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Some Time Out… of the Saddle


I don’t take much time off of my bikes. All this talk you hear (or read) of rest days?  When it comes to running, I get it.  I could never run more than four days a week without feeling miserable. With cycling, all I have to do is vary my effort and I can ride every day without worry, trouble, injury, or anything else other than a smile (though I do recall two stretches of 30+ days that definitely required a rest day or two).

And I do.  If I took 36 days off the bike last year I’d be amazed.

That said, this last week has been spent entirely off the bike.  Entirely.  No rides on the trainer, no rides on the mountain bikes and not even one mile on the Trek.

I looked at it as a preemptive week off.  I didn’t want it or feel like I needed it, I just took it off, because.  I’ve spent the week active, with other things….

I have a reason in mind:  Come January 1, I’m going to put myself through the wringer so I can see some gains over last year.  I finished the year with almost a thousand miles more that I put in the year before… and according to my regular cycling buds (who confirmed the hope I had), I finished the season strong.

Perhaps my timing is a little off as this is eating season, and I haven’t been on a scale in more than a few days, but I’m not too worried.  A little hard work and a little hunger, I’ll be right as rain in a few weeks.

Oh, on a funny/interesting/nonsensical note, I’ve got 8,489 miles on the year – and I don’t know if I’ll get those last eleven miles to take me over 8,500 or if I’ll just call it good enough.  Incidentally, that’s the equivalent of 3.63 trips from my house to San Diego, California…  The miles sure do add up, one day at a time.  Three years ago I thought it would be impossible to top 6,000 miles in a year.  Not only was it possible, I did it all three years.

This time of year I always go through the same thoughts about cycling…  Do I continue to keep track of my mileage or not?  Keeping track is 99% useless.  The only reason left that I do is that I know that, since 2011, I’ve run and ridden 35,039 miles, and I’ve burned just shy of 2,000,000 calories doing it, or 571 pounds…  For whatever reason, I still think that’s kinda cool and if I quit keeping track, I lose those overall stats.

On the other hand, I’m not going back to my old sedentary life.  The stats just don’t matter like they used to…  There once was a time when seeing the miles add up helped to keep me motivated and excited about the streak I had put together.  Those days are long gone.  Anymore, just seeing my bike sitting in the corner is enough to get me suited up.

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9 Comments

  1. Quan says:

    Whoa! Congrats on the mileage – that’s impressive! Good for you for taking the week off, it’s so important so that your mind is strong going into the next training cycle. 🙂

  2. I have friends who squawk with pride if they log over 6000 miles in a year. Over 8K is AWESOME! I say get those 11 miles in, if only for the motivation it will provide next year.

    Heck, keeping your bikes functional while logging that many miles is an achievement.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, brother. Just added up over time, man. I think 6,000 is awesome for us working stiffs, I think this year was a lucky outlier. I hope to be wrong though. Thanks, brother.

  3. JustI says:

    I know you will come to your senses and start tracking your mileage again. For a minute I thought I was on the wrong blog 😛

  4. Tracy & Joel says:

    Sounds like you had a good year. I like keeping track of my mileage, I’m curious how far I go in a year, plus it’s a good way to alert you to mechanical issues before they happen.

    • bgddyjim says:

      That’s a very good point indeed. I tend to use time to deal with most mechanical issues, two weeks for a chain cleaning, two or three times a season to clean out the bottom bracket and headset, etc. I don’t think there’s any denying that mileage is a better marker though. Great comment.

  5. I found this so inspiring! I’m probably clocking around 3,000 a year at the moment so I’m amazed by the mileage you’re tracking. Definitely makes me want to get out on the bike a lot more, and keep track of what I’m doing.

    I can understand your dilemma about whether or not to keep tracking. If it’s now served its purpose and you don’t think it’s really doing much other than providing information, then it does seem quite pointless to continue. However as you say, you’ll lose those overall stats and might find a couple of years down the line that you wish you knew what your overall mileage was.

    I’m always more afraid of regretting the things I didn’t do. If it doesn’t take much effort to keep tracking, what is there to lose?

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