Did I do it?

Did I do what?

OK, I'll come clean. Yes, I stole candy or gum, I can't remember which, from Haffner's five-and-dime store when I was just a wee criminal. I was so racked with guilt by the time we got home, I admitted the thievery to my mom. Faster than a speeding bicycle, we were back in the car and headed to downtown Ithaca. The shame of having to face the store clerk — to confess my sin — was almost unbearable.

An uplifting experience for 2021.

Anyway, this is a blog about cycling, so let's get back to the original question. Did I do it? Did I actually reach 7,000 miles for the 2021 season? It's not a goal I consciously set out to accomplish when the year began, but when it seemed a tiny bit feasible ... I put the power to the pedal.

With my crash in the Northwoods Gravel Grind deep in the woods of Rangeley, Maine — and my resulting injuries — I ended up being off my bicycles for 20 days in September. So I had to make up for lost time. For the remaining three months of 2021, cycling took over my life — even more so than usual. I only missed eight biking days in October, two in November, and seven in December. For the whole year, I pedaled 280 days, out of 365.

So, yes, all my blood, sweat, and no tears paid off. I have achieved the 7,000-mile mark for the first time. In fact, I'm at 7,038 with today's ride still to come — to finish out 2021. And then it will be time to start all over again at zero, with the arrival of 2022. Stay safe out there!

'Thought for the day'

"The essence of bicycling is the beauty of the machine itself. The technical simplicity, the light weight, the slowly advancing trick components — that's absolutely as much of the beauty and joy of cycling as the fact that the guy on the bike happens to be a physical machine with muscles." — Jack Lambie

From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)

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