This month, two people suggested to me that my commitment to cycling is waning. I don’t suspect collusion; these people live 1,000 miles apart, have never met, and could not have coordinated their statements in any plausible scenario. And we’re all entitled to our opinions, but first let’s look at some facts.
With 6 months of 2021 behind us and 6 still ahead, I have ridden 1,945 miles. That’s not far behind the 2,096 miles I rode in the first half of 2020, and it’s ahead of my pace from 2019. Last year turned out to be a 5,214-mile season, my 5th best. I’m not shooting for 5,000 this year, but I should be comfortably above 4,000 by the end. And I’m finishing this month with a new personal record for miles in June: 880. That beats the 843 miles I rode last June and it is my second-highest total in any month ever, trailing only my 1,020-mile effort in July 2011. Good, right?
One of the comments about my commitment to cycling was very specific: I’m not doing really long rides anymore. My last 100-mile ride was on August 13, 2017, the 10th Anniversary edition of Race The Lake. But in truth, I have never done a lot of long rides. I have ridden 15 centuries all-time … out of 2,724 career rides. In 2015 when I rode an all-time best 6,236 miles, my average ride was only 29 miles. I did 215 rides that season. Consistency produced that big mileage total; I didn’t ride a bunch of 100 milers.
I think the other comment was substantially influenced by my lower profile on social media this year. On Facebook, Twitter, and even on this blog, I have been saying less about my own cycling activities. Why? I guess it’s because so far in 2021 my rides have been just rides. I haven’t been racing or riding with groups, and there’s a sameness to my training rides that I wouldn’t expect anyone to find interesting. This is Season 18 and much of the novelty is gone. What can I tell you about an out-and-back Eisenbahn State Trail ride or a quick loop around the Cedarburg covered bridge that you haven’t heard before?
A new month begins tomorrow. I don’t plan to make a run at a mileage record in July. But there are several new Garmin Connect goals for the new month and for the new quarter. I’ve been hitting all my targets on Garmin Connect. That’s good. It’s even kind of competitive. But it’s not racing. Perhaps my biggest challenge in July will be to find the motivation to train specifically for cyclocross. If I don’t race this fall, then I don’t know if I ever will again. And at that point I wouldn’t be able to deny that my commitment has waned.