Anyone who reads 10,000 miles even semi-regularly knows that at the end of each month I do a “Racking up the Miles” post to let the world (or as many people who want to read the blog) know just how far I have pedaled in the last 30 days. Tomorrow, as it will be the last ride of the month, and the year for that matter, I will being doing the same thing for December. That will make 12 full months in row I have done so.
Now I will tell you, these are NOT my most well read posts. Shoot, there have been times that my Racking up posts have had less than 10 readers. Reading about the miles just isn’t all that exciting I guess. In fact, the only time it ever had a decent readership is when i posted it with this picture from comicon:
So a SMART blogger might think, “HEY, maybe, just maybe, I should stop writing these posts.”
But then, I was NEVER accused of being all THAT smart when it came to my posts…
You see, the thing is, these posts are a bit different. The rest of my blog I write to tell a story, or to entertain, or to share something I have learned. For the most part, the other posts are for the followers of the blog.
The Rackin up the miles posts? Those are for me! They keep me honest and on the bike. I know at the end of every month I will be telling everyone how far I’ve ridden, whether or not I am happy about it, and why, on a bad month, that was all there was. It has even gotten me out of a warm bed for one last decent ride…
Now I know no one is going to yell at me and or get on my case for a bad month, Hell, Y’all are actually a pretty damn supportive bunch. More than once I’ve gotten a comment about “hanging in there, next month will be better, get back in the saddle” etc. The only person that beats me up is me! I am getting better, and Michelle helps, but I always know a bad month of miles will have me kicking my own butt a little.
But there is a bigger question. Why track miles at all? In the grand scheme of things, does it matter? More than one rider I know tells me they have so many miles now, they don’t even keep track.
I am nowhere near that point yet. To me, knowing how far I’ve ridden since 2007 is a big deal. But until now I never asked myself why.
Part of it might be that in high school, I was a smart but little kid. I graduated at the 5’7″ I am now, but only 125 lbs. Not really cut out for most sports teams. Maybe track, but just never got around to trying. This means there’s no stories of heroics or accomplishments on the sports field back then
In College, as part of the Strohs Bros and Fros football team, I had many a sack, touchdown and interception. It is where I became the wind! Basketball and volleyball though, I was kicked off the team! Not a pretty picture! For the longest time, the intramural games at WSU were my only claim to fame.
My mountain climbing years had very few successes, more than once I sat, glaring off into the darkness as the rest of the climbers took off to summit. Mt. Baker and Mt St Helens are my only real summits.
I have still seen many things that few of my friends have, but to this day, when the wind is right, I can still hear Mt. Rainier snickering at me…
But then I got back in the saddle. That first Specialized tri-cross and I covered almost 13000 miles together before the dirtbag stole it.
The new bike and I have hit the thousand mile mark together, we now understand each other.
And since getting back on two wheels, I have conquered every challenge I have attempted. I have been dog tired, had to stop and rest, rained on, snowed on, crashed and had things thrown at me. I’ve ridden for hours in the shed, and for 16 hours straight from here to Portland. I’ve even had times, like the Crater Lake Century I thought about giving up, but I didn’t!
I’ve gotten lost and found my way again, I’ve lead a pace line to let others rest and encouraged others as i passed them on hills.
On a bike I feel there is NOTHING I can’t do (even if I get nervous the night before a big ride) and keeping track of the miles let’s me know just how far around the world I’d be, if I was pedaling the equator. Its a matter of self pride, I don’t brag about it, but I don’t hide it either.
Someday, I may get to the point where I will stop tracking, but that is a long way down the road. Until then, I will just point my nose that away and just sorta keep pedaling. We’ll see how far I can get!