Thursday, January 11, 2007

One Mile at a Time

People have asked me how I managed to rack up 8,000 miles in 2006. The answer? One mile at a time.

I started riding a bicycle again in October 2005, and since I kept a very meticulous spreadsheet of all my rides since then, I decided to put it all together into one nice month-by-month list at the end of this post.

As you might expect, the first three months were difficult and challenging. Panting and flop-sweat were the norm. As was bad weather. My average speed on the 40# Raleigh hybrid, when really pushing myself, was between 14 and 16 mph.

In early 2006, my mileage numbers began to increase, following my average speed, which now was 15 to 17 mph.

By late March, averaging 17 to 18 mph became the norm -- again, when really pushing myself. At that time, I started doing a lot more hill climbing. This reduced my average weekly mileage output and speed, but was essential in training for Ride the Rockies in June.

Since then, I can average 20 mph or faster on long rides if I really push myself. Usually I don't do so for such long periods of time. It hurts. The one exception was my Fort-2-Fort Century in November where I rode 100 miles in 5 hours at 20 mph. Instead, I typically do interval training, which consists of two- or three-minute sprints followed by three or four minutes of basic rolling, and then another sprint. Oh yeah, and lots of climbing when weather is good.

Yesterday, I found myself 11 miles away from home with the sun setting in five minutes. I kicked myself good and hard, then turned around for home. I figured I could get home in 20 minutes if I sprinted the whole way back. I pushed harder on a ride than I have in a while, but it took me 25 minutes, so I was left wondering why it took lon
ger than expected. Then I realized that I had miscalculated -- it really should have taken me 30 minutes at something over 20 mph. So doing it in 25 minutes felt pretty good after all!

Here's the month-by-month listing of miles, and also a week-by-week bar chart (by popular demand -- see comments). To read the chart: miles ridden to the left, days at bottom.The biggest week was Ride the Rockies in June 2006, followed a month later by Tour de Wyoming:

2005 - 802 miles
Oct. - 245 miles
Nov. - 292 miles
Dec. - 265 miles

2006 - 8,000 miles
Jan. - 462 miles
Feb. - 339 miles
Mar. - 454 miles
Apr. - 609 miles
May - 681 miles
Jun. - 828 miles
Jul. - 744 miles
Aug. - 566 miles
Sep. - 817 miles
Oct. - 727 miles
Nov. - 1,027 miles
Dec. - 744 miles

2007 - Goal of 8,000 miles
Jan. - 205 miles (so far as of the 10th)


Anonymous Biking Bis said...

OK. Now we know how you put in 8,000 miles in one year. Now, how do you put in 205 miles in the first 10 days of friggin' January??? Brrr...

9:27 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Ha ha! It takes 25-mile-rides during eight of those ten days. The major roads of Fort Collins are totally clear as the city spent some serious coin on snow removal immediately after the last flakes fell. The trick for me is walking my bike through the still-drifted, crusty, icy, slushy side streets to get to those major streets. Howard is highly motivated, skilled at climbing snowy peaks, and heavily layered.

10:53 AM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger John said...

Agreed on that. Here in Michigan the enemy has been cold and wind. Last week I managed to ride all but one day. This week, however, my schedule has not been quite so forgiving. Thanks for posting the mileage summary from last year. I admire the fact that you didn't have any "super" months (possible exception of November). A very consistent year. Kudos!

3:30 PM, January 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm gonna need some graphical data howie. possibly a pie chart. anything less is amateurish.

3:51 PM, January 11, 2007  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Coming up! Anything for the readers...

5:56 PM, January 11, 2007  

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