6,444 Miles Of Cycling In 2012

02 Jan

In 2011 my goal was to cycle 5,000 miles during the year, but I ended up with 6,836 miles. Twelve months ago I decided my cycling goal for 2012 was “to have fun” and ended up riding 6,444 miles. Back in 2011 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. This past year I spent more time on off-road trails and, thanks to the 4″ wide tires of my Surly Necromancer, I also spent a lot of time riding in snow, mud and on the sandy beaches around Lake Michigan (OK, sometimes I was actually riding in Lake Michigan).

Surly Necromancer Pugsley in the snow

Fun In The Snow With My Surly Necromancer Pugsley

On September 7 of this year I hit the 5,000 mark and thought I would probably pass 7,000 miles before the end of the year. However, that evening I came down with a virus that knocked me off my feet for twelve days! On the thirteenth day I still had a fever, but my legs were hurting so bad I just had to get back on the bike—so I rode 72 miles. While it felt good to get back on the bike, my average speed dropped by over 15% (it might have been because I still had a mild fever). It took me another two weeks to fully recover.

Once I knew I wasn’t going to set a new record I decided to spend more time weightlifting. Though I’ve used resistance training in one form or another for ten years, I’ve never taken it as seriously as I should have—I lift weights to develop core strength, not because I enjoy it. However, a few months ago I bought a set of Bowflex SelectTech 552 dumbbells and they work far better than I expected and I would highly recommend them to anyone.

I am 53 years old and work full-time. However, I have somewhat flexible hours so if I ride 50 or 60 miles in the morning it means 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 do not interfere with my cycling—and my wife is a very patient woman.

I often think about some of my friends who are in their 40′s but already taking medication for diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. All I can say is, “There but for the grace of God, go I.” All of those diseases could either be cured or minimized by spending a few hours a week on a bike. 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 the death certificate listed their cause of death as heart disease, but I have to wonder if it shouldn’t have read “suicide by inactivity.”

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 this new year on a good bike.

As the new year begins 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. On a related note, I have promised the love of my life that the next time my cycling results in me entering an ambulance I will tell her the same day instead of waiting a week (apparently wives like to know about stuff like that).


Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Life On Two Wheels


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78 responses to “6,444 Miles Of Cycling In 2012

  1. tri-grandma-try

    January 2, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Keep up the riding!!! That is a LOT of miles!!! Oh and I agree, tell the wife that day…but may that day never come!! Blessings in 2013

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Lots of miles — lots of fun — lots of lessons learned (like telling the wife when an ambulance is called).

  2. fitnessclyde

    January 2, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    I love your PUG!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      The Pugs is the slowest bike I own, but it is my favorite to ride. Normally when riding off-road I would try to avoid obstacles, but with the Pugs I AIM for them — it just rides right over anything in the way.

  3. billgncs

    January 2, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    excellent riding

  4. Chatter

    January 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Awesome mileage. i found myself in the Diabetes/Hypertension boat early in 2012 before I turned 40. Luckily I changed my way of life. Still struggling with the effects of years bad habits, but I have personally started to do what I should have done a long time ago. Of course I blogged it and that has helped as well. Congrats on the focus to get this many miles.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      My father has Diabetes/Hypertension and that is one of the main reasons I took up cycling in the first place — I want to avoid the health problems he has experienced. As you mentioned, years of bad habits are hard to overcome, but blogging helps keep me focused as well.

  5. amandakash

    January 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Sounds AMAZING!!

  6. Casie

    January 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Great job on the miles!!! 🙂

  7. brendaintheboro

    January 2, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    it never ocured to me to look at my total distance for the year so Ive just been to have a look. This bike is 11 mmonths old so thats all the data I have as the old computer died. I clocked up 3296 miles plus what I rode during Jan 2012. I fee quite pleased with myself as like you I work and fit in the cycling early mornings and Saturdays. I’m now 62 eeek I dont know how that happend.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      I keep track of my miles just so I wouldn’t slack off — writing down the miles keeps me motivated. in addition, I need to keep a record of the mileage for maintenance purposes (new chains, tires, etc.).

  8. toshmund

    January 2, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    Congratulations! Think you are right with the philosophy of the resistance training as well. Burns calories, along with the CV. Improving your metabolism so you burn calories while at rest. Always a bonus. Hope 2013 is another great year for you in the saddle.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Thank you! Resistance training has helped my upper body a lot — I was really lopsided — my quads are enormous due to my cycling, but my shoulders and biceps just didn’t match!

  9. Colin DeWaay

    January 2, 2013 at 9:52 AM

    Wow! Well done, that’s roughly 6,444 miles than I rode! LOL

    You are right on track about medications for all that stuff. I sometimes feel doctors hand that stuff out too quickly. Make them get moving!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Thank you! It looks like your son is about the right age to start riding a bike — you are going to have to get one as well just to keep up with him (and any time spent with you child is time well spent).

      • Colin DeWaay

        January 2, 2013 at 2:46 PM

        You just might be right!

  10. the drunken cyclist

    January 2, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I agree with your premise that several of the problems this country faces could be addressed if more people rode their bikes: health, traffic, parking, smog, etc. Great post and congrats on the mileage!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      As a nation, our lack of exercise is not only killing us — it is driving us into bankruptcy as well!

  11. jodiemurrell

    January 2, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Well done on the mileage!

    Cycling in Lake Michigan? Sounds like a beautiful place to cycle.

    Oh and yes wives do like to know about that kind of stuff 😉

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Thank you! The Pugs (the bike in the photo above) enjoys riding on the shores of Lake Michigan — both in and out of the water. The deepest water I’ve been in has only been about 18 inches deep, but it was a blast!

  12. Marty Mathis

    January 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Nice going. If you haven’t read the book “Younger Next Year” I highly recommend it. Perfect for us 50’s guys doing our best to stay in shape and enjoy the hell out of life.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      I read “Younger Next Year” several years ago and it is one of the books that really helped me turn my life around. I also would highly recommend it (for people of any age).

      • Marty Mathis

        January 2, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I just finished the follow-up “Thinner This Year”. Good read.

  13. Chatter Master

    January 2, 2013 at 10:48 AM


  14. sizbut

    January 2, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Congrats on a good year’s riding. Really enjoyed your blog, even if some of the required kit is more extreme than us soft european riders require.

    I finally finished on 6100 miles myself and a new bike (a fixie) as a reward. First sportive of 2013 is two weeks away so here goes again.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Congratulations of the new fixie! European winters certainly are a lot different than they are here — which is why in the heart of winter I wear very little “cycling” gear since most of the high quality cycling kit is made in Europe to begin with.

  15. Ed

    January 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    While you say “there but for the grace of God….” of course YOU made a change. I recall in your bio that this was not always the case. Many people need to be focussed on the fact that one needs to change old habits and that it can be hard to do that. It is certainly easier to lie around in front of the TV or computer and eat junk food (although perhaps not as much fun!)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      I used to be a workaholic — working on my way to an early grave! Life is much better now that I’ve changed my diets and exercise habits.

  16. TdF

    January 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    buon anno! you described perfectly the hard life for a cyclist, but it is a fantastic experience! good luck for a 2013 full of satisfaction. ciao. a.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Thank you! Any day on a bike is a good day!

      • TdF

        January 2, 2013 at 3:37 PM


  17. journey2dfuture

    January 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Inspirational.. I’m interested to see how you do in this coming year. I’m just curious how long does it take you to ride 72miles in one day!?. That’s a lot of miles.!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I am not the fastest cyclist, so a 72 mile ride takes abut 4.5 hours. A century ride takes me about 6.5 hours (I guess I will never make the Tour de France after all).

  18. cupcaketravels

    January 2, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Well done, that’s an excellent tally for the year! I only managed 3500km (just under 2200miles) – I am definitely aiming for 10,000km (6250miles) one of these years!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Thank you! 3500km is still a good distance — most people never make it that far in a year. Best wishes for the coming year!

  19. Jeff Katzer

    January 2, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    Safe travels my friend.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Thank you so much! By the way, I’ve been meaning to tell you that the photo you have on the header of your blog is beautiful! Where was it taken at?

      • Jeff Katzer

        January 2, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        Oh thanks. That photo is right off my back porch. It was fall. That’s the Snohomish River, near Everett WA. Full disclosure… I did photoshop out a couple of wires from a power pole. But other than than it looks like that right now, except more snow on Mt. Pilchuck.

  20. Emanuel Table

    January 2, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    This is so awesome and inspiring! Keep it up!

  21. Carrie

    January 2, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    I would also want to thank Trek for making awesome bikes. 🙂 Congrats on a great cycling year–bring it, 2013!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 5:23 PM

      Four out of my five bikes were made by Trek! Have a great 2013!

  22. katiemoves

    January 2, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    Lots of miles! That’s awesome. I definitely had my most ever this year! Too bad a lot is on the trainer but maybe some time soon ill get out there again 🙂 happy new year!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      I can’t use a trainer — my wife says I have adult ADHD. Look — a squirrel! What was I saying? Have a great new year!

  23. Charles Huss

    January 2, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    Very impressive. I am 49 and started cycling mostly for my health. At my current pace I should do about 2500 miles this year but I hope by the time I am your age I will be up to 5000 or better. I started eating healthier about five years ago and now with the exercise I am getting from cycling, I feel like I am turning back the clock.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

      It’s funny, but back when I was 40 I could barely do 1,300 miles a year. When I hit 50 I was riding over 5,000 miles a year. By the time I’m 80 I will be ready for the Tour de France!

      • Charles Huss

        January 3, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        That wouldn’t surprise me but at 80, even the Tour de Lake County would be good.

  24. Irish Katie

    January 2, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Yahhh for the mileage….but more yahhhh for the fun of it!

    My mileage was not near yours at all … but now with the child able to ride further (and faster and stronger and and and….)….perhaps I’ll start doing a bunch more long distance riding soon. (As soon as my back gets better….still dealing with that…grrrr.)

    I also need to go back so I can look at that fender on the seat post blog…the one about those tiny little lights (the one I turned down…ack! lol….and …I am hoping to get myself a new bike this spring too!

    And … I did see where you finally told your wife too … I was glad when you did that nod nods. I think it was something like … split decision on the men…and nearly all the women said to tell her? At any rate, I hope you are NEVER in that position that you have to tell her something like that again.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 2, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      I hope you are your daughter can enjoy a lot of bike rides together — some of the most enjoyable times in my life have been with my sons on bike rides. However, since your daughter is now officially a teenager, you have less than three years till she gets her driver’s license (then you will rarely see her again).

      As for the ambulance, the female readers of this blog were unanimous and the men were evenly split about me telling my wife. So, at the suggestion of another blogger, I sent my wife an email with a link to the original story about the ambulance — my loving wife took it very well. A few weeks ago a friend of mine told his wife about a similar incident that had happened to him three years ago — his wife got very upset because he had kept the info from her. Most crimes have a “statute of limitations” — apparently some wives don’t believe in that particular law. 🙂

      • Irish Katie

        January 2, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        I agree with your friend’s wife … there is no statute of limiations …err…when we say there isn’t! 🙂

  25. Retired2011

    January 3, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Fantastic effort. I like to keep track too as it helps as a motivator to get out the door. I use a Garmin which I upload regularly, making it easy to generate reports. mmm, this sounds like an advert but it’s not. Anyway, 7800km for me in 2012, 7000km was the goal. Mostly on my roadie but includes about 1000km on the mountain bike.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 3, 2013 at 12:30 AM

      I use both a Garmin GPS and the Cyclemeter App on my iPhone (that way I don’t have to write anything down — it all gets saved to the cloud). I have to ride while I can — I don’t think I will ever be able to retire!

  26. Paul Beattie

    January 3, 2013 at 5:50 AM

    Congratulations on such an excellent total of miles. I’ve maybe written this before, but I’ve been cycling since 10 Dec 2011. In the year that I measured it, I managed about 1500 miles between keeping my dayjob held down and a burgeoning but small photography business.

    Those 1500 miles have lessened my weight by about 35lbs. I’ve had to chuck out the entire wardrobe and start again. I’m on medication for a completely busted thyroid, and incredibly, they have reduced the medication after 10 years of being on the same dosage. I have one last thing I want to do, which is get the cholesterol (normally high because of the busted thyroid) tested to see if it has impacted positively on that too.

    I’m writing this just to agree with, and highlight the positive aspects of your blog and the impact of cycling on the human body. If anyone passing by stops to read this, and wants to get a new year’s resolution underway – buy a bike.

    Great blog – it’s one of the few that I really look forward to receiving the email updates from.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 3, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      Paul, I’d be very surprised if your cholesterol hasn’t improved a lot — cycling is an excellent way to lower cholesterol (and blood pressure as well). As for buying new clothing — it is still a lot cheaper than dealing with a heart attack (which is where I think I was heading before I took up cycling). I agree with you — if someone wants to change their life they need to buy a bike! Ride safely!

  27. CanadianInJersey

    January 3, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Congrats on the mileage. My 2012 ended with 4,302 miles (all on the road) and 125,000 vertical feet of climbing. This was my year to jump a Strava age category, to the 55-64 group, which gives me an edge on the age-related King of the Mountains climbs. Eleven years ago, I had surgery for a bad aortic valve (congenital problem never diagnosed until the valve started to fail). I now sport a titanium and carbon aortic valve, appropriate for a cycling nut.

    I’ve become addicted to the data since getting serious again about cycling a few years ago (a job change created the opportunity). It had been 15 years since I had ridden as regularly as I have in the last 4 years. For the data tracking, I now have a Garmin 800, and log my rides in 4 different sites: GarminConnect, MapMyRide, Strava and EndoMondo.

    Love the blog. Keep riding and stay safe.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM

      4,300 miles is not too shabby at all — and it looks like you did a lot of climbing as well! I use a Garmin GPS along with my Cyclemeter App for the iPhone (Cyclemeter stores more data than I will ever need — but it is fun to look at). Ride safe!

  28. busyaussiemum

    January 3, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    Hi AllSeasons Cyclist – thanks for liking my blog….That is an incredible number of miles that you have done in just one year – especially all the off road stuff. Keep riding!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 5, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      Thanks for the note! I am already off to a good start for this year!

  29. Positively Panicked

    January 4, 2013 at 12:09 AM

    great post! you are really inspiring. I love being active, but I have to say I needed a little inspiration. It’s so hard to get up and get moving during these cold months.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      Thanks for the note! If an old guy like me can enjoy the snow, then anyone can. As I like to tell new cyclists, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.

  30. kevinmayne

    January 4, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    I stopped keeping mileage some years ago, but I know I do about 3000 a year unless I am in serious training for something. So your miles are huge. Mrs All Seasons must be very tolerant indeed, she deserves the appreciation too.

    I’ll be blogging about the UK’s legendary 300,000 mile club in the near future – now those guys are seriously addicted.

    Thanks for the regular visits to my blog last year, you were one of the earliest to find it which kept me encouraged.

    Good luck for more huge miles in 2013!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      Thank you so much! Mrs. All Seasons is awesome — and the sweetest, kindest woman God ever put on this earth. The fact that she has not killed me yet proves that she is also the most patient!

  31. Irene

    January 5, 2013 at 1:03 AM

    Bravo! Congrats! That’s a lot of miles on those 2 wheels!

  32. stumblingtowardgrace

    January 5, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I’m new at biking and am working on getting more miles in. There is a quarter century ride in June that I’m going to do. It’ll be my first long ride. You’re right, the health benefits are awesome. And I wish more people would realize that working on their depression by using two wheels is better than any number of drugs.

    By the way, I love your blog. I’m going to save some money so I can start purchasing winter gear. It’s too hard to not ride.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 5, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      I imagine you will get the 25 mile range rather quickly. Just remember to keep yourself hydrated and your blood sugar up. As for depression, I honestly believe the best solution to it in the world is cycling (for most people). Winter gear can be expensive, but you don’t have to by it all at the same time. Don’t forget to layer your clothing — a couple thin layers is so much better than one thick one. Ride safely!

  33. curiousgiraffe

    January 7, 2013 at 4:17 AM

    Your dedication to your biking is outstanding – thanks for the inspiration. It’s so true that most of the disease in our Western culture is self-inflicted. If we exercise, eat healthy and stop smoking, it’s been estimated by the World Health Org that 80% of all heart disease/stroke/type 2 diabetes and more than 40% of cancers would be prevented! It’s daily habits like biking that keep us living longer and more high quality lives!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 7, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Given the choice, I’ll take a ride on a bike over prescription medicine any day!

  34. Lilitte Batalla

    January 8, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    That’s incredible! I applaud you. I love your drive.


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