Miles in Gear This Year: 2012

I purchased my bike in 2010. Late in 2010, I quickly learned, as cycling of any kind, for most people, is a fair weather activity. Since I pay for nothing by credit and since I purchased my bike new (something I just felt I had to do at the time) it ended up being mid-September before I could scrimp together the money to ride my bike out of the shop. Gone are the days of the Schwinn that you could purchase for a hundred bucks in the bike section of your local hardware store. Anyway, since it was so late in the year and I was deep in back-to-school as a mom and back-to-work as a teacher, there was little time to get in much riding. As I look back on it now, that’s probably okay, I wasn’t in the best riding shape of my life anyway. It wasn’t until the following June that I actually made a commitment to getting on my bike regularly and tracking my mileage and progress on wheels. June 13, 2011 I got on my bike, Boyfriend in tow, and rode a whopping 8 miles. I huffed the whole way. The Boyfriend hardly cracked a sweat. But it was 8 miles and it was before work. That was progress. It was the next to the last day of work for me for the school year and I set the goal of attempting to ride a thousand miles that summer. I made it to 800 and some change before the Back-To-School/Work frenzy hit. I logged in a few more miles moving that to 900 by the end of the year. February 13, 2012, one day before my breast surgery, I logged my first 1,000 miles on my bike.

Not a lot of miles for a professional cyclist, or even for one who lives in a city where their bike is their main source of transportation.

It’s a ton of miles for a single mother of four who is nearly 50 pounds overweight. Yes, that officially puts me in the obese class. No, I do not look obese (at least not what I envision when I conjure up images in my mind that fit that word)…but I do look overweight…and that needs to change.

This year, I’m trying to average 100 miles a week. I’m already behind for this week, since I’ve been out for surgery and have only logged 2 miles (a whopping total of ten minutes) on my bike…on the trainer. It wiped me out. I haven’t tried that again since.

This is the page where I’ll track my mileage and my efforts.


Ariel on the trainer at home.


Horrible beginning to the year.  I got nowhere near my 100 miles a week.  Of course, this is due to the fact that I wasn’t taking advantage of the trainer.  It was also due to the fact that I typically get tied up after school serving as Taxi Mom and head chef and bottle washer.  In addition, The Beau, got a full time job which required him to be out of the house before we were up in the morning.  He didn’t usually return home until after we (read me) had collapsed in bed.  I was simply too exhausted to get on the trainer much after running such a hectic schedule. I logged a measly 53.59 miles.  Wimpy.  Can’t change it now.  I just have to do better next month.  Also, this month, I found out that I am having surgery next month.  In addition to my normal life, I had the added requirements of extra appointments and the resulting worries.  February has to be better.


Fun Wheels is the red Sun Ray. The bike behind this is The Beau’s Specialized Crosstrail.

This was a much better month.  I actually had one week where I made a respectable attempt to reach 100 miles…I logged 91.  I even logged 38 miles the week of my surgery.  The following week: zero miles.  In all, our family settled into somewhat of a routine with the transition of The Beau going back to work.  However, after some serious consideration, he decided this job was not a good fit and decided to resign his position. This has eased the load at home for me tremendously. This also made it possible for me to have more time and energy to devote to my fitness. I logged a total of 127.81 miles.  Most of those miles were on the trainer, but a few of them were on my Sunray (aka Fun Wheels).


Toward the end of February, I started riding the Fun Wheels any time the weather permitted.  The bike is a sled.  It is heavy and slow moving up hills, even the slightest ones. It barrels down hills nicely though.  This bike is comfortable to ride for the long haul and I can cover some distance at a decent clip of 12-14 miles on average, unless the terrain is hilly.  While the pace I’m riding at isn’t so fast, the burn I’m feeling as I push up those hills trying to keep moving provides a nice workout.  I consider it a fair trade.  The last weekend of February and the first one of March, I spent entirely on the Fun Wheels.  A big shout out to the beautiful Southern Oregon weather for cooperating.  At the time of this writing, I am heading into the first full week of March and I’ve already logged 63 miles.  This is more the pace I expect to keep up during most of the year, especially now that Daylight Savings Time is just around the corner.  I should really be able to get in gear this month, in spite of another upcoming surgery.  This time I know what to expect.  I already have my plan in place so that I minimize time out from work and cycling. The big bonus:  March is Spring Break month and I hope to be well enough after surgery to take advantage of the open schedule.

March recap:  I’m a bit disappointed in my efforts this month.  I only logged 129.59 miles on my bike and most of that was in the first two weeks of the month.  Of course, looking back at the calendar,there was one week off for surgery.  I returned to work the following week and was far too exhausted to ride after working a full day.  The final week was Spring Break, but the weather was so cold and windy that it was tough to get out.  The minute the wind let up, we got out and rode, even though it threatened to rain the entire time.  All I can say is that I’m glad the surgeries are behind me.  Further treatment is expected to be minimal, and Spring is beginning to act like it might really be here.  I can hardly wait for summer.


Goal:  100 miles a week.  Can I do it?

Recap:  I logged 205.71 miles this month.  I also started radiation treatments, and that impacted my free ride time during the week.  I ended up riding almost exclusively on weekends and the very last weekend I got really sick, tried to ride, but had to go home.  Disappointing, but much better than March.  Here’s to May being a much better month all around.


Goal:  300 total miles.  Group rides, more than one.  Weekend rides and midweek riding also.  Survive radiation treatments.

Recap: I managed to squeak out 262 miles, about half my ongoing goal of 100 miles a week. But considering I was dealing with radiation treatments (and commuting from home to work to treatments and then riding extra) I consider this an accomplishment.  Certainly not what the 100% me could do…but I’ll take it.


250.72 miles on two wheels this month.  Less than last month. I attribute this to two things.  The radiation fatigue is beginning to affect me in a big way.  I find I can do only one major thing a day and that’s it.  If I work, forget dinner or dishes or laundry or helping kids with homework.  I gave myself permission to nap and rest and just take it easy.  Also, I worked an extra week this month, which took a toll on my available cycling time and my available energy stores.  My goal was 400 miles for the month.  Yeah.  Clearly, I didn’t meet that.  And, though I did turn 50, I didn’t even come close to losing the  50 pounds.  I’m giving myself permission to fight wars on only a few fronts at a time, this year.  For now, cancer trumped weight loss.  I’m working on just getting through and remaining positive right now.


Well, 6 days in and we are over 100 miles.  I plan to ride the next three days which will put my total mileage for the week at an all time high. On the downside, I’m still really battling radiation fatigue.  The fact that I’m not sleeping well at night doesn’t help.  We will see how this goes.  I go back to work in about two weeks, which will cut my ride time in half, and it will also impact my available energy.  I’m really ready to be done with feeling tired and sleepy all the time.


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