Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Closing in on the Fourth Digit

Not an easy task.  Too much riding in many respects.  Not enough riding in many respects.  It should be over with.  Should have done this long ago.  So far away, closing in.  So far away, it seems to slip away.  Yes, I am on the tail of the 4th digit: 1000 miles in 1 month.

I have been close 4 other times.  July 2008 832 miles, July 2010 857, May 2012 856, June 2011 and 2012 806 and 819 miles respectively.  All of these achieved since I increased my riding in late summer 2007.

June will get the honors.  June is always a good month.  Not necessarily the best month but good nonetheless.  Warmer weather yet not too hot.  Good organized rides.  Desire to get out and ride.  Not burnt out from riding.  Not fried by the sun, heat and humidity.

July used to be my number one month.  Ragbrai was the main reason.  And the years that I did the entire route or most of it were also the years that I did not commute to work as much. My riding goals were not as defined either.  My former goal, and I still say it is a good one, was to ride at least once a week every week.  That was good for 3000 mile years.  But my current mantra is ride 100 miles every week.  That helps me get the 6000 to 7000+ mile years I have enjoyed lately.

And I would be cautious going into the big ride.  Two weeks before the ride I'd pretty much stop riding.  Afraid of injuring myself or trashing the bike.  I'd be in shape.  Just need to maintain.  No more big rides, just keep it tone.  All the great rides seemed to be in June anyway.

After Ragbrai I used to put the bike away.  Sick of it.  August was the month with the least amount of miles.  Too hot.  Not many organized rides.  Sore from Ragbrai.  This is where commuting and my new mileage goal changed things.  Commuting forces one to ride.  Having a target of 100 miles per week every week forces one to ride more as well.  The real shame is that when I was younger and thinner I did not ride as much.  But then again I had small children who needed me.  Sure, I took them around in a Burley and on their bikes but not at 100 miles per week.  I did not drop them off at daycare on a bicycle.

So June is it. RASDak was a big help, the lion's share as they say.  446 miles riding across South Dakota two weeks ago.  My commute to Farm Bureau is another major contributor.  27 mile round trip despite detours and flooding and going to the other side of I-80/35.  The century ride with Walter and Kramer on the first Saturday of June helped despite the keg off.  110 miles to open the month.

It probably helps that I have an inability to commit myself to meetings and activities Monday through Friday after work.  This allows flexibility to ride longer after work and to go on impromptu rides.  I really hate after work obligations.  After riding home from work, then riding to supply dinner, preparing the meal and eating I am ready to call it a day.  I hate to be rushed.  Mary gets home after I do.  The children show up late.  It's the only time we see each other.  Sorry.  Want to see me?  Get on your damn bike!  I have blown off almost every after work commitment for months.  June is no exception.

We also blew off Human Bike In.  Hated to do it but we really needed to stay home.  Cleaning, spending time with the children (if they stayed at home!) and recovering from a long week back at work after a long week of riding everyday (Dakota).  And the weather, I really dislike 90s and humid.

I'd probably be done if it was not for the rain.  At least 4 days were missed because of rain or the rumor of rain.  My weekends are also weak.  Probably my biggest weakness.  Seems I rarely put in big miles on weekends.  But The week after Dakota I put in at least 30 miles commuting everyday.  Getting Dora ready for Ragbrai added 30 miles on Sunday.  Yesterday's foray to Cumming was 33.  It all adds up.

I expect to hit it Saturday during the Cruiser Century.  I may not complete that ride.  I may bring a bottle of champagne and pull over at the magic moment and pop that bastard.  Currently I am in the 5th month that I exceeded 800 miles.  Never had the strength to get 200 more.  Now I have beaten the old records and see the finish before me.  Champagne sounds good.

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