2010 Goal Met

My goal for 2010 was 5200 miles, which is an average of 100 miles per week. I reached that in November, and ultimately ended the year at 5600 miles.

In 2009, I rode about 5200 miles, and in 2008 I rode about 6000 miles. So I guess I’m pretty consistent!

The vast majority of my 2010 miles (>99%) were on the Long Haul Trucker. About 65% were on pavement, 32% on gravel roads, and 3% on trails of various kinds.

The down side to this year’s mileage was that my speed was significantly slower than in years past, only a 12.2 MPH average for the year (compared to 13.1 MPH in 2009). I’m not sure what’s going on there.

Part of it is that I did more “utility” miles in 2010 – making a conscious effort to ride the bike for transportation, and not just recreation. So some number of my miles were loaded down to some degree with groceries and whatnot.

Another factor is that, while I track my mileage and speed, and going so slow kind of annoys me, it doesn’t really matter all that much. When I’m riding, I don’t often think about my speed — I just ride at whatever pace feels good.

If I was training for something, it’d be different, but for the most part, I just don’t see any reason to try to hit some arbitrary speed goal. Will going faster make me enjoy the ride more? I don’t see how.

And even when I was training for the Dirty Kanza in early 2010, the pressure to go faster and go longer just ended up pissing me off.

That’s not to say that I can’t go faster under the right conditions. Group rides, for instance, tend to urge me into a faster pace. One of my faster rides of the year (15 MPH) was on a 135-mile group ride. And my fastest ride of 2009 (16.2 MPH) was on a century. Maybe the problem is I don’t do enough group rides any more.

Oh well, I guess I’ll continue to just dawdle along, and let the speed fall where it may…

For 2011, my goal is once again 5200 miles. No reason to change it. No big rides planned, but I suspect they’ll happen regardless. 😉

DirtBum Written by:

I enjoy riding bicycles all over -- city streets, suburbia, rural roads, gravel roads, dirt roads, rail-trails, and singletrack. I love exploring the countryside and finding the interesting and historical treasures hidden in plain sight. You can follow my rides on Strava.


  1. Dan
    January 7, 2011

    I couldn’t agree more on your comments about speed. I just enjoy being out riding, and feeling good when I ride, so while I also track my mileage and speed, I don’t worry about how fast I’m going. I’ll admit that sometimes it’s fun to go fast, but for the most part the ride turns into a chore if I worry too much about building up my speed.

    Too many bicycling articles I read are centered on training to build up your speed. It’s nice to know that there are other people out there that aren’t speed junkies.

  2. January 10, 2011

    I agree, except that sometimes training at speed can make the slower rides even more fun, and enable you to ride longer distances. So sometimes the fast training isn’t fun (and sometimes it is), but it can pay off. Generally I don’t care about speed, either.

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