When I began this endeavor six years ago, I had a simple goal — to ride my bike seven days per week, taking just one day off per month. In the beginning my rides were short, just 10-miles each. Within a few weeks though, that wasn’t enough so I began riding further, 15-miles and gradually more.
The riding app I used at that time, Map My Ride, provided a field to enter a weekly goal. Without much thought one day, I entered 100-miles as my goal. I was already doing it, so it felt like an easy mark to meet — and I’ve always believed in setting achievable goals.
Before long I was riding 125 per week, then 150, and eventually riding 175-200 miles each week. As my average weekly mileage increased though, I never amended the goal in my riding app upward. I simply exceeded my goal week after week and month after month. And that’s the thing about setting achievable goals…
…that no matter how my life might unfold in the course of a week — the good, the bad, and the ugly at all, I’d find satisfaction and maybe even some confidence in knowing that at least I accomplished one thing I set out to do.
For six years that 100-mile per week goal has been challenging at times, but always achievable. In fact, it’s only been in jeopardy when I’ve been otherwise incapacitated due to the bike itself — finding myself in urgent care, emergency rooms, and laid up in bed nursing the occasional broken clavicle, sprained ankle, or fractured wrist. And even in those instances, I’ve somehow managed to get 100-miles in each week.
And this is something I’ve never shared before…
…at some point along the way, and I don’t remember when, I upped the stakes for my goal. I didn’t increase my weekly mileage, but I made the commitment to myself that I’d meet the 100-mile mark every week for the rest of my life, come rain, shine, or tonsillitis, and I meant it.
Now it may be hard to envision a 95-year-old man riding a bicycle 100-miles per week. If I’m being honest though, I’ve never seen myself becoming a 95-year-old man. If I hit my mid-70s I will have exceeded all expectations — from God, most everyone on my friends list, and even myself. So for the last few years, I’ve been riding with the belief that I’ll ride 100-miles every week for the rest of my life.
This past week was the first time that 100-mile goal was truly in jeopardy. Due to a COVID scare set in motion buy a selfish client, I lost a couple of days. When yesterday’s workday came to an end I was at 99.27 miles for the week. I was also physically exhausted, mentally drained, and dozing off in between bites of my 3pm lunch. But I couldn’t let the streak go.
At 3:30pm, and feeling as lifeless as a 30-pound cat on muscle relaxants, I dragged myself off the sofa, prepped a bike, and hit the road — utterly and completely exhausted. And the streak lives on.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to meet that 100-mile goal each week for the rest of my life, but I’m sure gonna try. The situation with my mother might prohibit it, and of course that would be okay. I might get the opportunity to travel someday — and that travel might not include a bicycle. I’ll address that when and if it presents itself. I might also be stricken with a disease or find myself in hospital emergency room yet again. I dunno 🤷🏼♂️
Sometimes meeting a goal though, is simply the coming together of an achievable goal and a reasonable commitment to meet it. As I sit here this morning, those things are in place. Maybe the weirdest thing about setting a goal like this is that I’m fortunate enough to achieve it, I won’t be around to celebrate it. Weird, huh…?
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This week by the numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 4
Mph Avg: 16.6
Seat Time: 07 hours 25 minutes
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from Sleeping At Last. Enjoy…