Monday, December 18, 2023

A Million Feet

I suppose I've always liked numbers. How many fly balls can I catch in my front yard? I kept count well into the thousands. I even kept a log of all the field goals I kicked, through an almost-full-sized goal post I built with my uncle out of PVC pipe when I was six or seven years old. What I'm trying to say is, I like numbers, and nice round ones at that.

The idea of riding a million feet in a year honestly wasn't something I really thought about at first. In fact, the first time I did ride a million feet in a year - back in 2020 - I didn't really think much of it beyond the fact that it was a neat milestone. But of course, those were my roadie days, when "Els" came quickly thanks to skinny tires, gears, and smooth pavement. Now that I primarily ride a singlespeed mountain bike (well, less so now with muddy trails, but still...) and do more racing, the million feet isn't quite as easy for me. This year, it took me until early December, the 6th, to be exact, to get the 1,000,000 feet. My brother got it a few weeks before me.

The Brevard, NC wolf approves of the million feet.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'

I'll be honest, November and early December are usually some of the hardest months of riding for me. By the time the eleventh month comes around, I've been doing races, big rides, and traveling for the better part of the year. I guess what I'm trying to say is, once Thanksgiving is around the corner, I'm tired. Physically, somewhat. But mainly, I just need a way to reset and start focusing on the next year. Out with the old, in with the new. Maybe that's too crude, because it's not that dramatic, but I nonetheless like to shift my focus on to the next year.

That being said, it's not that it's is bad. There are days when going out to ride for two hours to get 3,000 feet of climbing isn't very exciting. But still, I keep doing it. Surely that says something. All it takes is a little reminiscing of riding the Great Divide, of getting the belt buckle at Marji Gesick, or of endless singletrack miles with Dahn Pahrs in Park City to fully convince myself that every ride is worth it.

All that is to say that there's still nothing I'd rather do than ride my bike and grind out miles in the cold and rain. When I'm finishing up an all-day ride in some new-to-me place, I look back fondly to the rides I did to get there. 

I guess what I'm trying to say, it's a bit like a rainy day in paradise. It's not your favorite, but it's still paradise. I won't lie, I may or may not have stolen that from Magnum P.I. (my favorite show), but still, it's extremely applicable here.

Alright, now back to regularly scheduled programming.