The snow ghosts at the Chasseral.
The snow ghosts at the Chasseral.

Year 2020 In Review

In 2020 I rode 135 times or 300 hours, totaling 5’195 kilometers and climbing 144’439 meters. Due to our move in 2019, which saw my riding time greatly reduced for the second part of the year, I hoped to get back to a 2018 level in 2020. But that wasn’t possible. The pandemic had little to do with it. We had a few months with short time at work, which would have given me more time to ride. However, in early 2020 one of our cats was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and her sister shows signs of it, too.

We were lucky with them for the majority of their lives. They had an unlucky start into life and were quite sick when we adopted them, but up until early last year, they had never fallen ill. A pair of healthy cats don’t take much time. We used to feed them twice a day, they need a clean litterbox, various places to sleep, toys, and some playtime. When you’re on the couch it usually takes no time and a cat climbs onto your lap. If you try to provide some comfort of life for a chronically ill cat, however, a lot more of one’s time has to be given to your pet. My wife has done the brunt of the work and I basically halved my time riding. I still tried to head out regularly, but tremendously shorted the time out on a ride.

In a road cycling heavy May, I managed to cover 812 kilometers, but for the remainder of the year, my monthly mileage totals never climb back as high. In mid-April, my Volagi Viaje received a new wheelset by Black Cat Wheels built with Kinlin TL-23 rims and Industry 9 Centerlock hubs. At the end of July, I sold my amazing Fortyfour Big Boy fat-bike; a bike with which I amassed 8’585 kilometers during 907 hours. In August, I gave my 44 Marauder a cockpit upgrade going from a Jones H-Bar Bend to a Ritchey Comp Kyote handlebar. Ultimately in September, I upgraded my Nordest Albarda to SRAM Red eTap AXS. My fat-bike season began with the first snowfall in the Jura on November 21st and continued all through December.

2021 will continue in the same fashion. Rides will remain short but hopefully regular. There’s an upgrade to my fat-bike I’ve been wanting to do, but for now, the parts are unavailable. My Albarda will be getting a 650B wheelset with Light-Bicycle WR35 carbon rims and Chris King R45D hubs. At the end of spring or the beginning of summer, I would love to get my hands on a Stooge MK5. The trails up the hillside behind our house are too steep for a single-speed and riding it up the paved road just isn’t something I do. To fully take advantage of the trail network around our house I need a geared mountain bike with a rigid geometry to hit the steep descents. Without going custom, a Stooge MK5 looks perfect for just that.

This article was updated on January 5, 2021

Patrick

Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion; always on two wheels, no suspension and certainly no flipping motor.

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