Time on the bicycle, at least for me, equals time to think. And there's one particular thought that has been rolling around in my head. I'm wondering if I've fallen into a trap and becoming too fixated on piling up big numbers ... and, as a result, getting sidetracked from the most important thing? Just enjoying the ride, and reflecting on my true passion for an activity I love to do. Have I turned into a Mileage Monster?
Achieving more than 7,000 miles last year probably has something to do with my line of reasoning. I'm "famous" around the bike shop for putting ruts in the nearby Smith Road — going back and forth, over and over again — just to accumulate more miles. Yes, I cycle for the physical exercise, but I also must remember that I do it for peace of mind.
Perhaps I ogle the odometer like this every year at this time. Early spring is the opportune moment for establishing a fitness base, so the tendency is to push the pedals a little bit more. And, because of unpredictable road and weather conditions, I usually stay close to home. Which presents another fly in the ointment. All those miles are occurring over repeated routes. It's what I call "claustrophobic cycling."
I guess I could fix this minor nuisance by shutting my logbook and stop counting the miles. But that's not going to happen. I think I'm just going to keep reflecting on what my good friend Ralph would always say during our rides together — "Don't forget to smell the roses." Stay safe!
So how did last month go? As I stated following January, I'm going to give you a summary of each month during the 2022 cycling season.
For February, I managed to go for a pedal on 19 of the 28 days — all outdoors. I utilized three different bicycles: my Specialized fat bike, Specialized Crux cyclocross beast, and Schwinn Circuit road machine, which is now 34 years old. A steel steed that I would never part company with.
Six of the rides in February were in the 30-plus-mile range. For the month, I piled up 441 miles, giving me 664 for the year.
'Thought for the day'
"To me, cycling is the joy of the wind in your face, the sound of the tyres on the road and the feeling of freedom." — Sir Paul Smith, British fashion designer
From "Words To Ride By ... Thoughts on Bicycling" by Michael Carabetta (Chronicle Books, 2017)