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Every year I like to sit down and look back over the last 12 months. Most people like to do New Year’s Resolutions to set the stage for the upcoming year, but I prefer to reflect back on the previous 12 months. It’s a time to take stock of what worked, what didn’t, what I’d like to do more of, and what I’d like to do less of in order to shape the life I want to live.
Per usual (for me), 2022 was full of fun adventures, some rough patches, lots of biking, and a couple of big changes.
Here’s my 2022 in review!
Where I was in 2022
- January: California | Las Vegas, Nevada | Arizona
- February: California
- March: California
- April: California | Bend, Oregon
- May: Bend, Oregon | Ely, Nevada
- June: Tanzania | Bend, Oregon
- July: Bend, Oregon | Bellingham, Washington
- August: Bend, Oregon | Fayetteville, Arkansas
- September: Fayetteville, Arkansas | Rhode Island | Vermont
- October: Vermont | Rhode Island
- November: Rhode Island | Knoxville, Tennessee
- December: Arizona | Rhode Island | Vermont
2022 In a Nutshell
Like most years, 2022 had some ups and downs. Here’s the best and worst of the past 12 months.
The Best of 2022
- Doing a 2-night bikepacking trip on the Black Canyon Trail in Arizona with a friend
- Spending a little over 2 months exploring and biking around Bend, Oregon
- Winning a raffle ticket to participate in the K2N Stage Race in Tanzania and completing the ‘race’ with my dad
- Coaching with Ladies AllRide
- Driving across the country (for the 6th time…)
- Spending a month exploring the trails around Fayetteville and Bentonville, Arkansas
- Spending time with family in Rhode Island and Vermont
- Thanksgiving in Knoxville, Tennessee
- Visiting my friend in Arizona and getting a taste of the biking around Prescott
- Buying a van!
The Worst of 2022
- Leaving California after six years of basing myself out of the Eastern Sierra. I’ll be back to visit!
- Saying goodbye to the best dog I could have asked for, Miss Aiko. I still miss her every day
- Going through a breakup and starting fresh – once again.
2022 in Detail
The year started off slow after a whirlwind end to 2021. I had recently gotten back from my trip to New Orleans and Oaxaca, Mexico just a few weeks before the holidays. It was a month to slow down, work on my blog, relax, and recharge.
Of course, there was some biking, too. We got a bit of snow in Bishop, which always means good dirt on our local trails.
We also did a quick van trip to mountain bike in Las Vegas and catch a Cirque du Soliel show. I hadn’t gone to a show or done any big public events since the pandemic, so it felt a bit novel to reenter that world!
At the end of January, I drove out to Arizona to meet my friend for a 2-night bikepacking trip on the Black Canyon Trail. It’s a route I’d been wanting to do for a while and we had a great time. The weather was perfect and it’s such a beautiful stretch of trail.
I guess I lied, January was a pretty busy month 😅.
February & March
February and March, then, were the months to take it easy. I stayed home in California and caught up on blog work, sleep, and laundry!
April was a really hard month. We found out that our dog, my best friend, Aiko, was dying of cancer. One day she was fine and then the next she wasn’t. We think that it was a blood vessel cancer and one of the tumors burst as she was being lifted into the car to go for a walk. We had no idea.
That week was so sad and heartbreaking. Aiko was 14, but she still acted and looked like a puppy. We spoiled her with steaks and belly rubs before we had to put her down just a week after finding out she was sick. I still can’t think about her without tearing up 💔.
At the end of April, I headed north to Bend, Oregon for a two-week housesit. It was still a bit early in the season for mountain biking (hello hail storms…), but most of the lower trails were ready to ride. I got some big cross-country days in and some therapeutic dog time with two cuddly Boston terriers.
I’d been to Bend twice before – once to get my PMBIA Level 1 certification – and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the town and trails.
After my spring trip to Bend, I headed to Ely, Nevada for a few days of mountain biking. I’d been in contact with the director of Tourism for White Pine County and he invited me out for a tour of their singletrack. While Ely isn’t quite a mountain biking destination in and of itself yet, I was impressed with the riding there I’m really excited for their future trail-building plans.
If the previous few months sounded busy, now things get crazy. Earlier in the year, I found out that I had won a trip to Tanzania, Africa to participate in the K2N Stage Race that ran from the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the shores of Lake Natron.
I’d spent almost a full year in Kenya and Tanzania during my Junior year of college, so I was super excited to go back and also
slighty very much worried about the ‘race’. I’m not a racer, so I really had no idea what to expect.
As part of the raffle prize, I could bring a teammate along and I chose my dad. We’re known for our “Timbers’ Epics” and this was sure to top them all. And that it did. We pedaled 170 miles and climbed 14,600 ft and had a (mostly) amazing time.
Post ‘race’ we were treated to a few days at a luxury safari lodge and then a three-night stay at the incredible Grumeti Game Reserve.
That trip will definitely go down as one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
After returning from Africa, I had one week to pack up my stuff and say goodbye to Bishop, California. I’d called the Eastern Sierra home for almost six years, but truthfully, it never felt like home.
After Aiko died, my relationship fell apart and it was time to move on. I’d gotten a 5-week housesit back in Bend, Oregon so I loaded up my car and headed north for the summer!
July was a fun and bike-packed month! Between exploring the trails around Bend (including Bachelor Bike Park and the Deschutes River Trail), coaching a clinic with Ladies AllRide, and joining many group rides, I was quite busy, which is how I like it.
At the end of July, I headed to Bellingham, Washington for a 10-day housesit. I’d heard awesome things about Galbraith Mountain, so I was excited to check it out. Honestly, I was a bit overwhelmed! Galbraith is fun, but also intense, and the kind of place where it’s best to ride with friends.
After Bellingham, I headed back to Bend for a final week of housesitting before starting my drive across the country.
I had three full days to get to Arkansas from Bend, Oregon. I spent the first night at Crystal Crane Hot Springs, which was an awesome way to say goodbye to the west coast for now. Then I just basically booked it east.
I had a few housesits lined up in Fayetteville, but first I spent two nights at the Bike Inn Bentonville, which caters to mountain bikers. I loved it and definitely recommend staying here if you’re planning a mountain bike trip to Bentonville!
The rest of the month was spent exploring the many trail networks around Fayetteville and Bentonville. If you haven’t heard, the mountain biking scene in Arkansas has kinda exploded and there are SO many great places to ride. I’ll actually be heading back to Arkansas in 2023 to check out the places that I missed.
After finishing up my housesits in Arkansas, I continued my drive east. My first stop was my mom’s place in Rhode Island. Initially, my extended family had planned a family gathering to celebrate my grandmother’s life, but tragically it turned into a memorial for my cousin who passed away suddenly from a motorcycle accident. He was only 32 😢.
The rest of the month I was back home in Vermont getting in the last rides of the season. My dad, his girlfriend, and I did the 50-mile Peacham Fall Fondo ride, which was a blast. I don’t have a ton of experience with gravel riding, but I loved it and hope to do more!
October was split between Vermont and Rhode Island. I borrowed a road bike and spent a few days exploring Rhode Island’s many bike paths. I also did a fun little tour with Dan from Little Compton Adventures. I’d grown up spending summers and holidays around Connecticut and Rhode Island, but I guess I didn’t appreciate how beautiful coastal Rhode Island is!
I also explored some of the singletrack trail networks in Rhode Island, which are surprisingly fun. I still need to get to a few more places, but hopefully, I’ll have a Rhode Island mountain biking guide up in the spring.
November was pretty quiet in Rhode Island. The weather was still good, so I did as much mountain biking around the state as I could before the temps really dropped.
The itch for travel landed me in Knoxville, Tennessee for a housesitting gig over Thanksgiving. I’d heard good things about the riding in Knoxville, and it did not disappoint. I was really impressed! The trails are very well-built and maintained not to mention super fun. It’s kind of like Bentonville, Arkansas but still under the radar. It’s definitely a place I’d be happy to spend an extended period of time in, especially since…
I bought a van!
In November, I bought a 2022 Ram Promaster that is being professionally converted and will be ready to move into in the prime van life month of January.
Two days after getting back to Rhode Island from Tennessee, I headed back out, this time to Arizona.
A friend and I had originally planned on doing a bikepacking trip, but our plans kept changing due to logistics, sickness, weather, you name it. So, we scrapped the bikepacking idea and got an Airbnb in Prescott, Arizona.
Prescott had been on my radar for a while and from what I saw of three days of riding, I’ll definitely be returning. Super fun cross-country trails mixed with a bit of tech and beautiful views. It was great!
We finished my Arizona trip with a ride down Hiline in Sedona with another friend. Hiline is one of my all-time favorite trails – a great way to end the year on two wheels!
My year in numbers
I’m a numbers person, so here is 2022 broken down by my favorite stats.
(*Some bike park chairlifts & shuttles included in stats)
- Countries biked in: USA and Tanzania
- States biked in: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington
- Distance pedaled: 1,801 miles
- Total time on a bike: 9 days, 15 hours
- Elevation gain: 170,976 ft
- Rides ridden: 138
- Trails conquered: 639
What’s in store for 2023
I have big plans for 2023 and most of them surround my new van which will be done in January. But before I move into my van, I’ll be heading south to Costa Rica for a two-week bikepacking adventure.
My friend – the same friend that biked across Washington with me – and I will be doing a route around Arenal volcano and the Nicoya Peninsula. We’ve got our route mostly mapped out and there will be plenty of beach time and pura vida 🙂 I used to work on ships in Costa Rica and I’m super excited to get back there on two wheels.
After Costa Rica, I’ll be figuring out the van life thing and then heading south to Arkansas. There are a few mountain bike networks I missed this last year, so I’ll spend some time checking those out before heading over to North Carolina for a two-month housesit.
The housesit is relatively close to Asheville and Brevard, which are supposedly home to some amazing singletrack that I have two months to figure out.
From there, who knows! I’m sure I’ll come up with something 😉.
I’m not really one to set New Year’s Resolutions, but I do like to come up with a list of goals to help shape the year. Here are 10 things I want to achieve on and off the bike this year – I’ll revisit them in my 2023 Year in Review!
2023 theme: “Maybe you can have what you want”. (This was a fortune cookie ‘fortune’ I received near the end of 2022).
- Do a long-distance bikepacking trip. This should be easy to check off since I already have a trip planned for Costa Rica.
- Do a solo bikepacking trip. I travel solo a ton, but I’ve never done a bikepacking trip by myself and it’s something I want to get comfortable with
- Do an international bike trip. So many options!
- Double my income from 2022. I had a really good year in blogging, but in 2023 I want to double my income. It’ll be a stretch, but I think it’s doable!
- Visit a new bike park. Should be easy because there are so many I haven’t ridden at yet.
- Winter with my van Baja.
- Buy a gravel bike and dive into the gravel world.
- Record video for my blog. I know… I should already be doing this
- Move my body at least 30 minutes a day. Yes, I’m active, but I also have work days where I sit in front of my computer for hours.
- Spend at least 30 minutes outside every day. Again, when I’m in work mode, I get sucked into my computer screen.
What were the two-wheeled highlights of your 2022? What’s in store for this year? What are your goals? I genuinely would love to know! Drop a comment below.