• Patrick Gabrion

I can see for miles

Like many other parts of the nation, my adoptive state of Maine has emerged from a relatively mild winter as we spring into April. To be honest, having less of a snowy season was just fine with me. While there are many reasons for this cheerfulness, the big one has to do with an early start to the cycling season.


Truth be told, I really didn't have much of a break between 2019 and this year, either because the roads were safe enough to ride on or, when there were flakes dropping from the sky, I could jump on my Specialized fat bike to hit the Kennebec River Rail Trail or Vaughans' fields.


I don't mean to brag, but ...

As today's blog headline might suggest, taken from the 1967 hit song by The Who, I've already been seeing a lot of miles from my bicycle saddle as the 2020 season pedals into its fourth month. So, this fast start — and the fact that I've already piled up my first 1,000 miles for the year — found me delving into my ever-present cycling logbook to make comparisons with past seasons.


This year is, indeed, the quickest I've ever spun my wheels to achieve the opening 1,000 miles, reaching the mark on March 24. The next best year occurred in 2016, when I accomplished the same feat on April 5.


The mileage milestone for the other years, according to my copious records, were as follows:

2019 — May 15

2018 — April 21

2017 — May 28

2015 — April 17

2014 — April 28

2013 — April 19

2012 — April 17

2011 — June 2

2010 — May 2

2009 — August 15

2008 — May 24

2007 — June 3

2006 — May 20

2005 — June 20

2004 — June 24

2003 — July 6


Boy, I must have been riding a tricycle in 2009, not hitting 1,000 miles until August 15. For some reason, it wasn't a very good year on the bike as my total for the whole season was just 2,089 miles. Anyway, a good beginning to 2020 and if I stay upright, which is always my goal, it could be a strong season doing what I love ... pedaling a bicycle.


Radio fame put on hold


Life's daily disruptions over the coronavirus pandemic has put another kink in my calendar of events, as I was slated to be interviewed this past week by Ron Staschak on WRFR, a local community radio station in Rockland, Maine.


Ron, who has extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to bike touring, has kindly invited me to be on his show "On the Road." Although my appearance has been postponed for the moment, when it does happen we will be chatting about my 1982 England-France trip, my 2002 ride from North Carolina to Texas, and the Maine-to-Michigan "Reunion Tour" slated for 2021. We also plan to highlight my cycling blog and my work at the bike shop. I'm really looking forward to it and will be sure to supply a link to the show in a future blog entry. Stay safe!


(Editor's note: I would like to hear from other cyclists to see how you're coping with the pandemic. Are you able to ride outside or are you stuck indoors on the trainer? Is it weird or lonely pedaling without your mates? Log in below and please send me your comments. Thanks.)

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