Biking Statistics

20 March 2001

It wasn’t wet this morning, but it sure was cold. It froze last night and the chill was still in the air as I left the house at 6:15.

The ride to Custom Box Service is nice in the summer when the morning temperatures are around 60 degrees, but in the winter and spring the ride can be a chore. Low temperatures are a problem, but worse is the constant rain. I don’t like biking in either set of conditions, but I have some new clothes that are helping. Last fall I purchased a jacket and a pair of pants that actually keep me quite warm while also keeping out the rain. Because of the new clothes, I’m able to ride on days that I normally wouldn’t.

So far this month I’ve covered 79.0 miles on my bike. This isn’t a lot to a serious biker, but to a fat middle-aged man like myself it’s an achievement. As I gradually lose weight during the spring and summer, I hope to be able to get in 300 or 400 miles per month. If I’m able to get 200 miles during March I’ll be overjoyed. The 79.0 miles so far already give my my second highest number of miles ever for March.

As with everything I do, I tend to overanalyze my biking statistics. I keep a detailed record of the number of miles that I ride, the amount of time that it took to ride them, the temperature during the ride, and my top speed during the ride. I keep a weekly and monthly summary of these statistics, and often find myself falling into the trap of riding to achieve some statistical goal (“Must average 17 miles per hour today!”) instead of riding for the joy of it. I don’t want to stop keeping the statistics. I know myself, and if I stop keeping the stats, I’ll stop riding. The statistics keep me going.

Instead, I need to de-emphasize them so that they don’t become my only focus. I want the riding, and the pleasure of it, to be the focus. I love being on the bike. (Okay, the dogs suck, as do certain motorists. And the poor quality roads in this section of Clackamas County. But mostly it’s good.)

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