I keep a pretty serious and detailed spreadsheet of my rides. Mostly, I use this to track progress in terms of both distance and intensity, but it’s also nice to have something i can gaze at, when I doubt myself, which tells me in no uncertain terms, that I am doing something right. From a long list of 5 mile rides, grew a longer list of 10 mile rides, which progressed into a list twice as long as both of fluctuating rides between 20 and 50 miles.
Today, while gazing lovingly at my mildly obsessive list, I decided to do some totaling. The rides I keep track of do not include commuting of any kind. No matter how long the ride, or how much extra weight I was carrying, if the ride is routine or part of a commute, I do not log it*. These are the training/leisure rides only. That fact made it all the more impressive to realize that sometime this coming week, I will be breaking the 1100 mile mark for 2012 alone**.
For some this is not great achievement. 1100 miles in almost nine months might even be laughable. But for me, who never thought they would willingly ride 50 miles in as much time, this is a serious deal. Every time I think I cannot qualify myself as a cyclist, I have less and less around me to prove me right, while a giant mound of contradictory evidence lurks around every corner.
So, happy 1100 miles, me. I have not ridden it alone – either metaphorically or literally, people have been with me – encouraging or being encouraged by me. In those 1100 miles, I have seen where the bay trail ends, and where it begins. I have discovered new parks, new places to enjoy the water from, new trails, a deep love of bike shorts, a compelling understanding of the invisible brutality of the wind, the soothing click of a free spinning chain, a community of fellow cyclists, new roads, old roads, and rediscovered the joy of sun on my skin. I love this game.
*for the sake of my own amusement, I did some rough calculating, on average, of what my commute miles look like. Alone they come to somewhere in the ballpark of 500 additional miles.
**the total was pulled from rides done in 2012 beginning in early January, and ending with the last 20 mile ride from this weekend.