January: the first month of the first year during which I rode outside every month. The year's first ride was on an unseasonably warm New Year's Day. It didn't stay that warm.
|January 1, 2012. Record-setting warmth.|
|The warm weather didn't last, though winter never really arrived.|
February: Some cold rides.
|Main roads stayed ice free.|
March. Two group rides: my first ever, when visiting my sister in Washington DC. Hosted by the Swedish Embassy, this was the Washington Area Bicycle Association's VASA ride. It was followed by a first brevet, a short one of 100k on St. Patrick's Day, from Westfield. Both were fun, and I count both as successes, finishing in the time allotted, meeting new people and enjoying the pedalling.
|Washington, DC. VASA ride|
|Swedish Embassy, the start and finish of the route|
|The start of the Westfield MA 100k St. Patrick's Day brevet.|
April brought great local outdoor riding, a mix of pleasure discovering new roads and training for the May Cyclosportive.
|Stockbridge Bowl from Lenox|
|Typical old Berkshire Barn ...|
May: the first-ever "Classic" Berkshire Cyclosportif. I fear the second will not happen. Race, who me? I was thrilled to finish in time, a half hour faster than I hoped for. Guess that's what adrenaline does for you. And first in my class. Of course, I was also last in my class, the lead and the sweep. The only in my class. Seems not so many women entered, less than 20% of participants were women, and they were all ... young. Umm, younger
|They said it wasn't a race, but we had chips, and this start, and a podium at the end.....|
|Tyringham Valley, along the route|
|Anne Marie Miller won her class, and went on to win the internationals in South Africa|
June, July and August: cycling in our hills. A few of these rides were with friends, most were solo. But for the first time this summer I rode every Tuesday with a group that rides from Lenox. And every Thursday with a group from Berkshire Bike and Board in Great Barrington. These were my first "club" rides, and it was delightful to meet so many good cyclists, including a few very skilled, very generous riders who taught me a lot of technique. What I did mostly on these rides was try to keep up, and not always, always be last. Certainly there was no time for photos. But I did ride on the weekends also.
|New cycling friends, taking photos . The calves were young, and adorable.|
|On the top of Greylock, our local mountain, which I rode frequently.|
September! Faithful readers will remember that I spent it in France, solo in the Pyrenees and have only superlatives to report. Magnificent country! Unbelievably beautiful mountains! Incredible cycling-friendly culture! Wonderful beautiful little roads! Historic, beautiful villages! And again this year Toulouse, my favorite city anywhere! Generous, friendly people who I met on and off the bike, who put up with and understood my mediocre French and shared stories, meals and laughs!The trip started on the Atlantic at St. Jean de Luz and finished on Col de Tourmalet. There were many high cols in between, and much beautiful, incredible riding.
|Route de Corniche, south of St. Jean de Luz|
|High country in the Pyrenees Atlantique|
|Incredibly steep valleys|
|Morning light from my chambres d'hote|
|Near Col de Borderes|
|Pas de Roland|
|Little roads through the mountains|
|Near Col d'Aubisque and Col de Soulor|
|Col du Tourmalet. I see so little graffiti in France, wish it wasn't here!|
|The view back towards the ascent to Tourmalet|
|My last day in Luz St. Sauveur the sky clear to show snow on the high peaks|
October and November: A return to home, to work, to daily life ... mediated by Coffeeneuring! Inspired by randonneuring and organized by randonneurs, it was fun and kept me riding through some dreary grey weather.
|The last of seven coffeeneuring rides: slipped out of work on a sunny day|
December. A few chilly local rides to finish off the year.
|Chilly December rides|