The time has come

With the help of Michelle I started this blog in January of 2013.  At the time, I had recently logged my 10,000th mile since 2008.  Anyone who has read this knows that many of my posts, in fact I’d say a large majority of them, come to me while in the saddle of my bike.

Funny thing, though, as I ride and then blog about what happens, I end up ADDING to the mileage total.  Today, I hit a new milestone.

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I know there are many cyclist who have been riding a helluva lot longer than I have.  In fact, they stop keeping track of their overall mileage.  Obviously I haven’t reached that stage yet.  In fact, one of my goals is to cycle enough miles to circle the equator.  This gets me closer.

When I hit a new milestone, I start thinking about what the miles mean:

15000 miles is 150 Century rides.  Now I have done quite a few over the years, and even one double.  Nowhere NEAR 150 of them though.  The 15K has come from the centuries combined with 2 miles trips to the store, commutes back and forth to work and innumerable training rides, both outside and in the shed, as well as my ride along the Oregon coast.

One of my dreams is to ride across the United States.  15ooo is 5 separate one way trips across the country.  This shows, given enough time, I’d have no problem making it.  The trick of course is having enough time off of work to do so.

Though sometimes I push it faster, when I am estimating how long a ride will take, I figure it using 13 mph.  At this speed, 15K equals 1154 hours on the bike.  This converts to 48 days or 6 weeks in the saddle.  Given that this has been done since 2008, over 5 years ago, this seems a bit slim to me, until you realize it means pedaling 24 hrs a day for 48 days….  No rest, no stopping for food and no restroom.  That’s a lot of saddle time.

I would conservatively estimate that 95% of these miles were outside in the fresh air.  That’s almost 11oo hours of my lungs breathing non recycled air.  Makes me feel good just thinking about it.

When I first started riding, 15 mile “quick workouts” were the best I could do.  Anything longer, took prep and rest before and after.  Now, 17 miles is the daily commute.  If I have to, I will count 20 miles as a workout (if I push it).  I prefer a MUCH longer ride though.  I was strapped for time, so I was limited to 40 miles.  It felt good, and I rode well.  THAT is a workout distance!

I started riding in my mid 40s.  I am now pushing (hard) on 50.  I am a MUCH stronger rider now, reflexes are, in anything, faster and better street smarts.  I have conquered every ride I’ve started, though at times it was a near thing.  I continue to try new things and push new limits.  This won’t stop as long I am can stay in the saddle.

The most important part, though.  Given EVERYTHING I’ve just listed, all the time, pain, crashes, hard uphills and fantastic downhills, rain and sun, cold and warm.  After all of this and the miles, I am still bummed that I can’t do my normal rides this week.  (I am stuck training people in a different office. )  I miss it when I can’t ride.

After all this, it’s still fun.  It’s my go to stress reliever, workout time, and exercise.  Any ride can be an adventure, you just never know what will happen as you head down the road.  And I plan to head down that road a lot more!

So, given this, it is finally time.  Mountainstroh is changing the name.  It is now 15000 miles of Experience, Adventures and Thoughts.  Thank you all for being here for the last 5000 miles and I hope to make it worthwhile for the next 10K.  

Like the wind folks!

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