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 . . .
|Avg. Speed (MPH)||17.1|
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.