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Falling Short of My Cycling Summit

In November, I hit the 3,000 mile mark of miles cycled during 2008.  At that time, I thought I would hit my [revised] goal of 3,500 miles for the year without any problem.  As it turns out, I didn’t make it.  As of 12/31/2008 – a full day I spent sitting on my ass on a plane – I had ridden just a little north of 3,350 miles for the year.

I had rationalized that this wasn’t unreasonable until I read Brad Feld’s post about his 2008 numbers.  Brad is a runner and he knocked down 1042 miles in 2008.  That’s very impressive.  Anyone who has both run and cycled knows that mile-for-mile and on similar terrain, running is just harder.  A friend of mine who is an accomplished triathlete, marathoner and Cat 2 cyclist uses the rule of thumb – for shorter distances, running requires about 5 times more effort and for longer ones, about 4 times.  For example, he equates running a marathon (~26 miles) to riding a century (100 Miles).  I have no personal data to back this up, but it seems to make sense.

But, I’m full of excuses.  My strongest is that I’m taking a cycling class three times per week where we focus on the pedal stroke to optimize power.  These classes don’t address distance at all.  In a 1.5 hour class, we might ride 8 miles, for example.  I don’t get much other riding in.  Yeah, yeah, I’m lazy too.

So here’s how it turned out . . .


Total Miles 3,350
Hours Ridden 191
Avg. Speed (MPH) 17.1
Calories Burned 115,000

My breakthrough event for the year was the Pan-Mass Challenge, a two-day ride across Massachusetts. I averaged 19.2 MPH for the two days during the ride and didn’t feel like I was going to die when it was all over.

In 2009, my goals are to ride faster, not necessarily further. I’m working on that this winter – taking classes and focusing my rides indoors on a trainer.

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  • http://www.feld.com/ Brad Feld

    Dude – be proud! We did the same number of hours (no real difference between 191 and 205). You fucking rode 3,350 miles! That’s all the way across the US plus some. Wow!

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    Dude – be proud! We did the same number of hours (no real difference between 191 and 205). You fucking rode 3,350 miles! That’s all the way across the US plus some. Wow!

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