Starting again at zero

Wow! Early March ... and I've got my first 1,000 miles in for the 2021 season. And all outdoors. Without even checking my decades-old logbook, I know I've never been this early in achieving this lofty target; most years it's usually in April.

While it is pretty cool to reach four digits, I seem to experience a bit of a mental letdown when it happens. Let me try to explain. I find myself always doing a few extra miles as I rush toward any upcoming thousand-mile mark. Heck, I'll even be stupid enough to go for a ride in extreme conditions — like this last Tuesday, when it was 17 degrees, a "feels like" reading of 0, and 20-mph winds — just to speed up the process. Don't ask me why.

We're a tough breed here in Maine.

But when I finally hit it, there's also this definite realization that once there, you then have to start all over again at zero ... to get to the next one. I know it sounds weird, but it's just how I operate. That said, it has never been so crippling that I stopped pedaling my bicycle.

'Fly Like an Eagle'

Since the start of the new cycling season — because of road and weather circumstances — all my rides have been on just two bicycles: the Specialized Fatboy fat bike and Specialized Crux cyclocross/gravel machine. Two words come to mind when describing their performance ... heavy and wide.

The Fatboy weighs nearly 32 pounds, and that doesn't even take into account the added weight with the studs. And speaking of tires, they come in at 4.6 inches wide. While the Crux is half the weight, at just over 16 pounds, I'm running 38mm tires.

Here's my point: With that kind of weight, at least with one bike, and oversized tires on both, while good for ice and junk on the road, you aren't going to get anywhere very fast and you are going to crank the pedals for quite a workout.

But when I finally do get on my proper road bikes, all the extra effort will pay off. It will be time to play Steve Miller Band's 1976 hit "Fly Like an Eagle," because that's what I'll be doing ... relatively speaking, of course!

That's it!

As today's blog photo might suggest, I've had it with layer upon layer upon layer of clothing that's needed to go for a pedal this time of year. Who cares if I get a little cold, at least it won't take me forever to get ready to ride. Stay safe ... and warm!

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