Man, it’s gotten unusually cold these last few days. It’s gotten so cold to the point that I will not wear tights to ride a bike but instead opt for wearing two pairs of flannel pants. Years ago, I never let that kind of thing. I sucked it up and wore tights all year round. Either shorts or pants. They were all I ever wore for riding.. but, then I got older and started not caring about my appearance during rides. The more chill, relaxed sessions have been going on for over a year because I wanted to pull back a little.
As I’m closing in on 75,000 miles and 2,000 documented sessions (both occurring in the next month or so), I’ve been changing the formatting for cycling as more time passes. Partially because I know I’m in the final campaigns, partially because I’m developing problems with my ability to cycle.
First, it’s been my goal since the very first campaign back in ’09 to one day reach 100,000 miles. At the time I’m writing this I’ve cycled 74,464 miles in 1,969 sessions dating back as far as May 18, 2009 (also known as the “official debut”). But, going with my yearly averages, as well as figuring out worse case scenarios (riding exactly half a year, or 183 sessions), it has me finishing all 100,000 miles (and the estimated 2,595 sessions to get there) by 12/31/19. All those calculations would give me 11 campaigns, and as long as 10 years, 7 months for completing the whole gig. All of me knows the end is coming soon and I’m not as hard on myself for missing time like I used to be. Part of me is looking forward to that eventual retirement and no longer getting hurt or injured from human error and mechanical malfunction.
Second, I’m getting up there and keep forgetting that I’m not going on 15 like I was when this whole thing started. I’m going on 23, and gotten pretty roughed up at times. A lot of times when I would fall off in the past and it wasn’t noticeable I would shake it off and keep going but also not tell anyone if I got hurt. There were times I had friends pop my shoulder back in place because I would refuse medical attention. I can’t really pull that anymore as I’ve deteriorated a little bit since then (like seven years). If I mess anything up, I try to get it looked at professionally within a day or two. I’ve not had anything recent that’s needed immediate medical attention. The one problem I have now is that when it gets really cold.. I can feel it in my bones. I feel my legs locking up a little bit and get super tight. It makes things super difficult. I almost feel powerless but try to carry on the best I can. When it’s warmer my legs feel loose and it makes me feel like a young kid starting out again. Those couple days where it was in the 60s really helped.
I’m just hoping that I can hang on for the other 25,500 miles and some change to finish this out. I feel like I owe that 100,000 miles to all the people who’ve been along for the metaphorical ride that we’ve been on together the last eight years. All of this wouldn’t feel complete if I didn’t get it. I’m going to do whatever I can to keep this gig alive. I definitely will get into some fun and a little bit of mischief. Because if there wasn’t mischief, I wouldn’t be doing it right.