Our club president distributed a friendly email blast to club members the other day. He wanted to report how he’s doing, mileage-wise, for the first quarter of the year.

“March racked up 859.3 miles and 40,991′ of climbing,” he wrote. “2,381 miles ridden year to date: That is 57 road rides, 12 gym ‘rides’ and a few swims and some weight lifting. Some day soon the benefits of all that exercise should start to pay off!”

Yipes! I know I don’t have anywhere near that many miles. In fact, a quick check shows I’m right. I’ve done a whopping 847 miles in the first three months of 2013.

Well, Joe is a special case. He works from his house, so he gets in a lot of weekday rides. An easy ride for him is about 25 miles. His weekend rides usually go over 50 miles, on both Saturday and Sunday. Of course, he’s going to rack up lots of miles.

It’s fun to find out what kind of totals my friends are achieving, even if I know I have no chance to approaching them. I don’t consider my cycling a competitive event. In fact, I know Joe doesn’t, either. He puts a lot of miles on the board because he rides a lot, not because he’s trying to out-ride everyone else in the club. But still, I can’t help but feel that I have to try harder when I look at numbers like those.

Actually, I feel that my mileage is down, because it’s only well below last year’s mark at this time. And that was because we had a mild January in 2012 and I rode over 400 miles in a month where I’m usually lucky to do 200. When I look back to 2011, I see I had done only 704 miles in the first quarter. 2010 was even less, with 681, and in 2009, I hadn’t even reached the 600 mile mark by the end of March.

So, I guess I’m doing okay, even if it feels like I’m not up to snuff yet. I’ll keep turning the pedals, but I won’t make an extra effort to turn a 19-mile ride into 20 miles, and so forth. If anything, I’ll build on the mileage I’ve already put down and try to improve my hill work and overall speed. I’m pretty content with where my biking is right now, for a guy of 62.

Oh, there’s only one thing: Joe is 62 as well.


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