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.
Before you ask, the man in the photo above is not me—I bought the photo from PhotoXpress.com. 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).