Title seems innocuous enough, right? I'm working on a few other posts right now, the one you may have an inkling about is related to the survey I posted yesterday. Please take a few short minutes and fill it out if you haven't already. And if you have, or do, thank you for participating!
No, the reason I'm writing is because I will probably not have time tonight when I get home to post, but somewhere in Arvada as I pedal through the fading light the ol' mental cyclocomputer will tick over 5,000 miles for 2011. I'm just under 12 miles shy of the mark as of this morning's commute.
I more than doubled my miles of the year before. In 2010 I rode 2,400 and change. Now, I know there are many people out there who ride 5k or more every year and they may not keep track, they may not realize how much they've ridden or they may. And I do not wish to belittle the efforts of anyone who has not ridden big numbers. Riding is riding. For me this (5,000 miles) is significant.
2008 was the first year I kept track of my miles for an entire year, and it was the first year I rode a significant number of miles. 2008 I rode 1,717. At the first of the year, 2009, I signed up for the Triple Bypass and I vowed to up my miles and crush the TBP because of the sheer number of hours in the saddle. I rode 2,012 miles in 2009.
Last year was my first as a "full time" bicycle commuter. I rode 2,480 in 2010. I wasn't truly fully committed until late in 2010 when my wife went back to work. And then last winter it was on!
I kept my monthly mileage average pretty high. My only moment of doubt was the end July, when I'd only ridden 303 miles. Amazing considering that was the month I did my three day bike tour (80-ish miles).
But then I cracked 600 miles in a month in September. I'd only cracked 500 for the first time in April of this year.
I'm not really a lot faster now than I have been in the past. But I think I am consistently faster than I had been in previous years. It's rare that I get to work in less than 50 minutes, or get home in less than 30. But my range is 50-55 minutes in the morning and 30-40 minutes in the evening (depending on the route I take). In years past I could never predict how long it was going to take me to get anywhere. My pace was all over the place.
Another thing I've noticed is that while I don't do a lot of singularly long rides, I don't need as much saddle time to get back to being comfortable riding longer distances. My Dirty Bismarck jaunt from home back in November went surprisingly well for a forty miler off the couch, so to speak.
Life is good. Not so long ago I was dreading the hours I'd soon be facing riding in the cold and darkness of winter. Now that I've got a couple of weeks of it under my belt I'm kind of settled in to my routine and I'm at peace with the fact that winter bike commuting season has begun.
Now the question is: do I participate in Salvagetti's Winter Commuting Team? There's a catch, you know...