I have let go of tracking my mileage diligently this summer.
Between all the travel, I simply haven't been riding as many miles and I guess it just began to feel pointless to track my mileage if I'm not racing or dong long-distance bicycling, which is pretty clearly where I've ended up. My longest mileage days now hover at around 10 to 12 miles, and there are more days in between where I don't ride at all. Is a new pattern being established? It sure looks that way.
Tomorrow I'm riding Sunday Parkways, Portland's version of a ciclovia where streets are closed for a few hours to motorized traffic and people walk, skate, or ride bicycles along a marked route. I'll be toting tools and a pump and volunteering as a rolling mechanic, something I've done since Parkways' inception five years ago. It's enjoyable and usually pretty easy; last year I think I fixed one flat in a three-hour period.
I've sold off a bunch of bike parts and accessories this year, making space in both the shed and in the back room inside the house (which I am slowly turning into a real music room). I still like having the bikes I have, and three regular bikes to chooose from seems like more than plenty. My mountain bike hangs in a corner, the dust from the last short-track race of 2012 still evident on the frame and rims; I haven't ridden it since then and may end up selling it.
A part of me feels anxious about the fact that I am riding less than I have in a long time this summer. But between the travel and everything else it just hasn't happened. I've been gone a lot, maybe the most traveling I've done in a summer since I coached drum corps nearly 25 years ago. And as I've ridden less, I've seen less point in writing down my miles. When I got back from my June travels and began riding again, it was nice enough; but it was a hassle to try and remember my miles from the month I was away and to try and catch up with the math.
More and more the idea of making sure I ride each day and not worrying about the distance seems to make sense. As for racing, well, it is not happening this year. I have been to one short-track race as a fan this summer and plan to go for the closing night of the local series on Monday. Cyclocross is a distant memory; I rode my last 'cross race in November 2011 before my teaching schedule made Sunday racing impossible. So here I am, in a slow process of paring down my cycling wardrobe and eventually making more space in my house and my life for music.
I'll still ride, of course; I rely on bicycles as my primary form of transportation and will continue to do so for quite some time to come. But things are definitely changing.