2006 is coming to a close with the regular assortment of riding goals met; riding goals failed, and riding goals ignored. On the whole it has been a great year. More miles than any calendar year, and I rode a lot of new and exciting routes. Were there any goals ignored? That goal of a double-century was probably out of my reach to start with. I am not quite ready for that yet. Were there any failed goals? Well, I never did ride Little Cottonwood Canyon, but hey, something for next year!
Most cyclists would agree with me that they each ride for different purposes. Some ride purely for fun, never knowing or caring what miles they ride, just that they enjoy doing it. Others are true mileage geeks that track every mile of every ride, and all of their riding is results, results, results. Some riders are commuters, taking great joy in not using their car. I could go on forever, the list is endless.
But, how does one assess and quantify yearly goals? And I don’t mean just riding goals; our lives are filled with small and large goals every day! But, let’s just talk about riding. If my friend Pete reaches his goal of 12,500 miles for 2006 (really, I am not making this up!) But ends the year burned out, exhausted, and feeling no joy in riding, was his goal a worthy pursuit? I think not. (Not that he is burned out or tired, I am just using his goal as an example. I don’t think he ever gets tired!)
For me, I ride to tackle new challenges; to become more physically fit; to stay healthy; to sometimes commute; to enjoy the fresh air and the peace of riding; and lately to take pictures. I do however, track miles and rides. I keep a log, and sometimes record a comment about the day’s ride. And on especially gorgeous days, I may tape over my cycle computer, and ride off into the world without a care about any statistic. One of the benefits of recumbent riding is the view why not enjoy it!
So, let’s look at the 2006 achievements, and compare them with previous years.
1405 miles; I feel like I transitioned from bike rider to cyclist, I had a better bike and a healthier body to ride it. I rode bigger and longer hills, and never felt “burned out” wanting to shelve the bike. The season actually left me energized for 2007.
602 miles; A year of dead legs and doldrums; I never got emotionally geared up to ride, and didn’t start logging miles until mid to late summer. I did however, ride commute to and from work in the same day for the first time, a 52 mile round trip!
1175 miles; My coming out party. I broke 1,000 miles and rode my first ‘bent century, riding a Burley Limbo.
992 miles, I rode my first century on a 1982 Raleigh racing bike I bought for $60.00! Believe or not, I actually sold the bike back to its original owner, he missed having it!
675 miles, the first year I started actually working at riding. I seem to recall that I trained most of the summer to be able to ride my age on my birthday. (45 at the time)
It works out to be 4849 miles in the last 5 years. It seems more amazing to me just looking at the number, and it is sometimes hard to visualize the almost 5,000 miles just looking at the bike in the garage. Oh, the places we’ve been!
What’s on the docket for 2007? Well, the usual ideas come to mind. 15% more miles; longer training rides in the 50-60 mile range, and my first 200k brevet. (Oh yes, and Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird, too!) I think these are reasonable and attainable goals. It’s going to be a great year! Come along with me and enjoy the ride!