Friday, November 4, 2011

5,000 Miles

I have reached 5,000 miles of cycling, year-to-date.  It’s a big deal for me and I’m glad it’s done.  I needed 164 rides to reach the milestone, an average of 30.49 miles per ride.  That per-ride average is actually my lowest since 2005, but 164 rides is the most I’ve ever done in one year.  Working from home has helped.  This year I have been able to ride on days that would have been closed to me if I were still commuting to and from the office in Brookfield.  In early spring I sometimes rode on my lunch break, taking advantage of the warm afternoon sun.  Here in autumn, I still can ride after work instead of wasting the remaining daylight on the drive home.

Getting to 5,000 has satisfied my desire for a big milestone and I will go into 2012 with no desire to keep pushing out the personal best.  I think next year will include more competitive events and my focus will shift to shorter, more intense workouts.  That’s not to say there won’t be some long days in the saddle.  I keep thinking about the Ride Across Indiana, Race the Lake, and my three-day rail-trail excursion from Pittsburgh to Washington DC.

I’ve also got Georgia on my mind.  On Sunday I mentioned an impending business trip.  I thought it would take place this month but it was postponed until January.  At that time I will be looking at up to three full weeks in Atlanta, and I just might have to take the bike.  By then I will be itching to ride outside again.  Atlanta’s weather in January is a lot like ours in April, so there should be opportunities.

Tomorrow I’ll be at Estabrook Park for the next installment of the WCA Crank Daddy’s Cyclocross Series.  If I’ve done the math correctly, then I’m currently 8th in Masters 45+ Cat 4.  In the most optimistic scenario I could finish as high as 4th but realistically I’m very unlikely to compete in all of the remaining events.  Riders I usually beat in competition will pass me in the standings by picking up points in races I skip.

And I am ready to do something else for a little while.  Cyclocross has been a blast, but the weather may soon get too cold for me and my asthma.  I haven’t gone hiking since April and I would like to do some of that before the snow comes.  Let me relax and recharge a little before winter training begins for the 2012 cycling season.

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