The formidable Cuppa and I went cycling again today. At 17 miles, it was the furthest that we had pedalled this year. In fact, we hadn't made it further than that since August 25th of last year, just before our across-province move. Back in Sarnia, our normal distance was 20 miles, but we frequently travelled a little further, and actually traversed slightly more than 50 miles on our very best day last year.
Twenty miles seemed to be a natural route for us back there and then, for ten miles brought us to a turn-around point at the end of a trail where we could grab a coffee in the village and drink it upon the shores of beautiful Lake Huron. While there is a trail here, we generally choose not to follow it because it doesn't really lead anywhere within our comfort distance. So, rather than follow that trail, we follow another, shorter one that mixes with suburban and then county roads. Actually, it's mostly roads and, possibly, three or four total miles of trail riding (round trip).
However, the natural distance to a turn-around point is closer to 5 miles (or a 10 mile round trip). By adding a loop to that trip, we had recently increased our mileage by three or four, and, today, we added yet another loop which amounts to yet another three or four miles.
We're still short of our minimum distance from last year, but, let's face it, we're a year older and, in my case, a year heavier. What with the move and a bad back and settling closer to family, I admit to losing some control over my eating habits over the past few seasons. While I'm not quite back to my rather pondrous, pre-loss weight of January 2004, I am certainly at my heaviest over the past two years. It doesn't please me, but there it is. I like all the wrong foods, and I pile on the poundage very easily. But I know this and have no excuse — except for a glutinous disposition and very weak willpower.
The long and short of it is that we are 450 miles behind our pace of last year on this very same day, June 14, when we pedalled 33 miles (approximately double today's distance). One additional reason, of course, aside from the excuses that I could think of above, was our Arizona trip. What with the planning, the going, and the recovery, we shut down our riding for a whole month!
Just today though, as we begin to get closer to the magical (for us) 20 miles, but as I struggled valiantly over the last few miles, I realized that the distance sure doesn't tell the whole story. The miles here are fraught with slopes and grades, and that makes it much harder (especially on aging knees). My daughter, when she dropped over tonight, opined that we should count a whole mile for every hill that we were forced to negotiate. Wouldn't that beef up the totals nicely?
Still, despite my excuses — being a year older and many pounds heaver and having a more strenuous terrain with which to cope — I do have the goal of hitting that 20 mile mark, and I think that we'll manage it fairly soon. But not tomorrow. After cycling for two consecutive days and line dancing last night, this old poop surely needs a day off.
So, we'll take a break and head into the city where I want to purchase ... another pair of bicycle shorts.