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Only 4,949 Miles On The Bike This Year

30 Dec
The All Seasons Cyclist On The Shores Of Lake Michigan

The All Seasons Cyclist On The Shores Of Lake Michigan

This year did not turn out like I had planned—I ended up cycling only 4,949 miles this year and that makes it the worst mileage year I’ve had in a while. It also drops my yearly average down to just 6,075 miles per year.

We had fairly mild weather in January so I was able to get a good head start on my miles for the year. However, during the second week of February I got the flu (a genuine case of influenza, not just a common cold) and it took me off my bike for three weeks. When I finally got back to riding I was a bit slower than normal, but I worked my way back up to normal speed and distance rather quickly.

On March 28 I went out for a Metric Century ride on a beautiful day—light winds, full sun, a foot of snow on the ground and temps around freezing. The ride was enjoyable and I felt great when I got home. However, about four hours later I was at my office when my chest started hurting. Actually, the word hurting doesn’t even begin to describe the pain—it felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I thought it was asthma, but after numerous medical tests and consulting with six different doctors I ended up having surgery on my esophagus during the first week of June. This little episode took me off the bike for a total of eight weeks and the first month back on the bike was slow and painful. On the day of surgery I was already over 2,000 miles behind where I normally would be for that time of the year.

A few days ago I was feeling sorry for myself for having such a miserable year and I told my friend Eric (a Naval officer, scientist, and all-round nice guy) how depressing it was. Eric sent me an encouraging letter to remind me that even for a dedicated cyclist mileage isn’t everything. He reminded me that since I switched to the Paleo Diet for Athletes I’ve dropped a good bit of weight and improved both my endurance and recovery times. In addition, I’ve set at least a dozen personal speed records, both on the road and on off-road trails, since I had the surgery. And even though I wasn’t able to ride a lot in the spring, this past fall I did more Century rides than I ever had before. I am thankful for good friends!

For the record, I am 54 years old and work full-time. However, I have somewhat flexible hours so long rides in the morning mean 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 no longer interfere with my cycling—and my wife is a very patient woman. Years of cycling have paid off—my morning resting pulse rate is usually 50 BPM and my average morning blood pressure is 104/62.

Some cyclists 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.

I often think about some of my friends who are in their 40′s but are already on medication for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. All I can say is, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” How many chronic health problems in America could be cured by changes in diet and exercise? I’ve had friends die in their 50′s and I know the death certificate listed their cause of death as heart disease, but I have to wonder if it shouldn’t have read “suicide by lack of exercise.”

And, as I’ve said several times before, I want to thank God for my good health, Trek for making awesome bikes, and my wife for not looking at the American Express statements. I hope you all have a wonderful 2014!

 
97 Comments

Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Life On Two Wheels

 

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97 responses to “Only 4,949 Miles On The Bike This Year

  1. Arnold Bradford

    December 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Wishing you the same, plus inspiration for more good blogs in the coming year.

     
  2. Kate Haymes

    December 30, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    I have been a subscriber to your emails for a few months and have thoroughly enjoyed your insight, experience, stories, and writing style!

    Thanks for rocking what you do & God bless you and yours tremendously as well in 2014!!

    He Loves Us!! :)

    Kate

     
  3. Arnold

    December 30, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Wishing you the same for 2014, plus more good blogs in the new year.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      I’m already working on a few new articles. Wait till you see a “Sneak Preview” of a new bike light / horn that is about to hit the market!

       
  4. theotherwoman97

    December 30, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Tailwinds to you in 2014!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 30, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Thanks you so much!

       
      • theotherwoman97

        December 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Aiming to take my metres climbed from 50,669 to 75,000 & Kilometres ridden from 3800 to 5000… A long way off of your pace, but it’ll be a gain for me! #strava

         
        • All Seasons Cyclist

          December 30, 2013 at 10:53 PM

          Climbing is my weak spot — I live north of Chicago and the land up here is about as flat as a kitchen table!

           
        • theotherwoman97

          December 30, 2013 at 10:55 PM

          Sounds fabulous! I can’t go to the kitchen table without climbing 3 metres! In Vancouver you either learn to love it or stop riding! :-)

           
  5. Joboo

    December 30, 2013 at 10:31 PM

    Amen!!!

     
  6. Karen

    December 30, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Your worst year is a dream year for me! I broke 2700 which is a all time record for me. I wish I could ride more! Very impressive….Congrats!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      I guess it is all a matter of perspective — you’ve done a lot more races than I’ll ever even try!

       
  7. hughes1963

    December 30, 2013 at 10:35 PM

    You may be disappointed but I have to say WOW. I just started riding in March and I’ve only achieved 1,700 miles. You are an inspiration, keep it up.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      For the first 10 years I was cycling I averaged about 3,000 miles per year, but when I turned 50 I decided to turn it up a notch or two. Ride safely!

       
      • hughes1963

        December 30, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        You too my friend. I hope you achieve the mileage you want next year. Happy New Year to you and yours.

         
  8. Luther Pratt

    December 30, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    It is 12 am here and I just finished reading your article. Good job! I don’t often tell you…but I appreciate your writings and good example.

    Take care my friend, Luther

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 12:14 AM

      Thank you so much! We’ve both come a long way since we we “young” back in Indiana!

       
  9. Luther Pratt

    December 30, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Btw, great photo of you in gear w your fat bike!

    Good night!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

     
  10. sueslaght

    December 30, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I agree with others you are an inspiration. To get that many miles in light of the health issues you had…superstar status from my vantage point on the bike seat. Have a great 2014!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      Aw, shucks. ‘Tweren’t nothing. Well, we all have health challenges — but some years they seem to pile up rather quickly! I realize that I will probably never retire, so I have to ride while I still can.

       
  11. billgncs

    December 30, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    I think it is still a wonderful achievement

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      Most people would follow that statement up with “for a man of your advanced age.” :)

       
      • billgncs

        December 31, 2013 at 12:50 AM

        for anyone it’s wonderful —

        for someone as ancient as you… well it’s stupendous :)

         
  12. Melanie's Menagerie

    December 30, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Have a wonderful 2014! :)

     
  13. foodbod

    December 31, 2013 at 12:58 AM

    So many words so very well said ☺️ I hope that you can celebrate your achievements and enjoy feeling fit and healthy and focus less on the mileage – the rest of us would be saying “Wow!!! I cycled 4949 miles this year!! How amazing is that??!!” You are a true inspiration, thank you for sharing your thoughts and rides. Happy New Year 🎉🎉

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:26 PM

      Thank you for your kind note! I read your blog and noticed you love Middle Eastern food (as do I). I don’t want to make you jealous, but the best Middle Eastern food I’ve ever had is at a Lebanese restaurant that is located about 15 minutes away from my house! I love visiting the Middle East, but it is really nice when you can have lamb shawarma and not have to worry about how it was prepared!

       
      • foodbod

        January 1, 2014 at 12:21 AM

        You’re so lucky to have that!! If I want decent ME food here in the uk I need to go into London – or make it myself of course!!! I get a great fix every time I visit my Mum in Abu Dhabi though ☺️ happy new year supercyclist 🎉

         
  14. foodbod

    December 31, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    PS I want your bike!!!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:27 PM

      The local bike shop can build one just like it for you (just bring your checkbook).

       
      • foodbod

        January 1, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        I can imagine…😳

         
  15. cyclerist

    December 31, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Great article once more!
    Lot of happiness for you and your family in the years to come!
    I have 3 kids as well and soon will turn 37 years :)
    They are much younger than yours,between 3 and 9 years now and ever since they came to this world the same thoughts are in my head as the one you wrote:
    “Some cyclists 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.”
    Early rides and trainings while they are sleeping are great way to get some time for cycling and not to “steal” from the time we can have together.
    All the best!
    Marko

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      One of the main reasons I ride is so I can stay healthy — I love my wife and want to spend many more years with her, and eventually I’d like to have some grandchildren (but not anytime soon).

       
  16. cyclerist

    December 31, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Reblogged this on Cyclerist and commented:
    Wonderful thoughts again in this post.
    “”Some cyclists 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.”

     
  17. Backpacks and Saddlebags - a brewer's outdoor adventures

    December 31, 2013 at 3:43 AM

    Been following you for a little while now and this is my first comment (I tend to lurk on most people’s blogs :) ). I’ve really enjoyed your blog this year and in particular the winter cycling articles you did. I know that my winter in no way compares to your winter but I found them really useful so thanks for that if nothing else!

    The miles vs lifestyle connundrum is ever present for me. Like you I have a flexible (ish) job but do a lot of travelling so I have to be fair to the family and watch when and for how long I ride. I normally end up doing a brutally long ride very very early on a Saturday so that I am back by lunchtime and then a midweek evening ride if its convenient. The kids are only young once so I am always mindful of trying to keep it all balanced.

    This year has seen me back in the saddle properly for the first time in 25 years (I am not quite a couch potato so have been walking for pleasure mainly for my kicks :D ). I started in January and have just passed 4000miles. I think I would struggle to hit your mileage average but am pretty chuffed with my effort. I was inspired to get back on the bike by my missus who also cycles and is pretty awesome at it (I am not worthy lol). I live in South Wales between the coast and the mountains so our challenge is normally wind, rain and hilly rides!!! Its almost impossible to find a flat ride so I have clocked up 256,000 feet of climbing to go with the mileage!

    Anyway, all the best to you and yours for 2014 and keep up the good work on the blog

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      256,000 feet of climbing! WOW! That is more than I get in three years! I hope you and your wife can enjoy many miles cycling together — maybe your kids can get out there with you before long.

       
      • Saddlebags and Backpacks - a brewer's outdoor adventures

        January 1, 2014 at 4:31 AM

        I hope the kids will get into it more now they are growing up. I think there is more chance for my daughter than my son but lets see what happens :)

        All the best for 2014!

         
  18. toekneep

    December 31, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    Well said, it isn’t always about the number of miles ridden but the spirit in which they are covered. Keep blogging in 2014 and happy cycling.

     
  19. ATdF

    December 31, 2013 at 4:08 AM

    amico mio, never had the idea that in your country it would be better cross-country, running with a husky? playing card with a grizzly? anyway i wish you a great 2014 !!!

     
  20. AndrewGills

    December 31, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    Fantastic advice. I always put my partner first before cycling. Bottom line is that most of us will not be Olympic athletes and no one else cares about our mileage. So it’s kind of egotistical to put cycling miles before loved ones.

    I hope 2014 is a wonderful year for you. :)

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      I doubt if any Olympic athlete has ever visited this blog! And you are so right: when you put miles before family it is because you are self-centered — and I’ve met too many cyclists with that problem.

       
  21. Chatter Master

    December 31, 2013 at 4:35 AM

    Happy and healthy new year All Seasons Cyclist!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Thank you so much (and thank you for both of the articles you wrote about Irish Katie).

       
  22. Jill

    December 31, 2013 at 5:18 AM

    Happy New Year to you as well!

     
  23. tischcaylor

    December 31, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    Well said! I gave up some personal goals this year to try to get some of the younger generation in our family involved in running and triathlon, and I don’t regret it. Love your reviews, but these occasional glimpses into your cycling and fitness are especially motivating. Here’s to better luck in 2014!

     
  24. Lee

    December 31, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Happy New Year and love your blog.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Thank you so much — I really enjoy putting the articles together.

       
  25. Steve

    December 31, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    So to review, you lost the better part of three months due to surgery and “only” managed to log 4,949 miles. Two thoughts: your disappointing totals are very understandable given your medical situation and those totals would be considered incredibly awesome by just about everyone else you would meet, including Yours Truly (1,863 miles in 2013). So let me say CONGRATULATIONS on a great 2013 and best of luck to you next year!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Three months off the bike really hurts — especially when the weather was so nice on many of those days! Here’s to a better year in 2014 for all of us!

       
  26. thehomeschoolingdoctor

    December 31, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    My year is not ending up as planned either. Sorry you had many weeks of feeling very badly in 2013!
    I am glad your health is now better than ever and that it wasn’t a blocked coronary artery or a punk aortic valve. I am glad they identified the source!

    I have finished The Heart Revolution. It was a very good read. Thank you. He definitely references a Paleo type of diet, although he tries to come about it in a very practical and patient-friendly way. I was impressed by my lack of understanding of how significant adequate supply of B vitamins are and how insufficient supplies are in the typical diet. Pretty much I was taught a person eating a well-rounded diet didn’t need vitamins. I now consider my (Paleo/GAPS/SCD/Perfect Health Diet/whatever) diet well-rounded and I may not need vitamins. Now I know, my diet before and most American’s diets are FAR from well-rounded. Aside from pregnancy, seizure medicines, TB meds, and some neuropathies, I never thought about B vitamins. I always just thought, “We’re getting enough.” But we’re not. If only we could get people at least eating a whole foods diet…

    I’ve taken up enough space. I enjoyed the personal post and the wise words. I know I can never get back these days with my kids. What my parents gave me is who I am. I wish to share that on.

    Happy New Year. May it be one with peace, joy, and love multiplied many times over what you’ve experienced thus far. ~~Terri

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:43 PM

      Thank you for your note and glad you enjoyed “The Heart Revolution.” I was thinking about writing a book review for it, but you are so much better qualified to do so that I was hoping you would write it! I found another book last week you might find interesting, “Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health”. The book just came out and is an enjoyable book to read.

      I hope you and your family have a safe and healthy new year as well!

       
  27. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk

    December 31, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    May 2014 be your best ever, for you and your family. Happy New Year, Glyn

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:44 PM

      Thank you so very much—and I hope yours is wonderful as well!

       
  28. Sarah

    December 31, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Wow, even though you did not end the year how you had hoped, that is AMAZING! Love the picture, too! Cheers to a great 2014!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:45 PM

      Thank you! As for the photo, I always look better when half of my face is covered by a mask!

       
  29. coastkid71

    December 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I will be looking in on your adventures in 2014, Your rolling and thats the main thing!
    All the best for 2014!, and have a happy New Year from here in Scotland!
    Bruce

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      I just looked at my watch and that means that you are already IN the New Year—I hope it is a wonderful one!

       
  30. Laura

    December 31, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    Amen on keeping the kids in focus amidst riding. It’s a struggle many parents face – never wanting to put my own desires before the needs of my children.

    Despite the medical issues, you’ve had an amazing year on the bike even if it wasn’t up to par. I love reading your reviews and share with others as often as possible. Best wishes for an incredible 2014!

     
  31. cathyo

    December 31, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Best wishes for 2014 and many happy miles!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Here’s to a safe year (and one without any new bruises from weightlifting). :)

       
  32. imarunner2012

    December 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Wow, that was a tough year. Here’s hoping 2014 is better.
    My youngest leaves for college in 2014. Mixed emotions there. When her older sister left for college I felt like I had run out of time to teach her things and do things with her. It turns out that she still asks me for advice and help, so I am still able to teach her and help her. Now if only we could coordinate vacation time!
    They are only young once, and so are we.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Watching your kids leave home is tough—we watched our two youngest sons head overseas to Iraq (and a few other destinations in the Sandbox) and I felt the same way you do—there is always so much more you wanted to say before they leave home!

       
      • imarunner2012

        January 2, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        My oldest left Chistmas day to start her college over seas experience. Going to New Zealand via Shaghi and Australia. As you know, it’s tough having them so far away.
        Hopfully your boys came home okay.

         
  33. Joy

    December 31, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    What a great post! Truly. I had health set backs as well this year, but because of it, I worked less and got to do more family trips. Happy New Year to you and yours!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      Nothing wrong with more family trips! Have a great new year!

       
  34. welshcyclist

    December 31, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    A great post, down to earth, from what I’d guess is a “real” cyclist. Cheers, thanks for sharing, and have a great New Year.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      I am a real cyclist, just not always the fastest one on the road though! Have a great new year!

       
  35. Nancy Loderick

    December 31, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    Hi,

    You should get a special award for being such a dedicated cyclist! When the weather turns cold, I don’t think I would have the determination to go out on my bike.

    Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!

    Nancy

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      I actually enjoy playing in the snow—it makes me feel like a kid again (which also explains why I am happy that my wife is such a patient woman).

       
  36. billgncs

    December 31, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    this is blatant pandering but check out 2wheels2kids.wordpress.com – happy new year!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      I just checked out your new site . Let me know when you have a link for online donations and I’d be glad to help!

       
      • billgncs

        January 1, 2014 at 1:16 AM

        thanks – -working on it, this is all new to me.

         
  37. billgncs

    December 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    ps – you have inspired me to ride tomorrow :)

     
  38. DummyDiva

    December 31, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Congrats on your yearly mileage. I think it’s fantastic! Oh, and happy new year too.
    DD

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      December 31, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      In a few hours I get to start from zero all over again! Have a wonderful new year!

       
  39. bgddyjim

    January 1, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    I couldn’t agree with the use of the word idiot in describing people who ignore their family to rack up the mileage. Great post man.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      I try to stay in shape FOR my family. It would sure be a shame to neglect them in the process.

       
  40. Fred

    January 1, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Here is some serious HARDCORE for ya! He gets the flu and is out for a month, he gets surgery and is out for 2 more months and after completing ONLY 4,949 miles on his bike for the year; feels somewhat depressed he didn’t do more!!! I love it! How many people would even complete 100 miles in a year and have nothing go wrong with them?
    All Season Cyclist gets the Hardcore Of The Year Award!
    Fred (LHXC)

     
  41. Amy Christine

    January 1, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Almost 5,000 is still pretty damn impressive!!! Have to say I love that fact that even in freezing weather, you still get on the bike and go. Very inspirational :)

    Happy New Year to you!!!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      I actually enjoy riding in the snow — it is slower, but you sure don’t have to worry about mosquitoes!

       
  42. elisariva

    January 2, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    Not every year is awesome, but you sure made significant advancements and wisdom to share! May 2014 be a banner year!

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Let’s hope 2014 brings better health and more time on the bike!

       
  43. kevinmayne

    January 2, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Nice article.

    I stopped adding up the distances on my various cycle computers a few years ago and I have never regretted it. I have no idea how far I rode or how many bikes I borrowed and hired to keep cycling this year, but every one was valued.

    Wishing you healthy miles in 2014.

     
    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2014 at 11:17 PM

      One of the reasons I record my distances is because I also keep a bike repair journal and I need to know how many miles I’ve gone on each bike so I can keep the maintenance up. Have a great 2014!

       
  44. Gwen Stephens

    January 3, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    This is a great post. Even though you didn’t make your mileage goals, you’ve had a pretty significant year. It sounds to me has though you keep everything in perspective and that’s the healthiest way to live. Looking forward to more inspiration in 2014.

     
  45. Gwen Stephens

    January 3, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    Sorry for the typos – yikes! I failed to proofread before I posted my comment!

     

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