I started riding bikes as an adult in 2011 and back then, I didn’t really have many goals other than to be out longer, get stronger, and have fun.
Then I did a 50 mi recreational fondo with a girlfriend and started to crave more.
- Maybe try bike commuting (I did).
- Maybe try a supported bike tour (I did).
- Maybe ride a century in February with only 3 rides of decidedly significantly less distance than that as “training” (I did).
- OMG mountain biking is so much fun, let’s keep doing that (I do).
Then came the era of Karen and I’s Working Mom Reverse Trash Talk Cycling Challenge to see who could ride more miles in a year. That first year, I won a bag of her company’s best coffee, Off The Chain. She then proceeded to STOMP me every year thereafter.
- Let’s try bikepacking (I did).
- Let’s try a cyclocross “race” (I did and still love going to Ice Weasels)
- Let’s try a three-day, 320 mile bikepacking trip with two guys I know from the internet after not doing a century, much less three back to back to back, in at least 5 years (I did).
- Let’s see if I can average 100 feet of climbing per mile ridden for an entire year (I got very close – somewhere around 99 feet per mile average).
- Let’s spend a year focused on bikepacking (last year was so rad).
But even when I was unemployed for 18 months, I never logged more than 3k miles in a year. That banner milage year was 2013 when I was bike commuting 2-3 times per week in addition to riding as many weekend days as I could. Bike commuting was an easy 30 miles round trip each day I rode – so the miles piled up without taking significantly more time from being with my family or working.
This year’s bike goal is to log 3,075 miles.
Why 3,075? Because in 2013, I rode 3,073 miles. Five of the rides were centuries. Close to a thousand miles from April-October were just commuting.
The only rule will be Free Range Miles only.
That means no indoor trainers, no Peloton, no stationary bike, no Zwift, no Trainer Road, etc. Not that I do that anyway but still.
Seeing as I’ve only logged 43 miles in the first 17 days of the year, I’m already behind pace by 100 miles. I need to ride 60 miles per week all year to achieve the goal.
But I’m not too worried … longer days mean warmer days and more opportunities to ride. I might need to get creative to overcome winter’s deficit. But I’m prepared to do the work. Plus, gravel is great even when it’s chilly out – so a 30mi ride twice a week isn’t crazy talk.
Other plans for 2022:
- Toad Strangler (Chatham, NY)
- Great North (Cambridge, NY)
- Appalachian Gravel Growler (Morganton, NC – Brevard, NC)
- Girls+Matt Bike Camping Weekend (somewhere in New Hampshire)
- Girls+Matt KT MTB Weekend (East Burke, VT)
- Hiking Mount Washington with my girlfriends
- XNHAT + Cross Vermont Trail bikepacking (Bethel, ME to Burlington, VT)
Tune in later this year to see how this goes! See you out there!