Not this year…

I retired from full time employment in 2007. Since that year I have had plenty of chances to ride my bikes (all 4 of them, including the tandem). During those 11 years I have averaged 8,600 cycling miles per annum, with a high year of 9,200 and a low of 8,200. I put more miles on my bikes than I do on my Honda Element!

I consider 8,000 miles a kind of floor and I always expect to reach that total unless I have health problems of some sort. Well I am happy to report that my health is good, but my mileage total is ailing a bit. I’m at just under 6,700 for 2018.

I’m behind pace for a couple of reasons. I had a very busy walnut season: 30 straight days of 9 to 12 hours ‘counting nuts’. This put me about 300 miles behind last year. I also lost a week with a summer cold which I acquired at a most unfortunate time: 10 days before I headed off to the Alps. I recovered well enough to feel good when I got to France, and ride the rental I ‘liked so much’. I’m still irritated at Air France for misplacing the Tarmac.

With over 7 weeks in the year left it might be possible to get to 8,000, but Stoker and I are going to do some travelling to non cycling destinations. I looked at the calendar and counted 32 opportunities for me to ride between now and New Year’s Day. So I would have to ride 41 miles on each of those days to make it. And if I took any days off or got rained out (which we all should hope happens a lot, and soon) I would have to do even longer rides to catch up. It isn’t going to happen.

My friend Bennie could do it. We don’t call him ‘lonerider’ for nothing. He spends a lot of time on his bike, more than almost anyone. Thus he finds himself riding alone a lot: few of his riding friends want to spend that many hours in the saddle. His other nickname is ‘long rider’ and he racks up some incredible totals. He once rode over 4,000 miles in ONE MONTH! Over 130 miles a day, everyday. One year he did something like 120 ‘centuries’, i.e. one hundred (or more ) miles in one day. But his annual total that still stuns me is that in one year he ascended over 1,200,000 feet (1.2 million feet?!) on his bicycle. That is the equivalent of 345 cycling trips up Mount Diablo in a single year.

But I’m not Bennie, so I’ll keep to my normal winter schedule of 150 to 190 miles each week when Stoker and I are home and when it isn’t raining. I sure hope I get rained out a lot, and starting soon. That should get me to over 7,500, a post retirement low. Wait until next year…

The Numbers Add Up, But They Don't Add Up to Much!


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