Sunday, 27 July 2008


It's now six months since I got the new bike, and over that time I've covered just shy of 1,600 miles in 113 outings averaging 14 miles each.

The total distance is equivalent to riding from home, to Paris, then Rome, and then up to Venice on my virtual European tour. I don't suppose Venice is the ideal cycling city, but we enjoyed our only visit (in around 1990, and we flew). It seems unlikely that much has changed since then.

I've not kept track of everything that I've spent on the bike over the last six months, but I reckon that it must work out at something around £7 an outing, or 50p a mile. I occasionally buy something new, but the big investments in the bike itself and the GPS gizmo are now behind me. So the average cost per trip should continue falling until I splash out on something big again.

My fear was that history would repeat itself, and once my initial enthusiasm wore off, I would ride less. Thankfully, it isn't working out like that. I've averaged more that 4 outings a week, and just over 60 miles a week over the last six months. The figures have been slightly lower in the last few weeks, but considering those include some very unsuitable weather, as well as a week of holiday, I don't see them as the start of a trend.

In fact, having set up a complicated set of targets to encourage myself to get out on the bike, my last few rides have been more-or-less purely for pleasure, with no particular objective in mind. All of them have been fairly local, typically around 20 miles in a couple of hours, exploring new roads, or different routes around roads that I already knew. I'm not sure that this is the ideal strategy for achieving higher levels of fitness, but I am consoling myself with the thought that, in these temperatures, riding just for fun is more motivating than riding to keep the numbers on track.

Perhaps this is the beginning of a more mature and balanced approach, but I doubt it. I suspect compulsive behaviour runs a bit too deep for that, and will rise to the surface again before long. Maybe, in order to maintain this more balanced outlook, I should set myself a goal of having at least one non-compulsive ride, purely for pleasure, each week (only joking).

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