I’ve been logging my rides since 1991. Each year, I set a mileage goal for myself. Previously content with totals of around 1,000 miles per year, I decided to pick up the pace after turning 49. The mission: to be better at 50 than I was before. The goal: 2,000 miles. It took almost the whole year and on December 26, 2008, the year to date odometer rolled over 2,000. Not quite done, I finished the year at 2,039.72 miles. Actually, I should say “we”. My neighbor and riding partner, Dan, and I pushed/pulled each other around our regular routes along the way to cracking 2,000.
The next year , with my personal cold weather threshold lowered by Dan who hails from central, upstate New York, we believed we could get an early jump on the miles and set 2,500 as a reasonable goal. Final 2009 tally: 3,390.07 and it has kept going up each year since. 2010: 3,529.89 miles. 2011: 3,623.85.
My wife, Joni, patiently tolerates my regular reports of the fastest ride ever, the new max speed, the breaking of every personal record and I love her for it.
As much as I like to see the numbers climb, the totals are not why I ride. I love the sport of cycling. I love the way I feel on a ride. Not so much on some of the climbs, but certainly at the top. Not so much with a stiff Kansas headwind, but certainly after making the turn and enjoying a good tailwind push home. I love cycling because it makes me better than I was after the last ride but not as good as I’ll be after the next.
Over the course of a ride, you can think about everything. . .or think about nothing. Somewhere in between, I expect the basis for a new post to occasionally materialize. It’s a new year and the odometer, figuratively and literally, has been reset at zero. So, in the words of Luca Bloom. . .
Pedal on, pedal on, pedal on for miles