Sunday, September 27, 2015

I think I set a record

So I might have set a new record for myself: the most miles I rode my bicycle in a calendar year.

But that comes with a caveat.  The last time I rode this many miles, about 3,060 miles, was in 2000 and I used a Cateye computer that I think was pretty accurate  Now I use a Garmin, which I switch between bikes.  It seems pretty accurate but it isn't perfect, especially under a dense forest crown, but it's pretty good.  So I may have set a new record or I might in the next few days, depending on the accuracy of those two devices.

A little more than 1,500 of those miles are on my IF Club Racer.  That means they are purely recreational miles.  And usually they are faster miles than those I ride on my Surly or the Swobo (like today, 6 miles on a bike trail with my younger son on a trail-a-bike behind me and my older son on his bike weaving in front of me with two of his cousins).  In 2000, when I last rode this many miles, it was all on my old Lemond Alpe d'Huez, a great, fast road bike.  And I was faster then.  I often went out for 60-80 mile rides and finished with 17-18 MPH averages.  And that wasn't the only difference.  I also ran about 1,000 miles that year, running 100-125 miles monthly during the winter months and less during the spring/summer/fall riding season.  I also commuted to school, walking and taking the T and my job required a ton of walking as well.  I also skied (backcountry and telemark) a lot then.  And I rock climbed regularly, mostly at a gym but outside a lot as well.  I was a pretty active guy.  This year I wouldn't call myself even half as active as I was then.  I certainly shoveled more snow this year and I do walk a lot but I don't think I've run a hundred miles this year and I'll feel good about myself if I run another hundred miles by the end of the year.

That said, I don't feel that I'm doing all that badly.  I now am married and have two young boys and work takes a decent amount of time, both in the office and at home in the evenings.  And I'm a bit older now - a lot more of my fifties are behind me than in front of me.  I certainly could be doing worse than I am.  I rode a somewhat hilly 67 mile ride yesterday, including 4 miles of gravel, doing it at a decent clip (except for the gravel stretch) will no ill effects.  And assuming good health and decent weather, I'm hardly done for the year.

Not that I'm all that determined to ride a certain number of miles.  Last year I stopped at 2982, close to a nice round 3,000.  I could have easily gone out for those missing 18 miles but it wasn't anything I was worrying about so I didn't.  I could do another 500 or 1,000 miles before the end of the year, depending on the weather.  But all that I'm looking for is to get outside, get some exercise, and enjoy time alone or with friends, old and new.

Pictures from the weekend:

A home made (from parts bought online) motorized bicycle.

The Assabet River from the Assabet River Trail.

The worst gravel I had to ride on Taylor Way, after I left the Assabet River Trail.

Independence Greenway.

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