Part of me wanting to be a science teacher way back in the way back days is that I have an affinity for numbers. I have a friend who regularly posts on Facebook that Algebra is evil and will never be used outside the classroom. I always reply that Algebra is your friend, and will always come in handy. I can see her sneer every time I say this!
In my travels I have learned that more so than different religions, political parties, or even WSU and that other school in WA, those who like math and those who don’t will never understand each other. EVER!
I will continue to hope that someday she will see the light… But I digress!
One of the numbers I like to track are the milestone numbers. The triple zeros at the end of the number. Yesterday was one of those days…
Yep, yesterday dawned, dry, not too cold and nothing on the agenda until about 5 that night. It was a day that screamed “RIDE!!” So ride I did.
At some point each year, you have to push yourself to start getting longer rides. Yesterday was the first of these, as I headed out for 61 miles around Lake Washington and into Woodinville. 15 miles into the ride though, my odometer showed this.
Yep, since the beginning of 2008, these legs have cranked out 22,000 miles. In that time there have been oceans, mountains, flatlands, rain, sun, snow and wind. Two different bikes,
untold number of flat tires, and some pretty good crash and burns. I just took a second to look, and the last milestone was on Oct 25th, lest than 4 months ago. Not bad for winter riding!
Part of me was happy this was not a commute to or from work. It seems like most of my milestone numbers have occurred on mundane rides along the Burke-Gilman trail.
But, as will happen when you have a long ride going, I started thinking some…
I can when asked, or even if I think I was asked, or, well truthfully, if anyone sits down near me long enough, tell you the story of every epic ride I’ve taken in detail. Oregon Coast, Crater Lake, High Pass Challenge STP 1,2 &3, RSVP, Reach the Beach. RAMROD…. and many many more. All of them unique, memorable, adding to my total miles.
However, none of these rides would’ve happened if it weren’t for the ‘boring’ rides. To train for the first STP, I had a 15 mile loop I would ride each and every night after work. It was just a loop that left my house and wrapped around through town. I have no idea how many times I did that loop over the years. but it was easily worth a 1000 miles of my total.
Over the last 3 years I have been back to the Mighty P, I averaged 3 days a week riding 17 miles home after work. Factoring in vacations and time stuck in Spokane, lets say I biked home 43 weeks a year X 3 days a week X 3 years X 17 miles (HEY look math!) Folks that is 6579 miles of my overall total!
These every day, ‘non memorable’ trips are what allows me to have the epic adventures. To ride the rides I do, the legs have to be able to turn the pedals for hours on end, the neck muscles have to be able to hold up the head (It can weigh up to 11 lbs, try holding anything that weighs that much in the same position for 12 hours….) and, most importantly, the butt callouses need to be built up. This may be TMI, but after a long ride, it can be hard to sit for days if you haven’t gotten enough saddle time.
This year, these miles are going to be needed. The RSVP ride to Vancouver BC has some serious hill climbs to deal with over the 185 miles. In September, our buddy Rob and I are riding the Oregon coast.. This will be 3-400 miles in a week, ALL hilly, but with these views
It’s worth it!
I will keep up the short rides, and enjoy the longer ones when I can! Rob, if you are reading this, its time to saddle up buddy! (OK when the snow melts) and get those legs in shape, neck and ass in shape!
For me, thinking about it, I am just very lucky to be 51, and still able to ride as much and as far as I like. And, since I got passed by a herd of 70 year olds like I was sitting still yesterday, there is hope for the future!
Like the wind!