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Daily Archives: September 7, 2014

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Cycling: How Far is Far Enough?

I’m at the end of a fantastic week on the bike. Monday was a mix of relaxed mountain biking and medium effort cycling – 32 miles total (Holiday, no work). Tuesday was very fast – 7 mile warmup and 30 miles at 22 mph. Wednesday was very easy and only ten miles. Thursday was a decent effort for 16 miles. Friday was an easy 32, yesterday a medium effort 30 and today I’m staring out the barrel at 60.

How much is enough though?

Total for the week will be around 217 miles (349 km). All summer long I’ve managed some fairly high mileage – 180 to 220 miles except for the week I was on vacation, I think I only fit in 90 miles that week.

How much is enough?

I can remember not too long ago when 100 miles in a week was hard to hit. Then 150 was tough unless I was doing a century (metric or standard) on the weekend. I can remember thinking 200 was near impossible. Now it’s common, 217 this week and the farthest I’ve ridden at one time will be 60 miles…

So, how far is far enough?

I can live with whatever I can fit in, but I like anything between 150 and 200. I get to ride my bike every day, I stay fit, trim and strong, I have enough time to meet my familial and work responsibilities and most important: I’m happy.

Being a recovering drunk is a curse at first and a blessing later – I have no escape from my emotions and the committee that resides in my melon (heretofore referred to as the melon committee). Except when I ride a bike. In the beginning I had to learn how to tame the melon committee and that was not easy without self-medication (we also call that getting drunk, lit, hammered, sloshed or tanked). After, once I learned how to live right, it was a blessing because I get to feel life unencumbered.

A little more than an hour a day and two or three each on Saturday and Sunday are more than enough to recharge the battery and enjoy life like a kid does, and that’s what life is really all about.

How many times have you heard, thought or said, “if I only knew then what I know now”? I used to say it a lot. Cycling, for me, is living like I did then with what I know now. That makes for an excellent balance and a lot of fun. It makes for a good me.

So I would suggest the answer varies from person to person but for me it’s 150-200 miles a week. Other’s may require more or less but as long as there is balance, it’s all good.

Now, if you’re talking about weight loss, how much is enough? 217 miles works out to about 3-1/2 pounds’ worth of calories. In my case, that’s simply a lot of eating but if I wanted to lose weight, I think that’d be a good start, no? All for an hour a day and a few more on the weekends.

In other words, this week was far enough… But not too far.

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