I caught a window!

Ladies and gents, I am not like most avid cyclists in a couple of ways. First off, I have only one bike, It is my commuter, long distancer, multi day trekker, errand runner, indoor exerciser and over all work horse. I figure I only have one butt, so I only need one bike.

I also NEVER set a mileage goal for the year. I set out to ride as often and as far as I can, but I truly don’t want to put any stress on myself for riding. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. If I set a goal, I will start berating myself if I don’t get ‘enough’ miles each month.

However, near the end of the year, things can change…

At the end of October, I was JUST shy of 4500 miles (which would break my previous record set in 2016. This gave me 2 months to get just over 500 miles to break 5000…

Now if this was July, I woulda had no worries! Daylight savings time, great weather, and the perfect conditions to crank out the miles…

Trouble is, this was November and December, the two worst months for cycling in the Pacific Northwest. We get wind, heavy rain, snow, ice, and short dark days. NOTHING that leads one to big miles.

In fact, November let us know it was not going to be easy with an early snowfall the 3rd day of the month!

I did as many miles as I could, including 55 the day before my birthday, but the month ended with only 215 miles… I needed 295 in December for 5000! And to make matters worse, I was stuck in Spokane for one week…

UGH!!!

I was a bit pessimistic. I would like to mention  that my friends and family (especially Michelle) made a point to let me know they had complete faith in me. They were very sure I would make it. I have one helluva cheer staff!

The weather turned very cold, and made it icy and  dangerous to ride to and from work. I have honestly only been able to cycle commute once the entire month. During the summer, I can count on 50 miles a week easy… Yeah, not this month.

I did get a couple of other outside rides in, one for 46 miles and another for 17. But that only added up to 63 of the 295 I needed. Ladies and gents, desperate times call for desperate measures. Out came the rollers!

And my roller face!

I had Netflix playing and rode time and a again, 12 – 19 (a new roller record) miles through out the month. I started slowly chipping away at the total I needed…

Well after Tuesday night’s 19 miles I needed just 25 more! I was close!! I really wanted to finish the quest for 5000 outdoors, all I needed was a small window of no ice, daylight, and time off work…

However the last couple days looked liked this

Well today I had to work in Seattle, I woke up a bit late to discover it had warmed up to the 40s overnight and all the snow was gone… But I had slept too long to ride to Seattle, I was stuck in the car… (sigh)

Well I got the office faced with a morning a meetings, and even worse, a unit lunch. (I am NOT a fan of going to lunch with my coworkers. I like to relax, eat alone, and read a book at lunch (I know, I am antisocial))…

The first meeting went long, but it was productive, the second was short and sweet, but the third… It was scheduled for an hour, but a 1:15 we were going strong….

Now normally I would be pissed off…

But it hit me, this would give me an excuse to skip the lunch! Sure enough, it didn’t end till 20 minutes after the team left! YES!!

And, it was the last meeting of the day. The rain was holding off AND there was nothing keeping me at work! It was the window I was looking for! I ran for the car and headed home!

It took me about 2o minutes to get ready and load the bike, and drive  to the Burke Gilman trail! Ladies and gents, I can do 25 miles, rain, shine or cold in my sleep! As long as there is no ice, I am golden!

As I took off, I realized I was dealing with a serious headwind! SUCK!! But, if it was a headwind on the way out, it means a tailwind coming home… Plus as we know, I have a motto

A little headwind was NOT going to stop me.

As I rode along, I started a countdown. I knew I needed 25 miles total, so each mile I said aloud “24 more!” “23 more!”…

But, it is NOT all about the miles, cold and windy yes, but I did stop for these fans cheering my on!

I don’t care how many miles I need, I ALWAYS stop for bald eagles!

On the way home, I was passing Woodinville, home of out favorite wineries, one being Chandler Reach, who makes Ventoso (Italian for “The Wind!”)

I pulled in to pick up a bottle to commemorate the 5000! When I hit the 25 miles I did a fist pump and a yell! I reached 5000 miles! In fact I did an extra 3 today JUST to make sure! Michelle and I had wine and a Papa Murphy’s pizza, for dinner to celebrate.

Yep, I know, in the grand scheme of life, 5000 miles will not change the world. But for a 53 year old cowboy, who was never athletic as a kid, it is making me smile ear to ear right now!

Two quote Bill Murray in Ghostbusters. “We came, we saw, WE KICKED ITS ASS!!!”

And, I am still hoping for a New Years Eve morning ride! We aint done yet!!!

Like the wind!!

5 thoughts on “I caught a window!

  1. Congratulations, Tony! This is a wonderful end-of-year summation and I wish you all the best for your goals in 2018……but you don’t have to risk injury, try to impress anyone or set unreasonable goals! Looks like you really were behaving well, to allow for bad conditions this month and not try to be a crazy-rider. Always remember, Michelle will be sad if something happens to you, so take care of yourself for her sake.

    1. Tony the Careful they call me! Trust me, I never set out for any other reason than I enjoy my time on two wheels. (there was one recent crash we didnt mention as to not worry my mom, but like the Abominable Snowman in Rudolph, Tony’s bounce!)

      I never set a riding goal, I just get out as much as I can. But you are correct, after meeting black ice last winter, I am VERY cautious when it gets cold!

      And thank you!!

  2. I know you mostly stick to trails such as the Burke-Gilman, but extreme caution is needed even there, when the trail crosses a road. In northeast Seattle I have sometimes watched while bikers fly across the Inverness driveway (at about NE 88th Street just off of Sand Point Way NE) or the NE 70th Street crossing in View Ridge, because the racing bikers don’t want to stop. News flash! Cars don’t want to stop, either, or may not be watching for bikes at all. These and many other crossings involve the potential for fatal collisions. The increasing number of car-bike collisions is very alarming.

  3. Nice work, cowboy! And good for you for having a nice little celebration to honor your impressive year-end mileage. I look forward to seeing what 2018 has in store for you (bike-related and otherwise). 😀

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