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  1. #31
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    Nov 2007
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    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    Setting goals can be good motivation in the right context, but they can also backfire. Unless you're a professional racer getting paid to ride your bike, I think it's important that any cycling goals you set have an underlying element of fun. It can very easily go from something you enjoy to something you have to do even though you'd rather be doing something else.
    Yup.

    For velogirl: I've set goals for my career, for saving money to buy a home, etc. It's been helpful to me, but cycling needs to be stress-free for my own mental equilibrium..so yea, cycling is for me, time to chill out. The very fact that I'm car-free, cycling sometimes does have daily goals...for transportation and to get something else done (work, shopping) and piling in my mini-fitness ride at the same time. But I don't think of "goal' every time I mount on my bike. I do often think of "destination"....instead of mileage.

    I just have survive and live daily....by getting food to feed myself. And I do it by bike. Hope this makes sense to those who bike for transportation a lot.

    My partner is also a long term cyclist and car-free like myself. He tracks his mileage faithfully since 1992. Sometimes he tells me his mileage when I ask. Most of the time, he seldom offers it because it's just for him. (Frankly I'm amazed he is so modest when he's with other cyclists and says nothing, but praises others. This year he's done 11,000 km. so far. You have to understand he's done over 250,000 kms since I've known him! He's my dearest used car. But again he only offers it ...when I ask him. )

    He's super supportive of my cycling and has never put me down on my annual mileage. Of course, he's retired, I'm not. I'm not sure what it would be like to live with someone who constantly obsessed over their mileage.. I probably make encouraging noises and tune out after while. After all, one loves a person for who they are, not their mileage.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    4,632
    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    I remember my first year cycling, which was 2010. I had just learned to ride and convinced myself that a 200K brevet that fall was just the ticket for me! I focused on getting as many miles as I could, I even started to ride metric centuries most every weekend. Now, my body wasn't ready for all of that, and instead of riding the brevet as planned, by that date I was off the bike entirely for close to 6 months due to over-use injuries. Due to that, and mountain bike injuries the following year...well, I will likely never meet the miles I rode that first year and that is OK!

    Now that I can no longer ride at full capacity (if I ever really did) I focus on the joy of riding. I do look at my numbers at the end of a ride but don't even bother to write them down. My bike computer tells me my seasonal miles, and I do use it to keep my cadence in a knee-friendly range. I really enjoyed my "simple" hour long ride yesterday - and at one time I would have been very frustrated at not being able to spend 3-6 hours on the bike, but you know, that is ok! I do other things as well, and focus on over-all fitness and doing what I can. THAT is what matters.
    I didn't set a mileage goal this year. I was sort-of hoping to do 2000, but I knew that between an unhappy knee, schoolwork, work (weekends and random days during the week) and a cross-country move, I'd be very lucky to get near that. So I "focused" on riding when I could, for however long I thought my knee could handle, usually 15-20 miles. By the way, the unhappy knee? Brought on by riding too much without other activities to balance it out. Just have fun.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041
    As others have noted, commuting will really pile on the miles. My Dad & I were both training for a 4-day self-supported bicycle tour. He's retired & got in a lot of longer rides. I commute to work and rode less than 10 miles a day, but every day. I was not able to find time for longer rides, and I was worried about that. But we were both in pretty good shape. He thinks because I was out there every day, and got the same # of miles in as him, just spread out over more days, that we had roughly equal training.

    So commuting or a short daily ride can be very effective training.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Northeast Borders, UK
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    42

    Talking Aaargh, auto-correct wrote Katerina instead of kajero!

    It's been fascinating to read the different 'takes' on cycle mileage and goal-setting on this thread - so thanks to all who replied and thanks to Kajero for asking the question! As I'm in my first year of road biking, and not in the first flush of youth, I haven't set any other goal than to see how far I can get... And so far I've done over 1500 miles. Admittedly I can get out quite often because I'm retired but I'm unlikely to be able to go out for more than a few hours at a time, partly limited by having an elderly husband at home and partly by my own fitness limitations; also, I've never achieved more than 12.5 mph - so far! Some of my riding is a lot slower than that because I'm very slow up hills (but now very rarely have to get off :-) ). Our terrain is mixed, some fairly flat by the coast, inland a bit more rolling and in some areas there are terrifically steep, long hills though I've only just begun to tackle the easier of these recently. Main thing is I love doing it! I have a carbon road bike and a steel cyclocross-type bike and love them both too - and even love messing about with them (cleaning, adjusting [sometimes mess things up but can always get help from my bro, or friends, or the internet - or TE, of course!] etc). Happiness is definitely bike-shaped!
    Last edited by Cyclingfun; 10-15-2013 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Auto correction mistake
    Jul 2013 - Genesis Croix de Fer
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  5. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    93
    1. What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?
    Road/cyclocross

    2. Do you do anything except ride during the riding season? (work, clean house, cook, take care of parents, etc.)
    Full time job, full time life

    3. Do you ride in bad weather? What kind of weather will you not ride in? (i.e., severe downpour, high winds, temperate, etc.)
    Sometimes

    4. Do you have apparel to ride in all kinds of weather?
    Yup. Gear junkie extraordinaire.

    5. Do you ride at night? (something I absolutely refuse to do)
    Yup, but only when I'm commuting

    6. Do you use clipless pedals? Does anyone only use plain pedals?
    Clipless

    7. How many mph do you average? If I average between 11 mph and 12 mph do I have any hope of ever achieving a goal of 1000+ during a riding season?
    About 12 mph, sometimes more, occasionally less. You can definitely ride 1000 miles at a 12mph average. One longish ride at the weekend and 4-5 short rides a week and you are there and laughing.

    8. Do you ride mostly on trails or on roads?
    Roads

    9. Are the trails/roads or flat, hilly, steep hilly, or mixture?
    Mixed

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    I looked at your basic question and your goal is to ride 1,000 miles in a season. Probably depends on how long your season is, but say you can only ride 6 months out of the year, that is approximately 26 weeks. That means you need to ride approximately 40 miles a week. 40 miles a week should be doable on any type of bike if you just ride three times a week at 13 miles a day.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486
    Quote Originally Posted by spokewench View Post
    I looked at your basic question and your goal is to ride 1,000 miles in a season. Probably depends on how long your season is, but say you can only ride 6 months out of the year, that is approximately 26 weeks. That means you need to ride approximately 40 miles a week. 40 miles a week should be doable on any type of bike if you just ride three times a week at 13 miles a day.
    I am kind of a wuss. In Minnesota, I only ride from the beginning of June to the end of September, and that depends on the weather. It can't be raining or too cold or too hot.

    So in my mind, I can only truly count on a 4 month riding season with extra days added in occasionally in May and October. I looked back in my diary and did find I rode a few times in March and April two years ago; the weather was a fluke. I probably could have ridden more that year except for the stupid bike accident.

    I think I can set a goal of riding between 18-20 miles three days a week. It will definitely take some discipline! One of my favorite routes is 17 miles. I don't know why, but I ride it much faster than other routes even though it has a of hills. I'll just have to go around the block a few more times before I put the bike in the garage.

    I have done the ride to my Dad's grave twice now, I did get it down to from 63 to 51 miles last time because I only got lost 3 times (instead of a lot more). It's a gorgeous ride Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0474. ride lake.jpg 
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ID:	16744 and should only be 47 miles round trip. (Maps don't help . . . I keep missing certain turns.) If I do that once a month, that will help, too. Besides, I think my Dad likes me to come out there and talk to him.

    I am going to go clipless or wear straps on the pedals next year. I am sure I can do better if I could keep my feet from slipping off the pedals all the time. Right now when I ride I try to imagine I have clipless pedals on and plan ahead what I need to do. I hope this makes the transition easier. I also have a trainer with a different bike on it. I plan to practice clipping in and out of the pedals we put on it.

    If I go to spin classes does that count? My instructor says we get 18 miles for the hour class -- except I have never ridden 18 miles in hour in my life (unless Garmin could be wrong???) . I would only use 12 MPH which is higher than my average, but not by much.

    Thanks again for all your help. I am going to ride just for the enjoyment of it. Hopefully, though, I will also have a goal to make sure I get out there and ride, but I am not going to get disheartened if I don't make it. I decided to look at like, "I don't know anyone my Facebook page who even rides a bike. Anything I do is beyond them"!
    Last edited by kajero; 10-15-2013 at 07:55 PM.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Sounds like a good plan.
    But, I think you can extend your riding season, by buying some nice merino wool tops and a pair of tights and/or leg warmers. A lightweight merino top with a base layer doesn't have to be cycling specific, you can wear it under your jacket, and can wear it for walking, hiking, whatever. Look on discount web sites. Arm warmers, leg warmers, and skull caps are relatively cheap, in terms of cycling clothes. Spend the $ on a good pair or pairs of gloves. Before I accumulated a whole bunch of different levels of long fingered gloves, I used the Terry light weight long fingered gloves, and wore thin merino liners under them, or silk liners.
    There's a lot of riding to be done in April and May, as well as October and November. You don't have to ride in the rain or bad weather, just cooler temperatures.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
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  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
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    1,815
    I'm going to answer your questions here, because I think they are valid. I will, however, echo the sentiments of others in the thread - why do you have a mileage goal? I am a cyclist, and I LOVE to ride my bike. I don't set mileage goals (though I do track to see if I am ahead or behind last year) - I ride because I love it. If you set a goal, and you only ride o achieve that goal (and not for the sake of riding), then it seem pointless to me...

    1. What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?
    Road/cyclocross/MTB/TT

    2. Do you do anything except ride during the riding season? (work, clean house, cook, take care of parents, etc.)
    I work full time and maintain 3 homes. While I don't have children, I do have all of the household chores as well as increased planning depending on what location we will be in.

    3. Do you ride in bad weather? What kind of weather will you not ride in? (i.e., severe downpour, high winds, temperate, etc.)
    Yes. I've ridden in rain, thunderstorms (though not on purpose), snow storms and on ice. I also ride from January through December despite living in the Northeast. Being prepared with equipment and apparel is key here though. And again, I ride because I love it! I will also ride indoors if the weather is particularly awful out.

    4. Do you have apparel to ride in all kinds of weather?
    Absolutely. Over the years I have accumulated all of the gear for riding in any type of weather - cold, wet, windy, warm. Having the right clothes is important to continuing to enjoy the ride. Bad clothes can make a fun ride miserable in a hurry.

    5. Do you ride at night? (something I absolutely refuse to do)
    Yes. At this time of year, and through the winter, I don't have a choice. We have great lights and will go out for a couple of hours in the dark. I did my first dark MTB ride of the season just last night. Again, this helps to keep things fun, since it changes the regular routines and routes.

    6. Do you use clipless pedals? Does anyone only use plain pedals?
    Clipless

    7. How many mph do you average? If I average between 11 mph and 12 mph do I have any hope of ever achieving a goal of 1000+ during a riding season?
    I'm with Eden on this one - this is irrelevant. Your average speed depends on too many variable to compare with other people not riding the exact same routes that you are.

    8. Do you ride mostly on trails or on roads?
    I ride anywhere my bike will take me - roads, gravel roads, MTB trails...

    9. Are the trails/roads or flat, hilly, steep hilly, or mixture?
    Mixed here, and I will occasionally ride places where there is no flat.

    Good questions for sure, but again, make sure that you are riding and setting these goals for the right reasons. Loving the ride is more important than how far you rode.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    perpetual traveler
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    1,267
    Quote Originally Posted by SheFly View Post
    I'm going to answer your questions here, because I think they are valid. I will, however, echo the sentiments of others in the thread - why do you have a mileage goal? I am a cyclist, and I LOVE to ride my bike. I don't set mileage goals (though I do track to see if I am ahead or behind last year) - I ride because I love it. If you set a goal, and you only ride o achieve that goal (and not for the sake of riding), then it seem pointless to me...
    I have mileage goals. I can be on a roll that lasts for months where I exceed goals and ride because I love to ride. And then I can get bogged down and not want to do anything but sit on the couch with my dog, computer and food. The goals help me a bit to get off the couch. But that is me. This fall I have not wanted to do anything but I have at least a minimum mileage goal of 200 a month and I will do at least that amount until the weather gets too bad. Then I will go south or do something else.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
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  11. #41
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486
    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I have mileage goals. I can be on a roll that lasts for months where I exceed goals and ride because I love to ride. And then I can get bogged down and not want to do anything but sit on the couch with my dog, computer and food. The goals help me a bit to get off the couch. But that is me. This fall I have not wanted to do anything but I have at least a minimum mileage goal of 200 a month and I will do at least that amount until the weather gets too bad. Then I will go south or do something else.
    I think a mileage goal may be important to me because as you said, "It helps me get off the couch." Being unemployed it's so easy for me to sit around and say I will do it tomorrow.
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Quote Originally Posted by kajero View Post
    I think a mileage goal may be important to me because as you said, "It helps me get off the couch." Being unemployed it's so easy for me to sit around and say I will do it tomorrow.
    Since you are not working, seems like you have a great opportunity to use your bike for transportation every day. Go to a cafe, a museum, the library, the store, meet a friend, have lunch, volunteer somewhere...those miles do add up quickly.

    If I lived in a very cold place, I would have an ice bike with studded tires. I used to have one, but then moved south and there's not much ice. Actually if I lived in Minnesota I would love to try a fat bike on the snow. Or just get some XC skis for winter.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Kajero: The last time I was unemployed but actively looking for work, I did make it a temporary goal, that I bike my favourite (and scenic) routes daily --choice of a 40 km. ride or a 20 km. ride (a different route) if I was feeling crappy. I tried to do the ride in the morning and get done then..to get my motivation for other things started up each day.

    I did do 40 kms. daily most weeks for 3 months (but geared down when weather became rainy often or I was busy doing other stuff ie. volunteering for cycling advocacy group). The daily route included 2 hills @8-10% grade.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    TE HQ, Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    1,879
    I have over 6000 miles already this year. All but ~600 of those by August 1st! I'm taking the second half of the year mostly off, as I train to run a marathon in March.

    1. What kind of bicycle(s) do you ride?

    Custom steel Sweetpea, mostly. I also have a custom carbon Sweetpea and a Felt TT bike. Also a cruiser and a mountain bike don't see much use.

    2. Do you do anything except ride during the riding season? (work, clean house, cook, take care of parents, etc.)

    Yes and no. 99.9% of those miles are weekend only. So, on the weekends, no I don't do much else. Mostly just eat, ride and sleep. But I don't ride during the week, not even to commute. So, I work, cook and try to scale Mt. Laundry from time to time. Very little housework, though. I mean, the place is generally tidy, but deep clean? Um, no, not so much.

    3. Do you ride in bad weather? What kind of weather will you not ride in? (i.e., severe downpour, high winds, temperate, etc.)

    Yes. Hot, cold, rain, sun. Everything but ice. Though, I've ridden on snow covered roads as long as they weren't icy.

    4. Do you have apparel to ride in all kinds of weather?

    Yup!

    5. Do you ride at night? (something I absolutely refuse to do)


    Yup, all the time. And sometimes all night. Night riding is a wonderful thing, and not nearly so dangerous as you might think. IN fact, I am SOOO reflective and lit up, that I'm way easier to spot at night than during the day. Plus, there's so little traffic at night that I actually feel much safer riding at night than during the day. Good lighting helps, too.


    6. Do you use clipless pedals? Does anyone only use plain pedals?

    Yes, Shimano SPD.

    7. How many mph do you average? If I average between 11 mph and 12 mph do I have any hope of ever achieving a goal of 1000+ during a riding season?

    Depends on the terrain. But I keep all my rides recorded on Strava, so I can answer this pretty well. On 200Ks (125 miles), my overall moving average might be anywhere between 12 mph & 15 mph. At 12 it means it's pretty hilly/mountainous terrain and at 15 it's probably pretty flat. Note that this is overall moving, not just what I see when I look down when I'm just cruising along.

    Can you ride 1000+ per season? Depends on how you define season, I guess, but really the answer is YES, absolutely. If you rode just 50 miles per weekend at a pace even as slow as 10mph, you'd hit 1000 miles in 20 weekends. That's less than 6 months.

    8. Do you ride mostly on trails or on roads?
    Almost exclusively on roads.

    9. Are the trails/roads or flat, hilly, steep hilly, or mixture?

    All of the above. Strava says I've climbed over 234,000 feet this year. It adds up fast!

    10. Do you do most of your riding alone, with someone else, or in groups?

    This year I rode mostly in small groups or with one other person. But that hasn't always been the case. Some seasons I ride solo more. Depends on my goals. But in general, riding with others is fun, and can help you pace yourself a bit better, or maybe even push yourself to go longer or faster when you might otherwise want to quit.

    ---

    As for general advice, perhaps you should think about time on the bike rather than miles ridden as a goal. Maybe make it a plan to ride a certain number of hours every weekend, instead. Let the miles build naturally. Speed will come with fitness and time in the saddle.
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  15. #45
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota
    Posts
    486

    Thumbs up

    I went for 6 mile ride today. It was cold for me (51 degrees and no sun) and sprinkling. I dressed for the cold, but the sprinkling . . . well, let's just say I was lucky it wasn't raining. I don't normally ride in this kind of weather so I want to THANK EVERYONE for the ideas, advice, and encouragement. I felt like I would be doing a disservice to everyone who took the time to reply to my post if I didn't at least try to ride some more even if in my mind I think the season is over. After all, that is why I posted it!

    I rode to pick up a prescription and to the library to return and pick up some audiobooks that were being held for me. I discovered a beautiful new trail totally by accident. I decided to do a new supposedly shorter route to the library and got lost again. I have lived in this area for 20 years and never knew those pond/lakes were there!
    kajero
    2013 Trek FX 7.6 WSD
    2012 Specialized Ruby WSD
    2004 Schwinn (I think that is the year)

 

 

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