The first ride of the season is always a tough one, especially if you want to get it out of the way far too early. I normally make a rash decision for what I want to achieve out of the year on my first cycle of the year. The majority of the time, this falls extremely flat and fizzles out to nothing. My eyes are always bigger than whatever body part has to do the actual work involved in one of these hair brained plans. I’ve recognized this more as an adult and have gotten a little better about it. Last year, I decided I wanted to visit 100 towns in Massachusetts on my bike, with all rides starting and ending in my driveway. I did it but I’m not happy about it. During the best months for riding (July, August and September) I got on my bike a total of 10 times. My average ride length in September was 69 miles (nice!) and it became torture to even think about going out for a ride.

Temperature: 36 f | Wind Speed: 14 mph | Miles this month: 12.8 m | Miles this year: 12.8 m (2,008.2 to go)

The simple reason for this was that I had exhausted all towns nearby and didn’t want to do a 50 mile ride to knock off one more town so I was drawing up these elaborate routes to hit 6-8 towns at a times over 60-100 miles. It was then that I realized that I don’t particularly enjoy long cycles, like really long cycles. My sweet spot is the 15-40 mile range and that is what I plan to do this year. A lot.

In spite of everything last year (new baby, pandemic, stupid 100 towns idea), I still managed to clock up almost 1,300 miles. On this cycle today, I decided that the aim was a straight forward 2,021 miles in the calendar year. By any means necessary. They don’t have to be from home. They can be long or short rides. They can be in different states or countries. It doesn’t matter. The only issue is that I do need to break that down into more manageable chunks to stay on track or else I’ll be trying to complete centuries on Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The first milestone to reach this is 40 miles in January (basically this week) and 250 total through the end of March. Attainable even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. My average ride last year was a touch over 35 miles. My goal is to get that closer to 25 this year. Basically shorter rides more often with the odd 40 miler on any nice weekends.

The plan for these posts is to be far less cycling-talk heavy with more general things mixed in but I did just want to set the table with this one.

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