I've worked hard this year to get back into shape and, at almost 44 years of age, it takes so much more effort. I have fought a chronic sinus condition that has caused significant upper respiratory issues. My breathing felt somewhat normal approximately 3 months this year - and it's now September. Hopefully, this problem will be rectified with surgery on the sinus cavity scheduled for the third week of October.
So, some statistics for the first nine months.
Total riding mileage: 2,424
It's broken out this way:
- 1,025 miles has been done on my 1984 Gitane Sprint
- 185 on the 1984 Gitane Tour de France
- around 1,100 on my1997 Bianchi Trofeo
- The remainder have been on my 1987 Trek mountain bike and 1982 Nishiki Marina 12 (that's turned out to be a surprisingly nice riding bike).
What's made the difference? I'd have to say it's focused training on hills, intervals and wind. You can't help but get stronger with the wind around here.
As for the bucket list I have accomplished a couple:
- I Made the Grade - Lewiston, ID - 18 mile ride with a 7 mile, 2,000 ft climb at the end. I rode this in 1984 and have always wanted to do it again. Finished 6th out of 173 at 59 minutes and 58 seconds. This was an absolute blast of a ride. As a comparison, in 1984 I was 18 yrs old, rode a heavy old Peugeot with normal gym shorts and no training and I finished in 1 hr 10 minutes.
- Manastash Metric Century - beautiful ride in Ellensburg WA the first Saturday in October: Scheduled to ride this in 10 days. My goal is to finish between 3 hours and 3 hours 15 minutes. This is a good fall ride with fantastic scenery.
- Seattle to Portland - in one day (I last rode this in 1985 and would like to do it again) I am going to strive to do this in the next couple of years
- RAMROD - Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day - my dad's favorite one day ride
- Winchester Century - starts around Lewiston, ID
I have had a lot of fun this year riding and still kick myself for not staying consistent with it over the years. That won't happen again. Heck, I've lost 12-13 pounds this year and have a goal to lose about 10 more for "optimal hill climbing weight".
I have friends riding now who have lost anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds by riding consistently. Stick with it - there's nothing better than the good health and positive attitude cycling provides.