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60,000 Miles on a Bicycle, and What It’s Taught Me About Life

August 2019
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Last Sunday, I rolled over 60,000 miles since I started keeping track in 2011. In terms of a special milestone, it’s not all that special. There’s a phone book of people who ride that in a year, worldwide. It’s my milestone, though. I did it, and what’s important is that I’ve had fun putting almost every one of those miles on my bikes.

Cycling has evolved for me over the last eight years. The first few weeks weren’t all that impressive, until I bought a decent bike. An adult mountain bike. After that, a cavalcade of road bikes… and it was Katy bar the door from the moment I first rode my Trek 5200. I dropped 20 pounds so fast it actually scared my wife. I was skinny. Then I learned how to eat, ahem, for an active lifestyle and have been okay ever since. It could be said that I certainly do enjoy eating a lot more.

Anyway, I’ve had my bikes, one or the other, all over the place – especially all over our home State of Michigan, and after all of those miles, I’m still excited when a big tour rolls around. Who am I kidding? I still get fired up, just to run a quick loop around the neighborhood. For those who ride a lot, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I write that cycling has been my source of fun, rather than a source of exercise. The fact I burn a lot of calories just comes with the fancy pedals.

I headed out last evening to hammer some miles out with my friends and, unlike the stock market, past experience is an indication of future returns. I was driving home with a big smile on my face, thinking about how lucky I am to be me. I’m nothing special, of course, but I do believe I’m a blessed guy to have the wife, kids, friends, bikes and life that I have.

I don’t have a whole lot of money. I don’t have a big, fancy house. I do have a smokin’ hot wife, two awesome daughters, some great friends, a good job, a stellar, clean life, (ahem) six bikes, good health… and some fantastic memories.  Above all, though, I am happy.

What I’ve learned over the last 60,000 miles is that the miles don’t matter.  It’s the spending time, regularly, with friends and family making memories.  As we get older, most everyone wants to slow down time.  The only way I know to do that is to take the time to enjoy life.  A little bit, every day.  When I take the time to savor where I’ve been and where I’m at, life slows down just a little bit… and it’s vastly sweeter.

And that’s enough to make any ex-drunk get a little misty. Keep coming back, my friends. It gets good enough, if you work for it, that you simply can’t believe that things worked out so well.


2 Comments

  1. Counting the miles is something I stopped doing years ago, not that it’s not fun to do that as well. Cycling for me, as it has for you, started as a way to exercise in a way that is enjoyable and I found out quickly how sharing it with friends made it infinitely more enjoyable. Before I knew it, I was hosting group rides that started at my house, riding an event nearly every weekend during the summer, planning my life around the bike.

    There is nothing better, IMO. And the health and lifestyle benefits are incredible. Nice to see how you are able to recognize the blessings!

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thanks, brother. It’s a lot easier to keep track nowadays. With a Garmin and a smart phone, all I have to do is press a few buttons and go, then a couple more to stop. All of the uploading is automatic. Otherwise, I’d have stopped too. I felt keeping track took away from the overall experience after a while.

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