Wednesday, October 08, 2008

4,000 Miles, Finally.

4004.3 to be as precise as my bike computer gets...

I was downright chilly this morning. I checked the hourly-updated
conditions when I woke up at 5, but in the haze of sleep I didn't
realize that the 5:00 stats hadn't actually hit the local National
Weather Service page. I was looking at numbers from an hour ago. 43
degrees didn't seem terribly harsh. I dressed pretty much like I
mentioned in my last post for "below 50" - the problem is that by the
time I left at 5:40 or so, we'd lost 5 degrees, putting the ambient
temperature squarely below 40. I didn't find this out until I got to
work and looked at the numbers. I knew when I left home that I was
operating at the lower-end of the effective temperature range for a
long-sleeve-under-short-sleeve top. I couldn't believe how positively
chilly my arms got, though.

Yes, I had a windbreaker with me, but I figured I'd get warm if I
cranked up the effort a bit. Keep in mind the entire trip, I'm
operating under the belief that it's above 40 and that I've worn this
stuff at this temperature before without a problem.

Karen's been back on the road the last few days, so I'm not cruising
solo anymore (or at least not as often). Yesterday morning, we saw a
car get pulled over after passing us. I'm not sure why. It didn't buzz
us and it wasn't speeding at the time it passed us. Having someone to
be miserable with on a chilly morning like today does something for
morale. Not much else going on today. I haven't told anyone until now,
but I'm planning to ride the rest of the month out in "rain or shine"
mode in an attempt to avoid using the bus altogether. I'll likely cave
and take the bus before November 1st, but I'll try not to. Why?
Mostly for the sake of trying to hit my goal of 5,000 miles for the
year. It's looking pretty bleak unless I harden up a bit.

I've got about 1,000 miles to go, and 84 days of what most cyclists
consider "the off season" left to rack them up. That's 12 miles per
day. Figure that 24 of those days are weekends where I don't ride much
anyways and a few holidays are strewn about as well... Assuming I
don't run any errands or do any recreational riding for the rest of
the year (not likely), I've got to average more than 17 miles per work
day to make this work. Doing some quick algebra in my head, with my
full commute being 29 miles and my average round trip involving the
bus being 5 miles, I need to go bike-only for half of the remaining
commute days left this year. 30*29=870. 30*5=150. 870+150=1020.

I didn't post a September recap, but my September was weaksauce
anyways. This is pretty much where I stand right now, though.

Random Tunage:
Taffy - I Love My Radio
Rockell - In A Dream


Pat Ring said...

4000 miles! An impressive number. I'm a fairly new reader of your blog. When did your year start? January? I was trying to put that number in terms I could relate to. My commute from Alka Seltzer to downtown was about 66 miles round trip. That means your 4000 miles is 60 days of bike commuting, or roughly three months of work days, which makes that number even more impressive. Since I started working from home in May, my real commute is roughly 20 feet. It's a rough commute, but I try to ride 20 miles on work days, and my totals out here in the hills are around 1,500 miles since March, with limited riding activity in March and April. I wouldn't kill yourself to reach 5,000, but I know how goals are. Good luck.

Noah said...

I started counting January 1st 2007. I got 4,200 or so last year and this year I'm trying to get to 5,000.

I've had 175 work days this year so far and I've ridden the bike the entire way 75 of those days... well, 150 one-way trips... sometimes I'll take the bus one way and ride all the way the other way.

I've driven to work once this year so far. Otherwise, it's been some combination of bicycle and transit. I'm pretty sure 5,000 miles is a realistic goal, but it's slightly lofty and I'll just say it's a goal for good reason.

Paul in Minneapolis said...

5,000 is a fun number. That is my goal each year, although I go as low as 4,200 and as high as 5,500. Any less than 4,500 and I start to feel the affects of the American life style.... Over the last 3 years, I have put ~15,000 on my two main bikes.
Go for it!

Apertome said...

Nice job hitting 4,000! I just checked and I'm sitting at a little over 2600 for this year so far. There's no way I'll hit my goal (which I think I set at 4,000), but I've had a few unexpected things come up this year. Maybe next year!

Anonymous said...

Hi Noah, I find that the biggest hinderance to late fall/winter riding is not cold temperatures/wind chill but snow/ice. Anything over a few inches of snow creates so much drag that the exertion required just isn't worth the achievement. I've riden in conditions where the snow has jammed up all my cables. The novelty of riding with no brakes and no shifters wears off fast. And years of working in a hospital routinely show that breaking bones is just too easy when you catch ice the wrong way. I use studded tires to keep me upright, but even then black ice is full of surprises. So, here on the east slope of the Canadian Rockies where winter can get wonderland ugly, I don't set any goals. I imagine that late fall/winter in KC is much more civilized. But, for what it's worth, I find healthy survival more satisfying this time of year than mileage goals.

Noah said...

I hear ya. Fortunately, I have a bus that goes RIGHT through my apartment complex for the really bad days and the not-so-bad days are much more abundant. The really pleasant and mild days happen frequently enough in winter, too.

kG said...

Ya know... a nice 200K ought to stoke the mileage fires nicely.... hint, hint...
No pressure... ;) :) :) :)

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