Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lowest Annual Mileage Since 1999

Above is my typical ride lately -- generally a leisurely 15 to 20 miler near my house on the fixed gear. And if it were not for the "new" old bike I recently got from a friend, I might not be doing even THAT much. A new bike, or piece of equipment, always generates a bit of enthusiasm for getting out on the road again. Nevertheless, my rides have been primarily short ones because of time, weather, a tandem stoker who has been troubled by knee and hip issues this fall, and my talent for coming up with excuses.

Fred and I had a great tour lined up for 2014, but when our plans fell apart in the spring, so did my motivation to train and to do long rides. The result is that I will finish this year with about 1,600 total cycling miles. In the past 15 years, my average mileage has been more like 3,000 to 4,000, and even higher a time or two. The main factor is probably the absence of training and touring miles. That should not be the case in 2015, though. We already have a great tour picked out, and all three of us (Ray will be riding with us again) have bought non-refundable airline tickets to show our commitment.

One example of a JOGLE route.

The plan is to do the classic UK tour called End-to-End, or LEJOG, or JOGLE, as you prefer. It involves cycling from John O'Groats in the extreme north of mainland Scotland, to Lands End in the tippy-toe of southwest England (JOGLE) or the opposite way (LEJOG). There is no fixed route, really, but tons of people do it every year, so there is no lack of suggested routes. The fastest, safety-and-scenery-be-damned route is about 900 miles. We are going to follow a safer and more picturesque route, though, and will end up with 1,100 miles or so in 14 to 16 days.