride to Tybee Island. As I was leaving super early in the morning, I sheered off a crank arm bolt leading to a several hour delay before I could start riding. To try to make up time, I changed up the route knocking off 75 miles. But even doing that, I was riding in the heat of the day longer than anticipated on that first day. I was severely dehydrated by the time I made it to Cartersville, Georgia after crossing Mount Cheaha (Alabama’s highest point). On the second day, I knocked off Brasstown Bald (Georgia’s highest point) on the way to a hotel in Cherokee, North Carolina at the base of Clingman’s Dome (Tennessee’s highest point). This third day was going to be the most climbing by starting out up Clingman’s and then riding the Blue Ridge parkway 125 miles to Mount Mitchell (North Carolina’s highest point) before backtracking to Rosman, North Carolina just across the border from South Carolina. Riding in the mountains brought some relief from the heat, but I still had to cross the entire state of South Carolina so I made a decision early on in the ride to chop off another 100 miles of the ride by skipping Mount Mitchell altogether and heading straight to Rosman. Having done this, I was now ahead of schedule but heat exhausted and tired. The final 24 hours of riding crossed the entire state of South Carolina starting out with the climb from the border up the backside of Sassafras Mountain (South Carolina’s highest point), down through Clemson before following the Savannah River pretty much all the way to the coast. I crossed the river into Georgia for a short 3 hour sleep at a hotel in Augusta before continuing on in the middle of the night and finally making it to Tybee Island beating everyone from my family to the beach (although I did have a 3 day head start). This trip was really difficult. One of the highlights was bunny hopping the tail of an alligator that had gotten hit by a car and was right in the strip of shoulder where I was riding on a very busy highway just outside Savannah.

August – Ride4Gabe and ride home – 741 miles and 30,503 ft climbing
This trip was the highlight of my year. Although I wasn’t able to join my friends Michael Staley, Wes Bates, and Payne Griffin on their entire 2000+ mile Ride4Gabe journey from the Canadian border in Maine all the way to the Gulf Coast, I was able to join them for the last leg of their trip crossing the entire state of Alabama from north to south. 2017 RAAM crew member Demetrious White grabbed a ride with a very generous Huntsville rider who drove down and picked us up in Birmingham and drove us all the way to Fayetteville, Tennessee where we met Michael, Wes, and Payne on their way down from Nashville. We finished off the long ride from there to Huntsville in the dark before setting off early the next morning to ride from Huntsville, Alabama all the way through Birmingham and ending up past Montgomery in Hope Hull. There was a large group of riders who were riding their first ever 200+ mile ride and correspondingly their longest ride every by a long shot. Everyone was tired, but we pushed on through some pretty crazy thunderstorms and rain. On the final day, we were up early again and out the door before sunrise and again dodging and/or getting drenched by thunderstorms and rain.

When we made it to the border of Florida, we weren’t finished yet. The best was yet to come as we got to ride into Battleship Park following behind Gabe in his motorized scooter. Not only did we ride through the parking lot, we were able to ride straight into the hangar amongst all the planes and helicopters where a US Representative from Alabama was waiting to present us with a proclamation of support in our effort to raise awareness for the 21st Century Cures Act and the efforts to find a cure for Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Thanks to all of the hard work by many people and the efforts of initiatives like Ride4Gabe, the 21st Century Cures Act was passed into law in December.

After the ride, I started my long journey back home to Birmingham heading up the west side of the state in at least one county I had never even been to, let alone rode in. One of my favorite videos from the ride was this alligator under a bridge over the Tombigbee River.

October – Dothan loop – 505 miles and 26,522 ft climbing
On Monday and Tuesday of Samford’s fall break, I did a 505 mile loop down to the southeastern corner of Alabama with my 2017 RAAM crew chief (Jeffrey White) to complete my goal of riding in all 67 of Alabama’s counties in just one year (9 months, really!). This went really well, and we absolutely flew down to Dothan, spent the night, and got up super early the next morning to ride back to Birmingham. With Jeffrey providing support I was able to ride and stop only a handful of times for the entire trip. This was a really good dry run for the Race Across America this upcoming summer!

November – Atlanta ACM programming competition – 410 miles and 29,019 ft climbing
This year I coached two programming teams in our CS department at Samford. These two teams competed in a regional programming competition in Atlanta, which I decided would be fun to bike to instead of drive to. Coincidentally, the Auburn Flyers cycling team was planning on everesting Mount Cheaha that same weekend. The timing didn’t work out quite right as I needed to leave Birmingham at 9PM on Friday night to be there by the start of the competition Saturday morning. This put me crossing Cheaha in the middle of the night shortly before the Flyers began their everesting challenge. After the competition was over, I rode back home to Birmingham.

November – Riding to Michigan for Thanksgiving – 706 miles and 36,247 ft climbing
One of the most mentally challenging rides of the year was when I rode from Birmingham to Michigan. My family had already driven up there since they had the whole week off from school, but I had to teach on Monday and Tuesday. So we decided I would leave right after class on Tuesday and bike up there to join them. I left Samford at about noon and arrived at the Michigan border Thursday night. It was super challenging because of the cold rain that fell most of the second day, but also on the first day I had already ridden a long ways before sunset and then rode all through the night which is pretty tough with no sleep. The next morning, though, I had an incredible tailwind and made such good time that I was able to ride 380 miles on that first day and 325 miles the next day.

December – Birmingham to Nashville and back for Red Kite Bicycle Studio podcast
I had lots of fun this past year on all kinds of adventures, but this one was really special. First, interviewing with my friend Patrick Harkins was awesome and as my “regular racing” career starts to wind down, it was fun to reflect on all the exciting racing that has been part of my life for so long. Second, this ride helped me complete a ride that I had tried once before when I first getting into ultra distance cycling but failed … riding from Nashville back home to Birmingham. In my defense, that first time I tried to ride home from Nashville in 2013, I had ridden for over an hour staring at a temperature of 12 degF and developed quite the icicle beard.

Ice beard in December 2013 early on in my failed attempt to ride home from Nashville.Ice beard in December 2013 early on in my failed attempt to ride home from Nashville.

This time was also very cold and very, very windy. But I made it with no major problems – bringing my list of cities I’ve ridden to and back home to let’s see … 1, 2, 3, … a bunch!!!

One last note to wrap up the year was our fun trip to Lake Superior to go downhill skiing with my wife's family. I got a fat bike which I tried to ride from the lowest point in Minnesota (Lake Superior) to the highest point (Eagle Mountain) but ran out of time and daylight. Next year!One last note to wrap up the year was our fun trip to Lake Superior to go downhill skiing with my wife’s family. I got a fat bike which I tried to ride from the lowest point in Minnesota (Lake Superior) to the highest point (Eagle Mountain) but ran out of time and daylight. Next year!

2016 Video Highlights
I took a lot of videos this year. Some of the them are real-time videos, and some of them are timelapse videos. Check them all on my youtube channel: http://youtube.com/kartoone76

2016 veloviewer.com infographic2016 veloviewer.com infographic. This summarizes a lot of data in just one image. My favorite bits of data are the yellow blobs in March representing my out/back ride to Clemson from Birmingham, the purple blobs in October representing the two day 500+ mile loop to Dothan to finish riding in all the counties in Alabama in one year, and the red blobs in November representing the two day 700+ mile ride from Birmingham to Michigan for Thanksgiving!


One response to “2016 Season Statistics – All of Alabama”

  1. […] the entire eastern half of Mississippi and much of the panhandle of Florida – the two states (besides Alabama) that I finished […]

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