Thursday, November 27, 2014

How to Get a Million Miles in a Year

Simple answer is too ride your bike, a lot.  But it is never that easy.  However, with dedication and goals one can ride mega-miles with ease.

What you need.  Tracking system.  Something simple.  Something that does not take up a lot of time.  Mine is based on a bicycle log book that came with an issue Bicycling magazine back in 1994.  Tracks daily ride stats--distance, time, average speed and where the ride took place.  In 1995 they issued another one and then I photocopied a blank page and placed them into a binder.  When computers came along i made an Excel spread sheet.  3 to be exact.

One for the month, one as a weekly mileage graph and the 3rd for yearly comparisons.  the monthly one is dived into weeks, Monday through Sunday.  Tracks distance, average speed, max speed, time, odometer, weather who I rode with and any comments about the ride.  of course, which bike I rode.  I use this one ever time I ride.

The second thing one needs is a simple goal.    Don't start out with "I'm going to ride X miles for the year."  That only sets one up for failure.  What I started with was "I will ride the bike at least once a week every week."  Guarantees 52 rides for the year.  More importantly, it is an easy way to get you on your bike in cold weather.  does not matter how long the ride is.  Eventually you will ride more and more and on more than one day during the week.  the hidden benefit of this is that your ass will remain broken in all year round.

That goal morphs into a better goal.  Ride 50 miles a week every week.  I went straight to 100 miles every week.  But even 50 adds miles quickly, 2600 miles as a base.  Factor in the fun long rides during the summer and 3000 miles for the year is very obtainable.  During the summer I try for 200 miles per week.  100 miles per week is 5200 miles per year.

A fourth suggestion is to ditch the car.  Try to do things on your bike that you normally use your car for.  Ride your bike to the trailhead as much as possible.  Ride your bike to the store.  Ride your bike to work.  Commuting to work has been my greatest source of miles.  I get between 25 to 30 miles per day from that only.  30 miles per day for 5 days...150 miles per week with Saturday and Sunday open for even more!  Truth be told, I really do not ride much on the weekends.

Other things to consider.  It helps to have more than one bike.  Especially during winter.  I ride my winter bikes to death and when spring begins I ride other bikes, leaving the winter bikes in storage until it is time for long needed maintenance for the next winter season.  Also, if a bike has a flat tire in the morning you can grab another one instead.  This happened to me this week on the day I hit 10,000 for the year.  Different bikes do different things.  A road bike is not the grocery getter that a touring bike is.  A MTB or fatbike perform much better in snow than a stick bike ect.

Finally, get a bike computer if you do not have one or use a phone app such as Endomondo.  Most apps are free and will track time and distance and give you a map of where you have ridden.

So ditch the climate changer and work out in God's gym.  Ride!  Make it a habit.  Start out slow if you are not much of a rider.  the more you ride the easier it will become.  It will become a habit.  Trust me.

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