Got in a nice 15-mile ride Monday afternoon with my biking friend Maggie. We figured the weather forecast for the next few days doesn’t look good, and we needed to ride while we had the chance.
The ride was nothing special, but it was very special at the same time. That’s because it was a ride. It doesn’t matter whether the ride is short or long, covers new ground or cruises familiar streets. Just being out on the bike is what matters.
And that’s where I find myself regarding cycling as 2014 ends. I’m not going to set any speed records, or even distance records anymore. I just want to get out there on a regular basis.
The possibility of biking boredom was thwarted this year, when I took up mountain biking. I did it just for a change of pace. And it worked out better than I could have imagined.
One thing mountain biking led to, that I’ve referred to in the past, is that my mileage is down quite a bit. It was only by cramming in a few extra road rides toward the end of the year that I passed the 3,000 mile mark for the year. I wrapped up with 3,023.3 miles, down about 300 miles from last year. But my exertion level was as high, or higher, than in previous years. I spent 240 hours in the saddle, both road and mountain, compared to 217 hours last year.
Mountain biking has revitalized my riding, because it takes more effort. Getting up hills is a whole different ballgame from hill climbing on a road bike. Bouncing over rocks and tree roots, powering through gravel and sand, works different muscles. I feel exhilarated after a tough ride on the mountain bike.
I think I’ll get some clipless pedals for it in the new year. Again, I’ll try to get out to new areas. I did some of that on the road bike, and several times on the mountain bike. Maybe I’ll renew my recurring effort to shed a few pounds, too.
Regardless, I’ll keep pedaling. I’m having too much fun at it to do anything else.