Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chasing Numbers

3,000 miles.
Yesterday evening, riding back from the Bridger Bay Campground on Antelope Island, the odometer on the Little Red Bike ticked over 3,000 miles.
It is an amazing number to me, 3,000 miles; roughly the same distance from San Francisco to New York City. In long distance endurance cycling, it is not an especially big number; about 1/3 of a riding season for my friend Pete in Australia. But to me however, it is quite a milestone.

It seems like just yesterday I unwrapped the Little Red Bike (the Barcroft Virginia GT) from its boxes, padding, and bubble wrap. On that exciting November evening, I even took the bike for a short spin in the dark! Who could’ve just put the bike in the garage until the next morning! Now, 115 rides and 22 months later, I find that the bike and I have had quite an adventure. From southern Idaho, to my first 200 Km Brevet to Tropic, Utah, to the top of Emigration Canyon, and of course every inch of asphalt on Antelope Island, the bike has taken me many places. I never even dreamt that I would be writing a blog about my adventures, or that folks as far away as Qatar and Australia have taken the time to read my missives.

I realize that cycling is more than logging miles, and assessing goals. But chasing the numbers seems to be part of my make up. A mileage goal for a year; how many days to retirement (note the ticker to the right!); what is my average speed today? How many miles per month am I riding? Tracking the climb ratio on my GPS, always putting my miles on the header, and entering the miles into the Excel Spreadsheet… it goes on and on.

I sometimes wonder if I would be any faster, more efficient, or perhaps even happier if I had not tracked a single mile, logged a ride, or even never put a cycle computer on the bike; Just to simply ride the bike. Ever watched a child on a bike? They couldn’t care less; just the wind in their faces is enough for them…Hmm, something to ponder, isn’t it?
I wonder what will the next 3,000 miles bring?

PS: I just added some new links on the right hand side of some great blogs from other Randonneurs. Also, take note of Tandemania's blog, too. He has been a loyal reader, and has left comments here, so the least I could do is add him to my list.....JFR


Harding said...

Personally, I can't imagine doing my miles without counting them. I need a goal and measurable progress toward that gosl.

Harding said...

Thanks for the link! I've added you too!

Vik said...

Congrats on your mileage this year. Having a bike you love certainly gets you out on the road a lot more often.