My wife said, “Hey, let’s go out for a bike ride. I don’t want to go long – I have to get back and do some cleaning.”
“Fine,” I said. “I’m not up for a long ride today, anyway.”
We set off on one of her favorite neighborhood routes. It’s got some easy hills, and I can get in a quick workout, then wait for her at the tops and bottoms. On a mid-December 54-degree day (12ºC), we had a good ride. And when we got home, I was able to confirm what I had expected:
I had 4,002 miles for the year.
But that year, I wound up with over 2,500 miles. Last year, I topped 3,000. Now this.
It wasn’t hard.
I have never set out expecting to ride a certain number of miles in a year. Based on my experience, I could project what I might end with, but each time I’ve done that, I’ve been off. The miles accumulate at a faster rate than I can imagine.
I’m a record-keeping type of person, and I have records of my rides going back to my first year on the bike: 2007. That year, I averaged just over 17 miles per ride. The next year, it jumped to 21, then 21.5. This year, I’m averaging 23.6 miles per ride.
My usual weekly riding goes something like this: I’ll get in a quick 15-18 miles on a weekday. During the summer, it might be more, but most often, not. On Saturday, I have a 26-mile route in my neighborhood, and on Sunday, I’ll either do a club ride or another longer ride in the area, anything from 30-60 miles.
Keep doing that week after week, and take advantage of nice weather during those temperate months, and the miles pile up in no time. You don’t need to constantly strive for 100-plus mile weeks to hit 4,000.
I have a feeling that in the coming year, I’ll be concentrating a lot more on improving my cycling skills than building my mileage. But it’s nice to know that I’ve hit a number that most non-cyclers – and even some who do bike – have trouble imagining.
B.J. Ondo says
CONGRATS!! LOL, IF I bust my butt in the next 2 weeks, I’ll make 3500 for the year! Still if it happens GREAT, if not no biggie, I don’t set goals, too easy to get depressed when they don’t get obtained! As long as you had FUN, then that’s what it’s all about, jmho, ymmv, Happy Holidays! 🙂
Awesome. Way to go!!!
Awesome! Congrats! 4,000 miles in a year is definitely an achievement in the cycling world that few people can claim.
Mel Hughes says
Congratulations! You are quite an inspiration for me!
Congratulations! You do realize that distance is further than coast to coast, don’t you? It sounds very impressive when you put it in those terms!
Outstanding! Consider me one of those cyclists who is trying to imagine what 4,000 miles is like!
Steve (just topped 2,000 miles)
4000 miles is awesome!! Congrats. Not only do you have the miles but I have noticed you’ve made significant improvement from when I 1st started riding with you to our last ride. I have 2150 on my road bike* (I bought it March this year) 500 on my cruiser and about 20 spinning classes. You’e been a great mentor and give me something to shoot for next year.
Outstanding achievement. It’s amazing how persistence will add up, even in small 18-25 mile doses.
The Lubbock Bicycle Club has an exercise where some members set annual mileage goals. If the rider achieves the goal, they are awarded a faux crystal (sounds better than cheap plastic) trophy with their miles, name, and the year printed. My wife got a few of these years ago and was always proud of the accomplishment.
That got me started and I will say after four or five years, it’s fun to look at the little trophies and reflect back on those riding seasons. Someone in the club even came up with a simple spreadsheet template to record mileage.
Living in Austin provides three more months of potential riding weather than Lubbock so it’s been easy to raise annual targets from 2,000 miles to 3,000 miles—and easily exceed the latter. I’m 400 miles behind you but hoping weather remains good enough over the next couple weeks to keep the odometer turning. Then looking forward to starting on 2011 mileage.
Andrew gray says
Well done! I am thinking next year of cycling tour de france. Not in person though! I plan to complete a weeks worth of riding and plot what that distance would look like on la tour route and do a short travellers review of the area I had arrived in. Kind if doing it as a virtual ride! It will have to wait a few weeks though as it’s too darn cold in Lancashire (uk) at the moment… Have to now go out (in the car) and see if I can but some bottled water. I think we have another pipe burst at the bottom of the street! We English jessies seem I’ll equipped for this cold stuff!
Well done, I reached a milestone yesterday too, 5,000km fir the year, so you’re a bit ahead of me!
Good job Ray, next year instead of counting miles ridden you should track feet climbed.
Bike Noob says
I’m considering that. I have to get better at hills.
Congrats! You’re right, sometimes it’s surprising how quickly the miles add up.
Nice job, Ray. Proud to say I logged about 30 of those with you!
Ken Speake says
Nicely done! I’m happy with a thousand.
So how long is your season? We’d had snow for three weeks before your last ride. Kinda puts a crimp in the two-wheeling.
Bike Noob says
We can ride 12 months out of the year here. Sometimes it gets pretty cold, but since we’ve had snow only twice in the 10 years I’ve lived here, we can usually count on dry conditions. You could always put on studded tires, like my friend Apertome (above) does.
Way to go, Ray.