30 December 2011

2011 in Review

I did a bit less blogging this year, mostly because I was doing more cycling, traveling, reading, cooking, artistry, and really, just more of the things I love that are actually worth blogging about. So I would say it has been a great year.

In the spring I made the very difficult decision to leave Google, and ended up taking about six months off work. I think that taking some time off to recharge, without any plans initially, was one of the better things I've done for myself.

One of the things I had time to do was a lot of cycling. This year I logged 4,150mi of riding and 284,000 vertical feet of climb (up 54% and up 89% Y/Y, respectively). I completed a trifecta of semi- and self-supported bike tours this year: Central California (San Jose to Santa Barbara), the first tour I planned myself; the Alps (yes, again), my climbing-est tour to date; and the Pacific Coast from the top of Washington to San Jose, my first solo tour and my longest tour in total distance to date.

The Alps were, as always, stunning. And counting the Central California and the Pacific Coast tours together, I traversed over 80% of the western coast of the continental US this year. It's truly a remarkable place— it would take little convincing to get me to do any part of it again; yet, it was only passing through Big Sur in the spring that really spurred me to take the much longer Pacific Coast tour in the fall. To think, how lucky we Bay Area residents are to have Big Sur in our backyard! I met so many interesting people while on tour, and I feel like I've gotten to explore a part (however small) of America in a way that I've never gotten to do before, despite having lived here my whole life.

I guess I've raved about cycle touring enough that I also apparently convinced a few friends of mine to try it out for the first time this year. So that has been a lot of fun.

Now I'm working at DNAnexus, a software startup in Mountain View. At a high level, we're building a software platform for managing and analyzing genomic data, so researchers don't have to worry as much about the intricacies of cluster filesystems, fault tolerance, and all that other "fun" stuff. I am enjoying work at DNAnexus for a number of reasons, chief among them the tantalizing possibility that just by making computation easier to use we could help biologists and doctors take medicine to the next level, and help them to build a new kind of understanding of how living things work (and how to fix them, too).

Happy New Year, and best wishes to you all for an awesomer year 2012.


  1. I'm actually shocked that I have you beat. Not counting this week, I'm at 4787 miles and 365,725'. Take out the hiking and I'm at 4731.9 miles and 351,657'.

  2. Very nice! Yeah, despite the Y/Y increase, I actually did fewer local day rides than last year-- most of the miles (about 60%) were on tour.