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My New Year in Cycling; Quality (of Life) Over Mileage

April 2019

Last year was my best cycling year by something like 700 miles – from 9,390 miles in 2017 to 10,115 last year.  I rode 8,500 in 2016.  With work this year, I have no hope of catching last year’s miles.  The job I’m on now is a construction man’s dream – a unicorn job that, once complete and on my resume, will be a ticket to any job I want should the need ever arise to move.

The commute is killing my cycling, though.  I’m already several hundred miles down from last year and I’ve accepted that this year is going to be more about enjoying the opportunities I have rather than trying to chase mileage goals when my schedule otherwise wouldn’t allow them.  In years past, I could simply take off a couple of hours early to get my ride in – I always made the hours up one way or another.

This year, the job and commute simply won’t allow that.  Last evening was a perfect example.  After a long day, I arrived home and got the Trek ready for the trainer.  While the temp was decent, call it average, the wind was absolutely howling – 27-mph sustained with gust over 40-mph.  No chance I was riding in that.  I was on the trainer and rolling at 5:18.

My daughter, however, had an honors ceremony last night.  She was receiving her fourth varsity letter, this being only her sophomore year.  She’s got, in order of achievement, diving, swimming, band, and this one is for academics – and she’s trying for a fifth this year in tennis (Her first year, too.  Who knew? She’s a natural).  The academics is the big one, though, obviously.  As a parent, I only prayed my kids would be able to do a little better than their dear old dad.  My girls are absolutely kicking my ass and I’m loving it.

So in year’s past I would trade off the ceremony for a special dinner if the event intruded on my miles, or I’d come home early and hope my phone didn’t ring while I was on the road.  This year, I’ve decided not to care so much about the miles.  I’m still riding regularly, but I’m going to free myself of the drive to maintain such a lofty mileage goals.

Cycling is awesome, but the things that are happening off the bike right now are too sweet to miss chasing miles.

As I always say, especially in recovery, happiness is entirely about my acceptance and perspective.  I am happy because I accept that I am exactly where I should be in God’s grand plan (whatever that is, I’m not smart enough to have figured it out), and I will enjoy the gifts I am given… no matter how hard I have to look for them.  Today it is good to be me, and to borrow a friend’s phrase, today I won’t drink.


  1. You are always going to love cycling, so even in the times you can’t ride as much, you will find ways to enjoy it. Pretty cool about your daughter!

  2. biking2work says:

    Nice one Jim. Its funny how things swing in roundabouts. Last year I wasn’t bothered about distance but this year I want to crush 5000miles to the near point of obsession according to some. I prefer to call it dedication…

  3. theandyclark says:

    Congrats on your daughter. That’s awesome!

    As for the rest, You’ve got to have priorities and cycling takes money unless you want to be that homeless guy riding around on a one speed with a basket. That doesn’t seem your style.

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