Increase your annual mileage: lap 2

So, you’re still with us, eh? Intrigued to find out more…….?

Nothing of what I say is rocket science…… fact, not even science. I seldom dwell on statistics, and certainly not on the so-called finer statistics covering cadence, heart rate, wattage output, route contours……all of that, for me, is an unnecessary distraction. My focus will simply be on increasing your mileage, and changing some habits and self-beliefs in the process.

When I had a full time job, my goal for several years was to ride 100 miles per week, every week of the year. Now, I knew that was not going to happen without a huge degree of flexibility on my part (bearing in mind that my commute to work was only 1 mile each way). There were going to be days, and even weeks, when I couldn’t get out on the bike regularly…..but I had made a commitment to myself. Committing to yourself (and to no-one else) can be the weakest link in this whole process. There is no accountability to anyone else, no questions to be addressed if you fail. But I had decided on January 1st to ride 100 miles per week, over 5000 miles per annum. If  there were to be some 20-25 weeks of the year when I couldn’t get much riding in, then I had to ‘up the ante’ in the remaining weeks, and increase my mileage. And this often required imagination and creativity.

Cartoon credit:

Cartoon credit:

Value-added miles

Most roadies would never admit to this, but they do it. I do it. You probably do it from time to time. You get back home from a ride and notice that you’ve covered some 46 miles ……wouldn’t it be nice to round it up to 50? So, you either go ’round the block’ a few times, or you head past your street and do an extra loop.

Other times you head off to a café to meet up with some cycling cronies, and notice your outward ride was 30 miles. Do you go back the same route? Perhaps not. You could find an alternative route that adds 5-10 miles. So, instead of riding 60 miles, you’ve possibly covered 70, that took you an extra 30-45 minutes.

Even the ‘sad’ little trick of rounding up your total to the next whole mile when you get home, could have the impact of adding some 50-100 miles over the entire year. My wife has often seen me doing a little loop around the street, and knows exactly what I’m up to. But it all adds to the grand total. ‘Value-added miles’ that don’t have a heavy impact on your routine, and may not disturb the peace at home!

Why not try it. It could be an easy way of adding 10% to your weekly average.


About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on November 3, 2014, in Increase your annual mileage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Yup, you got me… Not all of the time though. I am now one of the horses in our group so often, if I have a really hard ride, I don’t care if I need a half-mile to make an even 50, 60, 70, etc., when I hit the driveway I’m done. Had two just last week. Pulled way more than my fair share and when I got home I was absolutely spent. I went in, showered, ate and napped.

    • I get you…..I am the same after club rides, but then I don’t hang out with the ‘through and off’ guys…..they’re all ‘head-bangers’, little conversation, some of them don’t even stop mid-ride for a coffee…..they’re usually on a mission. Most of my observations, on the other hand, assume that the bulk of base rides are solo miles/kms… other words, you’re in charge, you decide, you set the pace, you decide when to go out and for how long.
      I know roadies who never/hardly ever go out unless they’ve made an arrangement with a cycling buddy. They are the ones who put a ceiling on their efforts. I’ve seen people cancel whole days of riding because their buddy/buddies don’t like a bit of rain, or the wind is a nuisance.

      • LOL… We’ve stopped twice, in three YEARS for a coffee. We even skip rest stops on centuries from time to time. Sadly, I actually love the coffee stop, wish we did more of that.

      • ….if cycling with others doesn’t add a bit of fellowship, then what’s the point of riding with others? The coffee stop is the ‘social glue’ that holds the group together, and instils a sense of camaraderie so that people look out for each other’s welfare (eg. if someone punctures, everyone stops and waits….and helps as necessary). The sportive/audax mentality should never enter into club riding.

      • I get you on one level, and i do wish we were more like what you’re used to, they just don’t roll like that here. We do talk quite a bit, moreso when it’s just us B guys riding, but on Tuesday night if you want to talk, you better be able to do it at 27 mph. Not saying it’s right or wrong, just that this is how it is.

  2. I like the idea of value added mileage.

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