Not much a month to write home about,1And yet, I will� ;-) as I biked only 144 miles. I biked that low mileage even though this is BTA Bike Commute Challenge month.2I just got razzed by one of my teammates for my pitiful performance. :-D I got sick at the beginning of the month, working from home for much of a week and then I took a week’s vacation without my bike. That probably explains why my distance was about half what I would have expected.
I have biked 2,274 miles so far in 2014. At this rate, I will get 3,032 miles for the entire year. Assuming I don’t get sick or take more long vacations without a bike (not likely), I should hit 3,000 miles.
I didn’t even take many pictures on my bike rides in September. Here are the only two I took on a bike ride, one from this morning and the blood donation picture stretches the category:
This wasn’t much of an accomplishment for me, but another big thank-you to Hillsboro’s Bike N’ Hike. I broke two spokes on my rear wheel within the span of a fortnight. The second time I questioned whether it would make more sense to get a brand new wheel. Maybe mine had a bent rim that couldn’t be straightened without undue stress on a spoke or two. They suggested cutting out all the spokes and completely rebuilding the wheel instead of just replacing the single broken spoke. I was imagining the shop fee involved and asked whether it would be cheaper to just replace the wheel.1I bought a new rear wheel before. Bike N’ Hike treated me well then, too. :-) Of course not, was the reply. They weren’t going to charge me. When I pressed, they said I could show my appreciation with a six-pack of Henry’s. Thank you!
It’s the end of the month and time for me to recap how far I’ve biked this month and any major accomplishments. Sorry, but this was a fairly boring month on the bike. A little midday rain stopped me from riding as much during lunch,1I don’t like having wet feet at work and don’t have dedicated cycling shoes. yet I didn’t get rained on during commuting, just a little heavy misting on a couple of mornings.
One year ago, my family surprised me with a new bike for Fathers’ Day. They’re pretty awesome that way. :-)
Since then, I’ve ridden “Sage” quite a bit1I guess I’m awesome that way� ;-) and bragged2Or “shared personal accomplishments with close friends and family.” I like it! quite a bit on the way. Here’s my year in review.
I biked 3,207 miles. The number seemed really big to me, but then I looked at some math. At nine miles each round trip, I get more than 2,100 miles just on my daily commute. With lunch rides and a family vacation where I rode 200 miles in a week, the miles really add up.
I went through some parts: 1.5 sets of tires, 1.5 sets of brakes, and a chain. Rotating the tires probably could have made them last longer, but it’s amazing how much broken glass was embedded in my tires3And not causing flats. Bike commuting tires are awesome these days. by the time I swapped them out. I probably should have gone through more brake pads. I’ve heard of going through a chain, but had never done it before. I do clean and oil my chain at least once a month, but in the winter, I probably should do it a lot more often. Oh, and I broke a spoke. When I had it repaired, they were surprised it had been my first.4I didn’t take it as a weight comment, I’m just tall. And I’ve stopped jumping so many curbs.
We went “low car.”5Well, as low car as a family can go when all the kids have their own cars. But they use them. When our family minivan finally died after 295,502 miles, we didn’t replace it. Suzi now drives the CRV; I bike.
I slowed down a bit. I used to think I commuted at 15-18 mph. Yeah, maybe. But that was in a more hunched down, uncomfortable posture. Now I sit up and enjoy the view. I stop at Starbucks on the way.6Yeah, I’ve done that for a while, not just the last year� I take a bunch of pictures.7Ditto. And when someone blows by me, I think of Linda Ronstadt.8Yup, and her song, “Blew By You.”
Year two starts now. I wonder where Sage will take me. :-)
May is my best month of the year, so far. Actually, May is my best month ever! — 471 miles. I think I was getting a little excited about biking more than 3,000 miles in a year and wanted to make sure I hit my goal. Turns out, I hit it easily. Which leads me to…
I have biked 3,060 on Sage, and Sage isn’t yet one year old. Expect a full report in a couple of weeks.
Last Fathers’ Day, my family surprised me with a new bike. Since then, I’ve been riding “Sage” for commuting and for exercise. Last December, I was proud to report that I had biked 2,162 miles in 2013.
A few weeks ago, I realized that I could start my year anywhere, not just January 1. If I started my year at Fathers’ Day, 2013, 3,000 miles was in reach. As of today, I have biked 3,004 miles and all of it on Sage.1Yes, I know the bike computer says 2,929 miles. I broke my last computer with 75 miles already on Sage. That’s about the distance from Portland, OR to Orlando, FL. And there’s still some time before this year is up. Maybe I could go from Portland, OR to Portland, ME.
Three months in, and I’m still averaging more than 100 miles per month.1How’s that for positive spin? ;-)
My March Bicycling Accomplishments
March was a lighter month on the bike for me. Between getting sick, a couple of business trips, some vacation, and some days just not feeling like getting on the bike, biking didn’t have much of a chance. And I’m fine with that. I still probably biked more than you did. :-p </snark>
I put the shorts back on. I was starting to think I was slowing down over the winter, which seemed strange because I was still biking quite a bit. Then, a week ago, I put on some new “dress” shorts with a nice shirt2Could this be the clothing equivalent of a mullet? Business on the top; party on the bottom� and rode to work. It was still brisk in the morning, so I wore my rain pants over top. But at lunch and on the way home, just the shorts — and I was fast!!3Well, at least faster. Fast enough.