I am finally winding down my "riding season" for 2011. This year, I have logged more distance on my bike than any previous years, at close to 3000km. Most of the riding came from the training rides I did in May to July for the Friends for Life Bike Rally ("the most profound experience I have ever had on a bicycle"). Those training rides have made me a much stronger rider than I had been before. I have also did a number of long rides for myself and with my wife. And of course, I did the Ride for Heart. I rode most of the route with my friend Richard Mills, who is a much stronger athletic than I am. The last charity ride this year was the Ride for Refuge in Markham, on October 15. Most of the participants were less experienced riders (lots of youths) and I was actually the first person to complete the "50km route" (it was really only 35km, according to my odometer and confirmed by Google Maps) on a very cold and windy morning.
The reason for winding down the year has less to do with the cooler weather than the amount of day light I get. After switching back to Standard Time, the sun now sets an hour earlier (today sunset is at 4.53pm), which means if I want to bike home from work, I'll have to do it in relative darkness, in traffic. With the heavy traffic in Toronto during rush hour, safety is an important concern. Admittedly, "winding down" does not mean shutting down all riding all together. I'm still expecting to mount my bike on the trainer every few days to get some exercises, and I'll probably go out riding on Saturday and Sunday mornings until it starts snowing.