After 35 years of road cycling, I am now in unfamiliar territory. I’ve never been here before. The ‘road maps’ of life have never been detailed enough to tell me what it’s really like. I have, for the first time in my life, bypassed the 10,000 mile milestone for the year 2012………..
Now some of you may be muttering to yourself: “Well, that’s peanuts. That’s hardly more than a warm-up session”. Or: “So what? I’ve usually passed that by the summer solstice”. I do appreciate there are some phenomenal mile-eaters out there who cycle the equivalent of 10-15 Tours de France each year. They are mostly super-dedicated cycle-commuters who may be doing 20-40 miles 5 days a week, then going out with the club at the weekends and putting in another couple of good rides.
My commuting life never surpassed 2 miles return………..yes, I said 2 miles return! If I was lucky, I could add a total of 500 commuting miles to my annual total, and my annual total seldom exceeded much more than 5000 miles (but still more than I would drive in a year). I have absolutely no complaints about having lived so close to my place of work……but it did have its consequences for a keen cyclist like myself.
Of course, hitting 10,000 miles is not just a by-product of enthusiasm/determination/nothing better to do/servile addiction (or any combination of the aforementioned and the unmentioned), but is also a consequence of having a greater measure of time-richness and flexibility in retirement. But these very same assets sadly allow me the unfortunate discretion to indulge in a little stats-mongering by adding date, time and place of the very moment when I passed the milestone. This all sounds very sad………..and you’re right, it is all very sad. But I plead guilty!
The precise moment was in Oundle, outside St Peter’s church, on Sunday December 16th at 11am.