Well, I did it! I met my revised goal of 4,000 miles, and I did it 28 days early. I went into statistics a good bit in my recent post, My November Strava Stats; One Month to Go on My 2018 Goals. But this number is icing on the cake. (Which I stopped eating this year along with all kinds of processed grains, and it hasn’t mattered one lick for my weight. That’s for another post.) Anyway, as a fellow rider who is much stronger (and younger) than A Dude commented that he “loves milestone days.” They are pretty special. If the goal involves a number, and you hit or pass it, it’s sort of like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. And if you’re wondering, 4,000 miles is like riding from Austin, Texas to La Paz, Bolivia and then a bit. Or, from West Glacier, Montana (a place I’ve been), to the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border. It’s ok, you may allow yourself to be impressed. I know I am, and I’m the one who did it! So let’s explore this YOOGE accomplishment a bit.
And I Did Bike 2,000 Miles and I Did Bike 2,000 More!
…Just to be the man who biked 4,000 miles… but what on earth for? Well, because I can. And to have a bike blog means having things to write about, so my bicycling is obviously part of that. Sure there’s some showing off there but I see it more as telling my story. I encountered a Scottish cyclist and blogger today who’s passed 11,000 miles this year! That’s almost three times my output. He modestly said that 4,000 of it was his tour, and the rest was just insanity, plus next year he’ll be doing less. Check him out here: https://rootchopper.com I used to get a little jealous or something but have long sense realized the wisdom of these sage words:
“Comparison is the death of joy.”
As far as my effort, as noted previously, it’s more than I planned. But to get here I’ve had to “dig deeper into my suitcase of courage,” as the recently and dearly departed Paul Sherwen would say. (See my post Paul Sherwen, One Half of the Iconic Voices of the Tour de France, Has Died.) Given that I started the year slowly with anemia and later on had bouts of doubts and also fatigue, interspersed with some really great months in warmer weather and one in a cold, wet one, I guess I’ve been all over the map.
I’ll go more into what it all means after the year is over, assuming I understand it better myself. For now, though, 4,000 has a pretty nice ring to it. For those counting, that brings my official total from 2016 til now to 14,000. If 2015’s estimate is included, it’s 17,000 miles. Not bad for a middle-aged fathlete dude. After almost four years of bitchin’ bikin’, the bloom is a bit off the rose for me. If you bike that much or more, you can appreciate it. If you don’t, the numbers mean little and are a bit abstract. Either way, I have saved a bunch of carbon and staved off heart disease and more weight gain. Oh, also, there’s this:
GEICO Spokes-Gecko: Great news! You just saved a bunch of money on car insurance!
A Dude Abikes: Of course I did. That’s because I don’t HAVE car insurance, you silly little British commercial TV lizard.
Sophie Reaches a Milestone
From February 2017 to December 2018, I gave Sophie a seven months break so I could reach 10,000 miles on Sookie the Fuji. That’s about 14 months, so that’s a great number for her / me / us. Given she’s heavier steel with only nine gears, it’s even more impressive. This year has been calmer but now that Sookie has been forcibly retired, Sophie is my main and only squeeze. Let’s hope she keeps going. Since having a new rim strip installed, she’s been flat-free, so that’s good. Working on her disc brakes at Yellow Bike Project has been educational and saved me some coin. We’re going to be spending alot more time together, so it’s appropriate I we get better acquainted.
As for the riding, after winning her in a raffle, we started off with the usual urban commuting, errands and some shorter joy rides. Then after deciding to ride in the MS 150, before I got new wheels and got the Fuji in good shape, we went on some training rides that looking back were pretty insane. With the lower gearing and higher weight, going up hills was seriously hard work. She did it like a champ though I was in much better shape.
By the time of the Houston to Austin chairty ride, Sophie had made me alot stronger, so I was able to feel like taking off ankle weights when riding Sookie the 202 miles in 2 days for MS. After that we continued to ride. In February, she got her second free tune-up and a thorough washing. (Sophie’s often a pretty dirty girl, due ot taking me through rain and mud with her big-boned frame much more safely than skinny-tired Sookie ever could). Then came a rest while Sookie and I took on the spring and summer.
Mission Accomplished, Now What? A New Mission
As alluded to, I have to focus on the income I’ve lost since my job layoff over a year ago. This year of blogging and book-writing daily has been great, but the honeymoon phase is over, now the wedding bills are due. I want to keep up the writing, riding, walking, yoga, but I’m not sure how. I want to finish the book, which is a whole other process. Getting into teaching safe cycling is another thing. I need a new bike. I’d like to get into touring somehow, even if it’s overnights on the weekends. To do that, I’ll need much better full-body fitness, which I’m not sure is very possible. Without some real and time-liberating funding, I’ll be stuck at a job from 8-5, Monday-Friday. So something will have to be dialed back. TV time included. So the time for new missions is coming, but for the rest of the month, I plan to keep on biking 15.2 miles per day. Why, you ask?
To meet my newly revised goal:
5,000 miles combined walking and biking.
Whoa. And yes, you read that right.
By the way, that will exceed the 4,714 I biked in 2017 by almost 300 miles. (I didn’t have a walking practice.) So suck on that, naysayers, haters and poo-pooers! So for now, I’m still going at it. No huge rides, considering how tired I am. And remember this: The tortoise beat the hare. To conclude, here’s a cute puppy I met tonight on my ride while stopping at a convenience store.
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