Like any accountant worth his salt, I don't publish my year-end numbers on January 1st. There's tons of number crunching involved. Followed by verification. And then the numbers don't come out to be what you expected, so you have to re-crunch and re-verify. Then you spend a coupla sleepless nights, because the numbers don't lie and they're not exactly what you want people to hear. But then finally it's time, so you just lay out the facts.
Yes, I'm a mileage-tracker, and here are my 2010 totals . . .
When I compare that to guys like friends Alan, who has done 1000 miles in the month of March alone, or Mike who I know has done 10,000-mile years, the total seems a little lame. But over the last three years, I've been between 1500 and 2000, so I guess that's what my life can bear between work and home improvement projects and family stuff. The only time I've done substantially more was in 2007, when I did 4000. I pretty much blew off all my other responsibilities that year, including mowing my lawn, which ended up looking like hell, so 2007 was an anomaly.
The mileage metric doesn't end up meaning much, though. Especially this year. That's because, as I look back, my satisfaction is just off the scale. There've been a couple of great new bikes, helping out with some killer races, the whole rack building gig, tons of great camaraderie, and just a genuine sense of fun and adventure of being part of the group of people that likes to get around this town by bike. But what's made the year so special for me is kind of coming to terms with the fact that my performance is diminishing with age, and ditching some of the riding that is discouraging and totally not fun because I can't keep up with young speed demons anymore, and of re-finding and settling in on what I love about riding. Not that I no longer want to be challenged. On the contrary. I can boil the specialness of this past riding year down to five superb events that were damn challenging in terms of both preparation and execution:
CdANF group trip #1
CdANF solo trip
CdANF group trip #2
7 Carless days
Here's a few random pics of those . . .
One other thing that's pretty satisfying is knowing (and seeing from the numbers) that I'm comfortable riding year-around now. It takes a couple or three years to get there and a lifetime to fine tune it, I think. But I sold my good trainer on craigslist a coupla weeks ago because it was collecting dust. I kept my cheap one because one of these days I'd like to turn it into something useful like a bike-powered blender or something. I don't have anything against trainers and my hat's off to those of you who with the fortitude to spend time on them, but I'm done with the gruel.
Anyway, I'm extremely excited as I look forward to another great year and what surprises it may hold. I hope we can get a ride in together at some point.