The First 3,000 Miles For 2012

20 Jun

A few days ago I passed 3,000 miles of cycling for the year and that puts me about two weeks ahead of where I was last year at this time. Last year my goal was to cycle 5,000 miles in 2011, but ended up with 6,836 miles. This past January several people asked me what my goal for 2012 was going to be and my usual answer was, “To have fun.” Last year I was trying to rack up as many miles as possible and that meant I got most of my miles while cycling on the road.

The first 3,000 miles on the bike for this year

The first 3,000 miles is the easy part!

When I bought my Surly Pugsley Necromancer Fat Bike last December I intended to use it mainly for rides on the snow, mud and beach (and in my area of the country sometimes all those conditions are present on the same ride). Even though riding on off-road trails is slower, it does have several advantages, i.e, no cars to avoid, no broken glass to dodge, and no teenagers throwing garbage out the window. Off-road trails also allow me more time to think, enjoy nature and meet new people.

I’ve found the people who use the off-road trails are generally more friendly than Roadies. Too often on the road you find some dude with a new set of aerobars who is just certain that if Fabian Cancellara crashes again he is going to get a call from Johan Bruyneel begging him to come save Radioshack Nissan Trek at the Tour de France (that’s probably why they are concentrating so hard they can’t even acknowledge the existence of other cyclists). The funny thing is that I cycled all winter on those same roads and didn’t see any of these dedicated cyclists on the road—I think most of them spent the winter in their basement riding on their training wheels, excuse me, I mean riding on their bicycle trainer stand.

One other change from last year is my training routes. Last year I got into a rut and rode the same handful of routes over and over. My loving wife has spent many hours in the car with me as I drove through the back roads of Illinois and Wisconsin looking for new training routes. I could have searched for these routes while on my bike, but I hate getting caught out in the middle of nowhere without water (yeah, it’s happened).

We all cycle for different reasons. Some ride for their physical health, others for mental health. Some people ride because they enjoy group rides, while others enjoy a quiet ride on the back-roads so they can work out their problems in solitude. Whatever your motivation for cycling is, I hope you can enjoy the rest of this year on a good bike.


Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Life On Two Wheels


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37 responses to “The First 3,000 Miles For 2012

  1. James

    June 20, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Awesome progress! Looks like you are having fun and tracking to beat last year. Keep pedalling.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM

      I’m not sure if I will pass last year’s record, but if I am close in November I imagine I will push myself and try to do it.

  2. Melanie's Menagerie

    June 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Congrats on the first 3000! 🙂

  3. iride4shiloh

    June 20, 2012 at 8:16 AM


  4. Chasing Fifty

    June 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Bravo! I have narrowly missed being run over on shared use trails by other roadies because I committed the unpardonable sin of slowing down for walkers, joggers, or (gasp) slower cyclists. Those who are so focused on speed that they can’t enjoy a ride unless they break the sound barrier are missing the pure joy of riding. As Mark Twain said, “buy a bicycle… If you live, you will never regretting.”

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 22, 2012 at 11:02 PM

      Slowing down for walkers, joggers, and slower cyclists? You must be growing soft in your “old age.”

  5. billgncs

    June 20, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    excellent job!

    I agree about the road, car drivers seems to be more aggressive.

    Many years ago, when I was young and very, very fit a friend and I went to a bike race outside of Cleveland Ohio. No roadies would talk to or give me the time of day before the race ( I had my ten speed and no cycling gear) , and I was so angry that I decided to pass everyone ahead of me who had bike shorts. I ended up fifth, 4 guys riding as a team ahead of me.

    Now when I ride with the club, in all my gear, I wave at any cyclist I pass, especially if they are on training wheels.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      You have to remember how you got to where you are now! Plus, your life will be more enjoyable as well.

  6. Brenda in the Boro

    June 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    well done. My DH is just changing my brake pads after 1600 miles. i bought a Koga Randonneur in the January sales and am amazed at how many miles I’ve clocked up without even any realy long rides. We are off following some of the sustans routes here in the UK in a couple of weeks.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Brenda, it doesn’t take a lot of long rides, just a lot of rides.

  7. Season Books

    June 20, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    G-R-E-A-T … You are an Inspiration for my Perspiration !!
    I cannot sit and idle away a single day without an affair with my cycle.

    And Sir, if you’ll tell me you age, then it will be an added boost to this 46 year ‘young’ biker to convince his family that it is safe to spin 40km. everyday.

    Keep up and stay will! God Bless You!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      I am 53 years young and I feel better than I have at anytime during the past 30 years. If I can ride a Century (100 miles) in an afternoon in the Chicago suburbs then your family ought not to fear!

  8. Joboo

    June 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    Looks like you’ll be blowing 2011 out of the water, AWESOME!!
    here’s a little something something for ya!! 😉
    Pedal On!!!
    “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.”
    – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

  9. Chatter Master

    June 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Congratulations! I like your attitude about riding. I like that you encourage us all!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Thank you! A good attitude is half the battle!

      • Chatter Master

        June 20, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Yes it is! Happy pedaling!

  10. bgddyjim

    June 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    So far so good – congrats on 3k

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 20, 2012 at 9:48 PM

      Thanks — Can’t wait to see what the rest of the year will bring.

  11. Jeff Shone

    June 20, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Nice one!

  12. The Tri Road (HeatherH)

    June 21, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    I’m suitably impressed. 🙂 I set myself a goal of 851.6km (the distance from Melbourne to Sydney, Australia). I’ve managed 120km so far but that’s a combination of swimming, running and cycling. I can’t imagine 3000 miles! Inspiring stuff.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 21, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Heather — it really isn’t that far — our winter was rather mild — the “worst” day I rode on it was 2 degrees (F), which is a LOT better than normal, and we had less than two feet of snow this year.

  13. Sandra

    June 21, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    I am incredibly impressed. I don’t know if I could ever ride that much in a YEAR! Perhaps that will be my goal for next year. Hit 3,000 miles for the year (or 5,000 if I do really well!)

    Thanks for the motivation!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 22, 2012 at 11:03 PM

      Sandra, I seem to be able to go further every year — by the time I am 70 I’ll be ready for to ride in the Tour de France.

      • Sandra

        June 23, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        I will cheer you on!!

  14. hughonabike

    June 22, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Nice Post. I’m impressed.
    I don’t log my miles but I’m sure I’m nowhere closed to 3000 miles. Im delighted that I at 55 can still climb the hills around here ( near Corboba, Spain ) and still keep up with some of the younger guys………just………. but then non of them ride a Pugsley.
    Like you, I find most ( some are ok ) roadies are hung up with trying to be Lance Armstrong and wont have no truck with us guys riding fat wheels. What-the-hey, they’re mostly a bunch of bores anyway.
    I find riding in the back-end-of-nowhere very therapeutic and it’s amazing who you can meet . Stopping and shooting-the-breeze with strangers and share snacks seems to me to be the norm with mtbers. One time me and a very pleasant fellow shared a bottle of whisky……………..good stuff it was too. I think he was German!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 22, 2012 at 11:05 PM

      The “therapeutic” value of cycling is probably even better than the “physical” benefits.

  15. bikevcar

    June 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Looks like we have done a similar number of miles this year so far, and I like your comments about the far-too-serious fair-weather cyclists. I didn’t see many of them in the winter either 😉

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      Sadly, the “far-too-serious fair-weather cyclists” apparently hibernate all winter. 🙂

  16. Frank Burns

    June 26, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Like you, I refuse to set myself a goal for the year. I even refuse to total my miles as the year progresses, so I don’t know whether I’m ahead or behind last years totals. The results will be calculated at 2 minutes to midnight on December 31st! Then a glass will be raised.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      June 26, 2012 at 5:54 PM

      Frank — I still keep track of the miles — they are recorded on my Cyclemeter App for the iPhone. I also need to keep track of the miles just for maintenance purposes (new chain and tires every 2,000 miles and so forth).

  17. Arnold Watson

    July 13, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Congratulations on the accomplishment! You are an inspiration to me as a roadie and I certainly agree with you on the fact that many cyclist on the road are not often friendly and I don’t understand why. Keep up the good effort…ride on!

  18. Cate

    December 14, 2012 at 4:35 PM

    I’m really enjoying your blog and love that your goal for 2012 was “to have fun!”. That’s the best kind of physical activity/exercise there is!. My sister lives in Chicago and a couple of years ago started riding her ancient old bike to and from work – 15 miles each way. It was tough for her at first but now, in addition to her cycling to and from the office, she rides a lot on weekends and has joined in a few charitable events. I teach spin classes and although I do some road cycling, my 20-year old Trek hybrid is still my ride of choice. After visiting Italy, I was inspired to stick an old wicker basket on the back rack and use it for running a lot of local errands and some rides with my kids and friends. It’s not fancy… but it’s a good ride. I’ve thought about upgrading to something newer, but whenever I take my bike in for tune-ups or maintenance that I can’t do myself, they always tells me that “Bella” still has a lot of life in her… and I can’t bear the thought of parting with her. I’ll be cycling all winter as I can, and appreciated your post about gloves. I’ve picked up a few pairs and haven’t yet found anything that keeps my hands warm enough. Thanks for the inspiration and great posts!

  19. All Seasons Cyclist

    December 14, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    I have fond memories of women in Italy doing the shopping via bicycle and going home with a large loaf of bread sticking out of their baskets! Of course, most of them kept their weight down by smoking cigarettes (yuk).

    Getting rid of an old bike is hard — my solution is to KEEP the old bike and just use it for bad weather riding.


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