2013 Trips Reviewed

Around this time in 2012 I had created a to-do list of trips to complete during 2013.  Let’s review what happened and what didn’t happen throughout the year.

  • Cycling
    • A week-long bicycle tour somewhere in Quebec and/or New England with my father.  This didn’t happen due to logistical issues; we went hiking in the Rockies instead.
    • One or two bikepacking trips in Kananaskis, Alberta.  These will probably be 1 to 2 night trips.  Nope, we made a few trips to the area but spent the time hiking instead of cycling.
    • Lots of rural dirt road cycling through Alberta’s range and township roads around the Edmonton Area.  Yes!  I did many hundreds of km’s of ‘Range Road cycling’.
    • Some mounting biking in Utah around St. George in the spring.  Did this and it was awesome.
  • Hiking
    • At least one backpacking trip in the Canadian Rockies. These are a few on my list.  Ended up in the Tonqlin Valley.  Great trip.
      • Skyline trail in Jasper
      • Nigel Pass in Jasper
      • Egypt Lake in Banff
      • Iceline in Yoho
    • Some day hikes.  Mostly I’ll just pick and choose as I go, but I do want to do Wilcox Pass in Jasper.  I did not make it to Wilcox but did do many, many others.
    • Several day Hikes in south-west Utah.  I’ve never been in the desert or canyons so this will be a new experience for me.  Yup, here, here, and here.  I also did a few others that didn’t make it into the blog.
  • Canoeing  Nope, no canoeing this year.
    • Probably not a lot this year since I don’t own a Canoe and would like to concentrate on Cycling.  I do have some more long-term trips that I would like to complete like the Bowron circuit in Bowron Provincial Park and  a few nights out at Murtle Lake in Wells Gray Provincial Park.

So what else did I manage to accomplish in 2013?

Enhancing my fitness level was a huge focus this year.  I took up running and managed to complete about 1000km’s of training throughout the year.  In December I ran the Seattle Half Marathon in ~1:46.  In addition to the running, I also managed to get out on my bike for about 2250km of cycling.  Some of that was commuting, much of it was just exploring back roads or small overnight bicycle tours which were not blogged.

The other noteworthy item was that I managed to do some scrambling in the mountains.  This really took my hiking to another level and challenged my fitness.  Four peaks were conquered, but only Turtle Mountain and Cirque Peak made it into the blog.  Heart Mountain and Mount Baldy are the other two.

Overall it was a very productive year, which I can only hope to match or exceed in 2014.  In the coming weeks I’ll likely end up creating another to-to for next year which may involve a bit of racing…  Lots of ideas need to be put on ‘paper’.



Running with GPS

Lately i’ve taken up running to try and stay fit during the late winter and early spring months.  I’ve attempted run on a regular basis in the past, however i’ve always had a hard time maintaining an interest in it.

This time I’ve started tracking my progress online.  I’ve found that this is very helpful for keeping motivated.  With my performance data available, I can see how I am able to run faster and farther every week.

A number of online services exist which offer this functionality.  So far I’ve been trying Garmin Connect and Strava.  Both sites track cycling and running activities, as well as others.  TrainingPeaks is another one that I have read about, but have not tried yet.  These services offer many more features that I’ve not mentioned here so check them out if your interested.

Statistics can be gathered via a smartphone application, gps based sports watch, gps enabled cycling computer, or even a handheld hiking gps.  I’ve been using the Garmin Edge 200 for cycling and the Garmin Fenix for running.  The smartphone applications work equally well, unless you are interested in gathering heart rate data, however that can be achieved with some smartphones paired with external sensors.  It’s also worth noting that the Garmin Edge 200 will not pair with an external sensors and only tracks basic distance, speed, and position data.  I’ve found the DC Rainmaker site to be the best source of information on these devices.

That’s all for now, hopefully this helps others take a greater interest in running.