Around this time of year, the word “mileage” always creeps into my thoughts. As in “how’s my mileage this year compared to last year?” Now, a couple of years of using Graeme’s training programs have taught me that it’s not the quantity of miles that matter; it’s the quality.
Quantity, not quality. Oops. I slipped up again. Quality, not quantity. Sigh. Let’s face it: quantity does matter. If only psychologically, it matters.
In the past several years, my mileage has hovered around 6000 miles a year. My best year was in 1988, when I rode 7754 miles. Round that off to 8000 and it sounds impressive.
So once the mileage bug bites, I inevitably haul out many years of mileage charts. Some are on sheets of graph paper, others are torn out from magazines. Lately I seem to have settled on an Excel-based format which I embellish with all kinds of memorabilia about a ride — who I was with, whether the weather was a factor. And scribbled in the margins are records of bike maintenance. Good spreadsheet that it is, it constantly reminds me if I’m ahead of or behind my goals.
Typically, it’s always the weather notes that stand out. Coldest, hottest, windiest. Here’s one from a miserable spring: “rain usually one day of each weekend”. How about this one: “rain, wind, tornado, t’storm”. And I lived to tell about it. Amazing.
One of these days, I’m going to haul these mileage charts over to the bank and put them in my safe deposit box. They certainly qualify as irreplaceable valuable documents. Mileage rules!