A victim of statistics?
I like to think that most of my cycling is done purely for pleasure, but sometimes there are telling moments that reveal other driving forces. Many roadies keep detailed statistics of every ride and training session throughout the year, and in the run-up to New Year’s Eve, you may sometimes notice numbers of lycra-clad mile-eaters out storming the lanes and byways, sometimes in weather conditions little suited to riding two wheels (as I discovered three years ago when I came off on black ice). What they might be doing is ‘chasing stats‘. Let me explain.
The only numbers I record throughout the year are the distances of each ride and, early on in the year, I look at my pattern of rides and try to guess my annual total 6-7 months in advance, and somehow this becomes my target (which for 2011 was going to be 9000 miles). Before I set off for Tenerife on December 13th, I had noticed my current total was 8348 miles, which meant covering 652 in the last two weeks of the year if I were to hit my notional target. Now this is all going to appear (especially to the non-cyclist) a bit ‘sad’ and ‘anoracky’, because there are no prizes and awards, and no coaches or personal trainers goading you on. I went off to Tenerife for a week and covered just under 400 miles, leaving about 260 to complete over the Christmas period.
Sadly, I have to admit that, for a period of 10 days, my principal driving force was to reach 9000 miles, but the weather happened to be great (though windy) and it all turned out to be a great pleasure anyway. Going into New Year’s Eve I noticed that my tally was just 3 miles short of the target (unbelievable, I know….). It was a fine morning and I fielded the suggestion to Jenny that she might like to go for a tandem ride, and we could stop for a cup of fine coffee (always a winning move!) at a nice little tea room in Sharnbrook…….. and she accepted ;0) So I had the pleasure of surpassing the target in the company of my wife who was, of course, sharing the pedalling (though many passers-by claimed she was not!)….. is that cheating, I wonder?
Because of trips and extended travelling without a bike in 2011, I had gone two whole months with scarcely any mileage, but this was off-set by intensive expeditions and tours: to Santiago de Compostela (1400 miles), Fuerteventura (252 miles) and Tenerife (390 miles). If you like cycling to targets, may your wheels carry you safely to your destinations.