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2,500 Miles Down With 2,500 Miles To Go

Today I passed a personal milestone—I am now a little more than halfway toward reaching my goal of cycling 5,001 miles this year. Last December I put my goals on paper and planned to hit the 2,500 mile mark on July 1. At the end of May I found myself well ahead of schedule and thought I would hit the halfway mark by June 8. However, a bad case of food poisoning kept me off the bike for 12 days (Middle Eastern food).

Trek Madone-Discovery Channel Team Edition

My Trek Madone 5.2 (Discovery Channel Team Edition)

Until I was knocked off my bike by a lowly falafel I had averaged about 20 rides per month for the past year. There were only a few times where I had to miss cycling two days in a row. After being off the bike for 12 days straight I learned a couple of things. First, the time off the bike allowed my legs to get a well deserved rest. When I finally got to ride yesterday my legs felt fantastic. Second, the food poisoning caused me to lose 8 pounds rather quickly. This weight loss helped me attack the hills better than I have in years. I have decided to drop another 10 pounds.

On my ride today I started thinking about several friends of mine who are in their 40’s, but already taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All I can say is, “There, but by the grace of God (and cycling), go I.” All of those diseases could either be cured or minimized by spending a few hours a week on a bike.

Last year I was in my doctor’s office for an annual checkup and while there I got so bored I picked up a copy of Golf Digest and thumbed through it. I have never played a single round of golf in my life, and after looking at the ads in Golf Digest I doubt that I ever will. There are ads in that magazine you will never see in Bicycling! After thinking about those ads for a while I asked a friend of who is an avid golfer, “Do you have to have erectile dysfunction to golf?” Cycling not only improves your lung capacity, but it will probably save you from the little blue pill as well!

How many chronic health problems in America could be cured by just diet and exercise? I’ve had friends die in their 50’s and I know their death certificates listed the cause of death as heart disease, but I have to wonder if it shouldn’t have said suicide by inaction.

 
 

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2,000 Miles Down And 3,000 Miles To Go

Today I passed over 2,000 miles on my bike for this year which means I still have 3,000 miles to ride before December 31. When I set my goal of riding over 5,000 for this year I had no idea what the weather had in store for me. January was not too bad (by Chicago standards), but in February we had the worst blizzard in over 30 years. In April we experienced one of our wettest months in history, and May has gotten off to a very wet and windy start.

David Padfield on May 17, 2011

My Trek Madone at the Fox River Park in Silver Lake, Wisconsin

Not only did I set a goal of over 5,000 miles for the year, but I also set goals for every month. If it were not for my monthly goals I think I might have skipped riding on some of the worst days. When the temperature is barely above zero or the wind is blowing at over 30 MPH it is very tempting 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. At the moment I am about 300 miles ahead of where I had planned to be by now, but it never hurts to build up a cushion in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Last year got off to a slow start because I had surgery in January which put me out of commission for six weeks, then in April and May I spent three weeks photographing ancient ruins in Turkey and Greece. During the past twelve months I’ve been able to ride over 5,900 miles.

Today I rode out to Fox River Park in Silver Lake, Wisconsin where I met a woman at the park who was kind enough to use my iPhone to take a snapshot of me today.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Life On Two Wheels

 

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1,000 Miles Down And 4,000 To Go

In February we had our fourth worst blizzard in history and I only had to miss two days on the bike. I could have made it out a day sooner, but after spending five hours shoveling my driveway I wasn’t really motivated. At the moment I am 250 miles ahead of where I planned to be by March 31. Providing I don’t get hit by a car, this could be my best year ever!

Illinois Beach State Park

Illinois Beach State Park

A short ride on my bike last Friday put me over 1,000 miles for the year, and that means I still have another 4,000 miles to go before I reach my goal. Actually my goal for this year is 5,001 miles because a good friend of mine set his goal for 5,000 miles.

I think every cyclist can think of some bike, saddle, jacket or light that just rocked their world and enabled them to ride faster and better than ever before.

In future posts I want to review some of the products that have helped me along the way. In the past 10 years I have purchased a lot of worthless cycling products, but I have also been able to find some incredible products from small manufacturers that have made a big difference in the way I ride.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in Life On Two Wheels

 

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