Year 2014….. 21,236 kms/13,196 miles

Did I begin on January 1st 2014 with a long term goal? The answer is no. Do I have a tendency to chase more immediate, short term goals……..and I have to confess, that is nearly always at the back of my mind. The psychology of shooting for targets is a very interesting and complex one.

Some people can’t imagine labouring to become an achiever without there being some kind of public20140514_104634_Android 1 accolade. In the world of cycling, that is manifest in the huge growth in time trialling, amateur racing and sportives, where entrants are given numbers, prescribed routes, feeding stations, timing chips and much more, so as to satisfy the need to finish with a placement, time and certificate, all of which seem to satisfy some deep need for recognition.

Conversely, in another neck of the cycling woods, you will meet a lot of almost faceless individuals who are much more independent in their thinking, make little fuss about what they are doing, often achieve startling feats in total anonymity, and do it for little more than their own personal satisfaction. Numbered among these 20140516_064706_Androidare the long-distance endurance cyclists, and people who favour audax events over sportives. They are usually self sufficient characters who require little or no support, are happy to ride solo and carry their own stuff, who expect to have to do their own route finding, and will usually ride in all weathers.

I’d like to count myself amongst the latter, though I frequently find myself drawn towards the former because, who can deny that being part of a crowd, a group, a peloton can add to the excitement of team-work and camaraderie?

On the last day of the year, finishing with a 45 mile ride as the frost was thawing in the late morning, I finished with my best annual total of 21,236 kms/13,196 miles. This roughly represents 3x my average annual driving mileage which, of course, is hardly surprising……..the simple equation is: more time on the bike = less time behind the steering wheel.

Breaking this down into bite-size trivia, it has meant the following:

Monthly average: 1770 kms/1100 miles

Days ridden: 269………average per ride: 79 kms/49 miles

Theoretical number of calories burned over the year: 662,563

…….the equivalent of 2,208 cheeseburgers, or 4,416 café lattes, or 2,650 fruit scones with butter and jam (my favoured mid-ride snack). If I had wanted to lose weight (which I don’t) and had continued to eat only the recommended daily total of 2,500 calories, I would either have ended up a frazzled heap on the ground, or I would have disappeared completely. So I can only assume that the calories I’ve burned have been replaced by a similar number consumed. Which, seen in terms of an eating equation, means either my year has been 265 days longer than the average, or I have consumed the equivalent of an extra 780Bike and Istanbul fish ‘n chip suppers. Interesting thought……

Drink: if I have kept to recommended rehydration advice, I should have drunk at least 603 litres of extra fluids during my rides (that’s not counting the extra drinks I have mid- and post-rides). Now those figures may seem conservative, but they are in addition to what average men should drink in a normal day (2 litres). If I were a Ford Focus or Astra, I would have to fill up my tank (50 litres) with fluids every 9 days. But I’m not, so I get to sit in nice country cafés and tearooms instead.

And now the big question is this………… a target to be improved on next year? I know my wife would love to know the answer to this……..and the answer is…………wait for it………………………………………………………NO!

Why not (you might ask)? Well there’s a danger that it might just become another full time job. And who needs a job? Much better to ease back to something like 10,000 miles per annum, take a few more photos, do a few more tandem rides and, of course, eat fewer fruit scones! 😦

Steve AbrahamP.S. But, if you really want to follow someone who is going to make cycling a full-time job (with loads of overtime) over the coming year, tune in to the record Steve Abraham wants to break over the next 12 months. His intention, starting on January 1st, is to break Tommy Godwin’s annual record of over 75,000 miles set in 1939. This means he will have to average more than 205 miles every day of the year. Now try to work out his calorific and hydration needs over that period (not to mention the myriad other needs). It is mind boggling.


About Frank Burns

My journeys around the world are less about riding a bicycle, and more about what happens when I get off the bicycle. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on January 1, 2015, in Cycling UK, Increase your annual mileage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Good pedaling! From one cyclist to another the 13,196 miles in a year is a first rate achievement! You have my congratulations and you have probably done a great service to your cardiovascular system as well. Keep up the good work!


  2. Dra Martha Castro Médico WMA

    Reblogged this on DR. MARTHA ANDREA CASTRO NORIEGA, MD, UEBD, CMT and commented:
    Great mileage/kilometers ridden in a year! Congratulations to all cyclists who keep on pedaling, no matter what!


  3. Nice year, that’s a lot of miles right there! Unlike that fella trying to break the 75,000 mile record, I’m more like you – I’d rather not finish the year wanting to put my bike away for several months. Too much like work.


  4. Kind words, Tony….but I mustn’t make a habit of it….there’s so much else in the world…..


  5. Yes, 75,000 is a head-banging total…….and there’ll be no ‘gong’ at the end….but he’ll probably write a book about it, and make a penny or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s an impressive result. I would imagine your tours bump the total quite a bit but having said that, even your local rides are often double or triple what I would do in a single ride.

    If I looked at my total annual mileage from the Tandem and my commuter (being the two I do most on) and my other bikes, it’s probably in the region of a couple of thousand at most.

    I do yearn to head off down to the channel and then ride south once across the other side – chasing the sun, but unlike your tours, which have very solid targets, mine would be a meander with directions taken on a whim (backed up by a map of course), stopping wherever. I don’t think that’ll happen though, as Karon would not want to spend time on her own at home. She’d want to come too, so it would change the whole status of the ride. Pills, medical equipment etc. and it would be B&Bs or hotels rather than just throwing a tent up. It would take on the complexity of a military operation. Unlikely to happen – not til she retires. So my meander remains elusive.

    I used to be very competitive and ‘placings’ orientated, which was born out with my need to compete in MTB orienteering events. I was probably active in those and trail rides plus the odd sportive for 30-odd years. I’ve never really logged distances seriously – probably because my annual totals are just a few month’s worth or riding for folks like yourself – but I’d always reset the trip meter and note how far I’d been.

    I no longer compete and these days I often leave the trip meter without resetting it before a ride, just using the clock and sometimes, glancing at my speed or average, just to see how I’m doing.


  7. BTW, the blurb above is from Bob Bending (just noticed I’m signed in as Admin – not very helpful).


  8. Bob, logging distances and shooting for targets is only one of a host of ways of simply enjoying riding those two wheels. At the end of the day, how far one goes in a day, a week, a month or a year can be irrelevant to the enjoyment…….I look forward to that day…. 🙂


  9. I quickly gathered that, Bob!


  10. Alke-Brigitte

    Hallo Frank,
    Chapeau for this great result of km/miles by “Fahrrad”. I am very proud of you !!!!!
    For you and Jenny a wonderful new year 2015.
    All the best your german pilgim-friend from Germany


  11. Thanks Alke Brigitte. And a happy new year to you!


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