Inspired by your "tried it/liked it" post I decided to look back on my year in cycling and share some of my thoughts. The year started off differently because after finishing the round and round 24 hour race in 2005 I declared that I was going to move on from racing. I did keep biking but without the goal of an upcoming race my mileage dropped and I found myself longing for the fitness of the past. I thought I could get together with some like minded folk for some street racing but no one bit at my lures.
2006 was my first full year with my Bianchi track bike. Spinning fixed was a revelation equal to when I discovered the joy of singlespeeding. The fixie brought out my love of urban riding and I dabbled in some high speed car dodging that is not recommended.
The lack of bottle cage mounts on the fixie made me give in to the water bladder revolution that swept through cycling about a million years ago. I still prefer bottles but I have learned to use my platypus Zip-Loc style 100 oz. bladder. The only problem I have is I have a tendency to put my pack on the ground when I have a coffee top and the mouth piece gets dirty and has leaked profuse amounts of water under the table while I enjoy an Americano. When this happens it appears as though I not housebroken. I am waiting for a barista to come out and rub my nose in the puddle.
I looked the part of a messenger with my black Bellweather short pants and Ortlieb Pro Messenger Backpack. The backpack has been the darling of my pack collection but the bloom is off the rose. Once again my eye has begun to wander and I looking for a new fling with Wingnut gears Adventure 2006 pack. The cycling specific, low-on-the-back design and super light construction couldn't be more different than the Ortlieb. I rediscovered touring with a trip to Kettle Falls. The secret beach I slept on was fantastic even though during the night my beloved Sidi Dominator shoes disappeared. After 4 years in the shoes they were as comfortable as ever but I took the opportunity to look for the next great shoe. By the time I was done I was another pair of Sidi Dominators. When something works for your feet you have to stick with it.
I added a pair of Lake Winter Cycling shoes to my collection and I have been wearing them daily through the winter. The do everything I could want them to do. My feet are warm and dry plus they function well as a comfortable long day ride shoe. They have performed so well that I have used warm socks only a couple of times. 2006 was the year of Merino Wool everything. Smartwool is everywhere plus I have found inexpensive super soft machine washable merino at Banana Republic and Old Navy. My Swobo wooly cycling cap has been a constant part of my wardrobe since the temeratures drop below 50.
My many problems with my Niterider lighting system last year have subsided. It seems the 6th time it went to San Diego for repairs mostly did the trick but I still have one battery pack that is iffy.
I have still eat a lot of Bumblebars but I begun to supplement them with Laramar fruit and nut bars. I like the fact that they are moist.
I said goodbye to my Bianchi BUSS singlespeed mountain bike. I got a lot of use out of the bike until I discovered 29 inch mountain bikes. I sold the bike and will sell other bikes soon in preparation to have Curtlo Bikes of Winthrop build me a custom 29er SS frame. I have not built a bike up from the frame since I bought my Ibis Hakkalugi in 1996. I have had a lot of bikes since then but the Lugi is the only when I will never part with. I hope that the Curtlo will be the off-road equivalent.
As 2006 comes to a close I look forward to 2007. I have found new goals for my cycling that have energized me. There will be many fast and light overnight trips this summer in preparations for bigger things in 2008.