Today I hit 4,555.5 miles on my Strava statistics. (Yes, I planned it that way.) Since I’ve been bicycling about 15 miles a day all this year of 2021, my 14.7-mile ride was right in my wheelhouse, so to speak. I took Sonnie the GT Arette back-up bike, since Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer apparently has yet another leaky tire. So she got another night off, the slacker. The point is that I’m on track for my second best (by that I mean longest) year on a bicycle. I’m not bragging as much as just telling it like it is. But as usual I have thoughts about it. Hope you’ll read them! Reading is a lot easier than biking 100+ miles a week, that much I know to be true.
After what was for me an epic 6,666.66 miles in 2020, I toyed with making this year’s goal 6,006.66. It was actually originally 3,333.34 miles. But once I passed 4,000, I revised it to 5,555.55. I was a liberal arts major, but when it comes to biking, I like my numbers. They motivate me. For some it’s elevation, others it’s speed, and many have all three markers. Some people tell me that goals and mileage don’t really matter, it’s the fact that I’m getting out there. I tend to agree, but there’s a satisfaction that comes from setting a goal and meeting it. Speed doesn’t motivate me and elevation isn’t appealing either. Not with only nine speeds on a 28-pound steel bike (before water and other add-ons). I’m staying in my lane, and I like it over here.
With a mild winter forecast due to La Nina, and the memory of trying to bike in February’s Snowmaggedon still in the back of our minds, I’m hoping for the former. Yesterday it was 90 degrees, which is not unheard of but near the record high for this time of year in Central Texas. Still a bit muggy, too. I’m not looking forward to the windy, cold, and wet days of winter, but a little cooler would be fine. We need time for our blood to thicken up here. But I didn’t come here to talk about the weather.
Biking as much as I do, but without the speed of many younger and fitter folks, does take up time. That’s been okay as long as I’ve not had to work full- or even part-time. But the end to my freedom is nigh, so unless I win a new, lighter bike with more gears, like dearly departed Sookie the Fuji Silhouette, I will have to focus on quality, not quantity. If I have to reduce or stop, that will be a relief in some ways, because the daily riding does wear me out, if not physically, mentally, which is also mentally because body and mind are inseparable.
I may never really understand this drive to bike a bunch of miles. Each year gets harder, too. Sure, I want to improve or at least maintain my health and with some luck or nanotechnology maybe even extend my longevity. Not being a fathlete doesn’t seem to be in the cards, in this body, in this lifetime. To really be fit all around, I would have to hit the gym with weights, go on a severely restricted diet, and find a way to get a solid eight hours of shut eye every night. Those seem like long odds at this point. But I can still get out there, and do what I can.
Whatever happens, no one can take away my 4,555.55 for 2021. If I quit right now, I’d still be 1,222.21 ahead of the game. Which if converted to a date happens to be the day when the long-awaited fourth installment in the Keanu Reeves and Carrie Ann Moss mind-bending (and bullets, too) movie series Matrix: Resurrections on December 22, 2021. I may not know kung fu, but about biking, I know a thing or two. There’s always more to learn, and more streets to explore. Oh, the places you will go!
How is your bicycling going this year?
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