1998- An amazing year: 1550 miles!

steves-century-1-th.jpgGoing it alone this time, with the goal to ride 100 miles in one day by September, I reach new heights. And lengths!

Somewhere along the line, I learned the wisdom of taking a break between relationships. So, I had lots of free time when Spring rolled around and the weather improved. I wanted a long-term goal for the year. First, to go at least 1000 miles, but also to ride my first century, which is a one-day, 100 mile ride. I found a great century training schedule in an issue of Bicycling Magazine , and stuck to it. It was basically riding 5 days a week, with either fast, medium, or recovery rides on weekdays, and long rides each weekend day, with the distances creeping up each week.. The weather was especially dry that year, so I didn’t lose many days to rain. By the time September came around, I was riding around 170 miles a week. I found that a busy part of my mind turns off after 40 miles or so, and I experience an almost trancendental mindfulness. Sometimes I became aware I was having discussions aloud with myself about things I hadn’t realized were on my mind and needed some attention. I loved doing 4 and 5 hour rides on the weekends.

I lost a lot of weight–42 pounds. I was eating better, but also feeling less hungry. I felt fantastic, had lots of energy, and was sleeping very well. I joined the Granite State Wheelmen that year. Their Tri-State Seacoast Century in September was a blast–100 nearly flat miles through New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, with miles of great views of the Atlantic Ocean, and with about 800 other roadies. I even stopped a few times to help friendly “damsels in distress”, which made it all the more fun. Then I took an “active vacation” in Arizona, the highlights of which were bicycling 50 miles through the desert, and climbing a 7,000 foot pass on the way to Sedona.

I rode 1550 miles that year, far more than I’d ever gone before. That was one wonderful year.

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