Monday, December 2

All Those Miles...

…I didn’t ride.

I’m not going to do a monthly mileage analysis. I’m shooting for the moon and going for 3,000 miles for the year. I’ve not got long to rack up the miles. I’m trying to drop a few (okay, a lot) pounds and those miles are necessary.

I rode in November. I didn’t ride as much as I wanted. I didn’t ride all the times I could have. I didn’t fulfill any big schemes. Okay, well, I rode to the KBBC conference. That was a big scheme realized. But I had so many more…

Anyway, mountain biking season kind of mushed to a halt as the freeze/thaw weather patterns settled over the land. Road biking is an activity more akin to making popsicles these days. And then it seems as if the earth has drifted too far from the sun, or someone has jacked around with all the clocks or something.

I’m not going to air my dirty laundry for you to gawk at. Okay, my whitey-tighties have a lot of holes. There were a whole lot of days I could’ve ridden and didn’t.

On the 25th of this month, just a couple three days before Thanksgiving, I had only ridden 159 miles and I was still about 600 mile shy of 3,000 for the year. 3k seemed like a nice round number to shoot for, especially since I was so “close.” Of course I didn’t act as if that number meant anything to me the first 25 days of the 30 day month. What could be done (in desperation) in five days?

Two days passed and nothing…

Thanksgiving dawned clear and frigid. We were going to run so we could eat later. We'd planned a run called Fitchburg Turkey Addicts 5k and 10k. We have a family tradition (6 years strong) of renting a cabin at Aldersgate Camp in Estill County. The geographic proximity is significant. Proximity? 3 miles from the base of Cobhill.

We didn't run. It was 15ยบF. That's even a little cold for me. After breakfast I did go ride, but my attempts at retracing an old trail that gains Furnace Mountain ended when there was nothing left but icy streambed. I'd been bushwhacking up the creek with my bike when I was confronted with the reality of wading. I turned that failure into a redirected assault...on Cobhill. It's much easier with 34 teeth :) I managed 11 more miles on Thanksgiving.

The Friday after Thanksgiving…Black Friday. I went to the mall and gorged on a consumerist feast of sales and thrown elbows and…no I didn’t.

I actually gorged on a feast of leftover bike rides from 2013. I pieced them together in a giant heaping turkeyfish sandwich all smothered in cold gravy and some unidentifiable leftover food-like substance. I rode home from Nowhere, aka Fitchburg, Kentucky. First I climbed out of the valley via Tipton Ridge Road (KY 52). The long climb was meditative. As my bike passed in and out of shadows in the late morning cold it ran my memory through a nostalgic gauntlet.  I've slalomed sinuous Tipton Ridge Road a few times, but I've never crawled up it.

I descended Lone Oak, another local cycling feather I still need to claim, and opted not to turn and climb up it due to residual snow and ice (a WHITE THANKSGIVING!) and the fact that I'd have to descend it a second time to continue on toward home.

Finally I detoured off the beaten path for a new mountain biking district.  I had high hopes, and they will linger indefinitely, but my ride on Friday was mired with thick clay clinging to my knobbies.  Man, a mountain bike is heavy with 50 pounds of mud stuck to it. 

After miles of lonely roads, some snow and ice...and a lot of mud...I made it home with 25 more miles under my belt. Things were looking up for my November mileage totals.

Saturday morning I was up at dawn and raced east intending to get in a quick 35 mile ride. But at Bowen I turned back and lost 18 of those miles. In the end I crammed in an additional 53 miles between Thanksgiving and the end of the month.

Roughly I need about 555 more miles to claim a completely pointless 3,000 miles.   I have 29 days.  That's an average of 19 miles a day until the end of the year.  And what a tragically unauthentic goal to have...

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