6,836 Miles Of Cycling In 2011

01 Jan

Yesterday I took my last bike ride for 2011 and ended the year having cycled 6,836 miles. Twelve months ago I set of goal of 5,000 miles for the year and I passed the target by such a wide margin that I am now qualified to run the Congressional Budget Office.

The All Seasons Cyclist (near Lake Michigan)

The All Seasons Cyclist (near Lake Michigan)

When I set my cycling goal for 2011 I had no idea that the worst blizzard in over 30 years would hit Chicago in February, followed by the one of the wettest springs in recorded history. I also didn’t plan on being knocked off of my bike for twelve days in June due to food poisoning. This past July was one of the five hottest months in Chicago history, but I was still able to cycle over 850 miles that month anyway.

When the temperature is hovering around zero or the wind is gusting at over 30 MPH it is very easy to tell yourself, “I’ll skip riding today and make it up later.” However, big goals are only reached by passing a lot of smaller goals along the way.

I am 52 years old and work full-time (about 50 hours a week). However, I have somewhat flexible hours so when I ride 50 or 60 miles in the morning it means I will be at the office rather late that night. All three of our sons are grown, so Cub Scout meetings and high school football games do not interfere with my cycling.

While there are many reasons to cycle I suppose most of us do it to improve our “quality of life.” That is, we want to live longer and healthier lives. Obesity is a national crisis in America and our health care system is overburdened as a result of people overeating and failing to exercise. I ought to know—I used to be one of those people who was committing suicide one meal at a time.

Since I am in a contemplative mood I want to add one more thing. Some cyclists pretty much ignore their families just to rack up the miles. If you are one of those people let me kindly inform you that you are an idiot. Your children are only young once so spend as much time with them as you can. It doesn’t take any extra time to eat healthy food, nor does it take all that many miles on a bike to keep your circulatory system in great shape. When your children are big enough you can have them join you for a ride. If you still need more miles, wait till they are asleep and ride at night (but don’t neglect your spouse either).


Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Life On Two Wheels


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13 responses to “6,836 Miles Of Cycling In 2011

  1. James

    January 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    Huge congrats on smashing your goal for 2011. Begs the question, how high are you setting the bar for 2012? Happy New Year!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 1, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      James, I think I am going to keep the same goal that I had for last year, i.e., 5,000 miles. However, I am going to add one item to it: I want to have more fun on the bike! Because I was so determined to rack up miles last year I didn’t spend as much time on the off-road trails as I would have liked to (because miles pile up faster on the road than on the trails). My new Surly Necromancer is designed for off-road use and I want to spend time playing in the mud this year.

  2. Chasing Fifty

    January 1, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Congrats. I bought my first road bike last spring. I’ve worn out a chain and a pair of tires already, but nothing compared to what you’re logging. Always great to find something you love to do…

  3. Kalli

    January 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Happy new year and fabulous job on your miles!

  4. anniebikes

    January 1, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Congrats on your total miles. Somehow I racked up 3300. My goal is always 3000 so to beat it by a few hundred was a major coup for me. I attribute it to a milder then normal fall. I was riding until two weeks ago. Thanks for the reminder about cycling interfering with family time. I know I might be guilty of a few extra miles squeezed in by neglecting the family, but I always ask if they want to go with me. I ride to work too so that is how I easily fit in cycling into my life. Also, I am a calmer more tolerant parent if I have that “me” time to pedal and work out frustrations. My family understands this. Now, they send me out the door for a walk…

    Happy 2012.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      There have been times when my wife told me I need a bike ride — usually after I’ve had a stressful day!

  5. DummyDiva

    January 1, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Wow, congrats on the miles. I recently discovered you blog and I’ll be back for more. Happy NY.

  6. hughonabike

    January 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Heck, I’m impressed. My mileage was nothing like that! But my target wasn’t that much either. Consider me inspired by your efforts and will cowboy the hell up for 2012. I’ll up my beer consumption to kinda balance things out. Happy New Year.

  7. Dave Gilbert

    January 1, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Congratulations on your accomplishments.

    Regarding health, kids, time for riding, relationship with spouse etc: truer words were never spoken.

    Thanks for your efforts! Happy New Year! -Dave

  8. tuckamoredew

    January 1, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    Impressive mileage. This was my first year riding through all the seasons and although it certainly boosted my total distance it’s nothing like yours. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments on family time. Two of my favourite rides this year were with my 10 year old daughter.

  9. pathguy

    January 2, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    Congratulations and Happy New Year – don’t have any kids yet but the point you make in the last paragraph about family is great!

  10. Nick

    January 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Nothing like blowing by your goals
    Congratulations on your miles, it is not and easy feat
    i will be turning 60 this year
    i had 1 this goal year and then some others if i made the first
    5000 miles on all bikes , did that
    5000 miles on road bike, did that
    6000 miles on all bikes , did that
    6000miles on road bike , did that
    7000 miles on all bikes , did that
    7000 miles on road bike , failed 6900 total
    Age is no impediment on Cycling 2011 total miles 7300
    i also work 50 hour work week and have 2 hour daily commute
    so riding is limited to weekends and tuesday nights
    your comment on family is so correct, i am recently widowed and miss having family


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