5,000 Miles Of Cycling And Four Months To Go

07 Sep

Yesterday I passed the 5,000 mile mark on my bike for this year and that is two weeks earlier than last year. In 2011 my goal was to cycle 5,000 miles, but I was able to hit 6,836. As some of you know, my goal for this year is “to have fun.” By that I mean that the number of miles at the end of the year is not as important as enjoying the time I have riding. As a result, I have spent more time riding off-road trails this year than I ever have before.

Cycling is better than therapy

Before you ask, the man in the photo above is not me—I bought the photo from I ripped off the text from a blog that had a photo of a young woman running and the caption read, “Because running is cheaper than therapy.” However, I couldn’t use that language because distance cycling is actually more expensive than therapy. Though I never though of myself as a politician, there was a time I held public office and our unit of government had to employ psychologists. No offense to anyone in that profession, but I have always considered psychologists to be one step away witch doctors, shamans and voodoo priests. I am not a therapist, but in my occupation I do spend time counseling individuals and my advice is often more like the therapist portrayed by R. Lee Ermey in the GEICO commercial. Instead of asking, “How does that make you feel?” I am more likely to tell someone to “butch up” and stop their whining. If you have a medical problem go see a medical doctor—most other problems can be cured by a few hours on a bike.

Earlier this year I was able to spend a lot of time riding with friends, but now I am usually back to riding by myself. In the spring I rode several hundred miles with my friend Eric, a Navy commander, but he has since been transferred to the East Coast. During June and July I rode 800 miles with my friend Anna as she was preparing for RAGBRAI, but now she is back teaching high school. I’ve also gone for a few rides with Randy, a man about my age who lives a few blocks from me—he just started cycling this June but already has 2,000 miles on his bike. I also went for one short ride with James, a kid who lives across the street from me (a slow ride but with very entertaining conversation).


Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Life On Two Wheels


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77 responses to “5,000 Miles Of Cycling And Four Months To Go

  1. funkbunny77

    September 7, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    5,000 miles – I am so impressed! I’ve just recently cracked 1,000 miles (ytd) and thought that was awesome. You inspire me to keep on cyclin’ on! 🙂

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Believe me, if I can do anyone can!

      • funkbunny77

        September 7, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        (insert cheesey 90s song about walking 500 miles but substitute lyrics about riding 5000 miles just to clear your head)

  2. hughonabike

    September 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    I can’t even come close to those numbers. Well done, I’m impressed. I agree, Having fun is what truly counts.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      As a friend of mine told me recently, “When cycling ceases to be fun I will cease to be a cyclist.”

  3. IowaTriBob

    September 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    I never thought about setting a cycling mile goal for the year. I’m sure I’m no where near those numbers but am already thinking about a good goal for next year for me.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      The Cyclemeter App on the iPhone makes keeping records really easy (but being a “belt and suspenders” type of guy I also keep a written log as well).

      • melissakoski

        September 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM

        cute self description!

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          September 7, 2012 at 9:02 PM

          melissakoski — I enjoy self-deprecating humor — it’s the same stuff my “friends” say about me and I enjoy beating them to the punchline.

  4. Daniel Undem

    September 7, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Congratulations on the milestone. That is quite the accomplishment.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

      Thank you! If I didn’t have to work I think I would four hours a day, every day, on a bike!

  5. irishkatie

    September 7, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Lord…5,000!!! Wow. I have not kept a log (I sooooo want a Garmin!) …. but I estimate I have done about 400 – 500 so far …but in my defense, I was out with a back injury/surgery for near 3 or 4 months! (yes, yes…an excuse I know lol.)

    As for the rides alone and rides with others…sounds like a good mix of riding yah!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Katie, a Garmin is nice (I have one), but I really like the Cyclemeter App for my iPhone a lot more. I am one of those folks who likes to keep track of numbers (even though this year I promised I wouldn’t worry about them).

      • irishkatie

        September 7, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        Ahhh, I do not have a smart phone. I was just about to search your Product Reviews area to see if you had anything on the subject.

  6. xcountrypearl

    September 7, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I used to do distance cycling but my husband won’t so I’m limited to cycle commuting to and from work just to keep my legs in. Your 5,000 miles is so impressive that I’m sure next year I can do a minimum of 3x a week, rain or shine or cool spring/fall. I stopped too early this year just because of cool temp at 6:00 a.m. I wimped out. Sounds like you don’t!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      I actually prefer riding when the temp is around 60 degrees (Fahrenheit). This year the coldest day I’ve gone out for a ride the actual temp was zero, and the warmest ride was on day when it hit 101 degrees. I wish I could say the temperature doesn’t bother me, but it does — I am just dumb enough to keep on going anyway (and a bit slower in extreme temperatures).

  7. bamboogirl

    September 7, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Awesome mileage! I’m barely half of that distance though my goal is climbing 200K this year. I’m almost there 7,000 more feet to go! My fun has been getting to know where my passion lies: The Hills!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      200K of climbing? Now THAT is impressive! I live between Chicago and Milwaukee and we really don’t have any major climbs around here (and I am so glad).

      • bamboogirl

        September 7, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        One foot in front of the other.. That’s what I tell myself on those huge inclines. I also had to get an 11/28 cassette in order to spin over the cat3 stuff. I agree with your assessment that cycling is more effective than therapy. It is hard to be sad or depressed or worrisome when you’re having FUN and feeling challenged.

    • irishkatie

      September 7, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      *wondering if I will get to a response here before All Season Cyclist gets to this haha*

      But has to say…OMG ..crazy person *points*. Hills? Ack! (LOL…now you know I am kinda a wimpy rider!)

      • All Seasons Cyclist

        September 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Katie, some people would call me “crazy,” I just prefer to think of myself as living in an alternate reality.

    • irishkatie

      September 7, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Damn…he beat me to it haha

      • bamboogirl

        September 7, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        LOL! I was just going to say he posted 2 minutes before you! 🙂

  8. wartica

    September 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    That’s an amazing feat to have accomplished; nothing like getting out there and just riding:)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 11:56 AM

      Thank you. As my brother likes to say, “The slower you move the faster you die.”

  9. mycentury

    September 7, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Congrats! I just broke 6k this week. My years goal was 8k miles but I’m on pace for 9k….who knows, i might get really motivated and go for 10k!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Thank you very much! My time on the off-road trails has slowed down my progress a bit — I just can’t rack up as many miles off-road as I can on hard pavement (in the same amount of time). The snow and ice will be here shortly and then the average daily mileage really takes a downturn.

  10. Zeus Adventure

    September 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Holy Guacamole Barman! 5k miles… that is truly impressive! Here I am so proud to maybe break 400 for the year… as long as you are having fun, ride for as long as you can…

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      There are a lot of other folks who ride far more than me! By the way, I liked the comment you made on your blog about the need for cyclists to use taillights at night since you didn’t want to get “charged with involuntary manslaughter.”

  11. Jessi

    September 7, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Wow, 5000 miles – that’s huge! Go you!

  12. Luther

    September 7, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    Congratulations, Iron Man!!!

    I mean your 5,000 miles bike riding, not body part : )

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      In the words of Elvis, “Thank you, thank you very much.”

  13. James

    September 7, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Huge congrats mate. Awesome achievement and, as you say, plenty of time left in the year. I am up to 5,340 km (3,337 mi) so far this season and I anticipate closing at the 8,000 km mark, or 5,000 mi which is where you have arrived with four months to go! Well done. I console myself with the fact that I can only really get outdoors as of March, and my indoor training number is not included in the above stats, but still…I tip my helmet to you!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

      James, I know you ride in very cold weather — I thought you rode year-round! You need to get a Fat Bike so you can play in the snow!

      • James

        September 9, 2012 at 3:31 AM

        I rode year round last year, which resulted in my little ice accident this past January. I don’t mind the cold and will continue to be outdoors thus year until the snow and ice comes…then I’ll head to the indoor trainer. Mind you, with the glorious weather we have been having this year, may be it’ll skip winter altogether!

  14. brotherelwood

    September 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Quite an accomplishment. Keep on rolling and having fun. You’ve got the chance to get to 7,000 and eclipse last year.

  15. Two Wheel Travel

    September 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Nice work! 🙂

  16. bgddyjim

    September 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Nipping on your heels brother. Couldn’t agree more with your assessment of cycling as therapy. Great post.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      bgddyjim – I was wondering if anyone had actually read my comments about therapy — thanks!

  17. beechcreekproject

    September 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I’ve just topped 2000 miles in the last 5 months and would love to get 5000 in a year. Since I almost exclusively ride dirt my miles go by a bit slower but like you my main goal is just to have fun. Awesome achievement. I can only hope to keep that kind of mileage over the years to come. Great job.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      As you already know, dirt miles take longer to get, but they are usually a lot more enjoyable (unless you crash down a big hill)

  18. billgncs

    September 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    I am just over 1,100 and can’t ride for a bit ,but your story is an inspiration. I am glad you have shared it.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 7:28 PM

      A bad day riding is still better than a good day working.

      • billgncs

        September 7, 2012 at 7:29 PM

        absolutely! I look forward to getting back in the saddle!

  19. sarahsdoodles

    September 7, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    Congrats on breaking 5,000! That is huge! It’s amazing what we can push our bodies to physically do.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 7, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Thank you! However, I don’t really think that I’ve pushed myself yet. I ride in temps down to -15 degrees (F) or so, but the crazy folks up in Minnesota and Alaska ride in really cold weather!

  20. tootlepedal

    September 8, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    I am envious. My target was 7000 miles for this year but that went up in smoke. Congratulations on your consistency. What has been you longest ride of the year so far?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM

      My longest ride this year was 105 miles. Back in the spring I rode several Centuries (100 miles), but once the temperature got into the 90’s my average ride went down to around 60 miles.

  21. AndrewGills

    September 8, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Wow. 5,000 miles. That’s about 8,000km … that’s a long way to cycle. You really must ride in all weather.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 8, 2012 at 9:52 PM

      This past winter was pretty mild — it only got down to around zero (F). I am hoping for a “better” winter this year (i.e., more snow).

  22. Anna

    September 9, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    That is awesome! Mileage I can only dream of! Congratulations and long may it continue. I can relate to your assessment as cycling as therapy – it’s difficult not to smile, whatever life is throwing at you, as you whizz down a steep hill (or a least a slight decline….not many hills around here either!). Oh…crazy folks in Minnesota?…hmmm! I did ride this past winter but only because it was a whole lot milder than normal. Generally I just stick to running – I can’t let the snow take away all my avenues of therapy! I live near a lake (which I do run on in the colder months – now that is peaceful and therapeutic) and it amazes me if I ever see a cyclist ride on there with studded tires….now that is crazy!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 9, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      Anna, since I need “therapy” year-round I am out riding even during the worst of winter — snow or ice. This year three of my bikes will have steel-stubbed tires (I usually one put them on one bike). Chicago does not get as cold as Minnesota — the lowest temp we’ve had has been a balmy -27 (F), which is still good cycling weather.

  23. christov10

    September 9, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    Currently studying to become a credentialed witch-doctor, I tend to agree that using the body for bipedal locomotion – in my case, walking or cycling – goes a long way to preserving sanity.

    No idea whatsoever how many miles I’ve pedaled in the past 12 months, but it’s been a lot of fun, as well as at times painful, which is okay. Mostly, I pedal alone, but have found that a friend who is part of my congregation is a cyclist. We’ve been able to go on three or four rides. There’s a cycling club here at Stepford, but I’m not sure how much fun that would be. Still, the membership fee’s only ten bucks a year, so I may spring for a year and see how I like it. Probably not as well as either the Diogenes or the Drones clubs.

  24. All Seasons Cyclist

    September 9, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    A credentialed witch-doctor is a more honorable profession than that of an anarchist or a super-villain. Cycling clubs are great — until you find the find the guy who takes himself way too seriously.

  25. sizbut

    September 11, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Well done. If it were a race then you’re currently 302 miles ahead (listen out for the change of gear). This is the first year I’ve every kept a bike log and its become addictive. The early morning I deliberately cycled up and down the same section of road three times just to get to my first 1000 told me I was already getting a little OCD. Celebrated getting to 4000 a month ago and now looking for ways to get to 5000 by the end of this month. Happy trails.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

      Nothing wrong with a cyclist being OCD — I think most of us are anyway. Nearly every cyclist I know will tell you they have driven around the block a time or two just so the odometer will click over to an even number (that is exactly what I did last week when I hit 5,000 miles — I had gone on a 68 mile ride and when I got to the end of my street I checked my Cyclemeter iPhone app and I was at 4,999.4 miles, so I went around the block just to get over the hump).

  26. st sahm

    September 12, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    The ride with James sounded like the most fun!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      The ride with James was the slowest I’ve had in many years, but the conversation was very interesting (Do all 10-year old boys have ADHD?).

      • st sahm

        September 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        Haha — it’s possible as well as most bloggers.

  27. pawpromedia

    September 12, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    For the most part I am a runner, but I crossed the US this year with a cyclist who raced in Race Across America, a.k.a. RAAM. It was his first attempt and he came in first within his age group. As I get older, running is getting harder and harder on the body. Cycling is looking more and more appealing.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      At least cycling is easier on the joints. Also, since I have the attention span of a two-year old on Mountain Dew I need to see more scenery along the way to keep my interest up.

  28. genesisfix

    September 12, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    I was on pace for 4300 miles this year. But crashed. Oh well. Learned a lot about bike wobble as a result. I hope to start up again in February on the mountain bike and get ready for spring on the roads. In the meantime, I’ll get running soon as my collarbone heals up.

  29. threeculbersons

    September 13, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Maybe that will be my goal for next year!! I’m a much stronger runner than cyclist but want to change that! Enjoyed this post! And that’s an amazing accomplishment, most people wouldn’t ride 5 miles. 😉

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 13, 2012 at 10:43 PM

      Thank you so much! I am a horrible runner and I apparently suffer from ADHD — I just can’t stay focused while running (plus I need the excitement of nearly getting killed by angry motorists).

  30. Jean

    September 13, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Just have a rough idea what I ride. I used to track cumulative mileage during first 5 yrs. of returning to cycling ….ages ago. Based on knowing the distances of routes I do regularily, I rack up around under 3,000 km. annually. When I was unemployed it was over 7,000 km., 40 km. daily with longer rides on weekends and self-loaded touring trip with dearie.

    I called my dearie, a used car. He’s been tracking his mileage daily every year, for past 20 yrs. He’s racked up over 110,000 km. since he’s done several cross-Canada and U.S. self-loaded, solo bike trips. (And several months in NZ and Europe). I know, he doesn’t quite mention this in his blog, Third Wave Cycling.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 13, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      I’ve always kept a record of my mileage (and I don’t really know why). In the past ten years I’ve cycled a little over 40,000 miles (65,000 km). If I didn’t have to work for a living I think I would double that number!

      • Jean

        September 14, 2012 at 6:49 AM

        My partner took early retirement awhile ago (from an oil firm) 🙂 But he did do some consulting work since then.

  31. deborahallisonraw

    September 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Great stuff! I’m following your site now!
    Thanks for liking one of my posts!

  32. Keirra

    September 18, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Can’t wait to read more about how much fun you’re having! I’ve recently started becoming real interested in fitness and health, so I found your site at the perfect time! Good luck!

  33. keirrasbreakfast

    September 18, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Can’t wait to hear about all the FUN you have! I recently became interested in fitness, so I found your site at the perfect time. Good luck in all your adventures!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 18, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      The day cycling ceases to be fun is the day I cease to be a cyclist.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      September 18, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      The real fun begins with the first snowfall of the year. Winter cycling is a blast (a very cold blast).

      • keirrasbreakfast

        September 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM

        I don’t know if I could ride in the cold… so I’ll just take your word on it! 😉

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          September 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM

          The hardest part of riding in the cold is the first 500 feet. I really do enjoy riding in the snow — I certainly don’t have to deal with overcrowding on the bike trails in the dead of winter.


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