post date: December 31, 2008

That’s the number of miles I’ve ridden my bike this year. For some reason or other, a few years ago I started reporting on my bike rides. Back then I would detail the route I rode through Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park, a meandering course that went 11.1 miles and usually took me 45-52 minutes to complete. I probably did that route four or five days a week. One year I even managed to ride through January and February, quite a feat considering the temperature one day was 9 degrees. To manage that feat I put on seven layers of clothing. It took me longer to dress and undress than to actually ride my bike.

A photo of my trusty odometer, held to the handlebars by rusty wires.
Since moving to Mississippi I’ve done all my riding on country roads and on the Natchez Trace. When we lived at the cabin, I would put my bike in the trunk and drive to the Trace where I would ride 12-15 miles. Since moving into town, I devised a route that takes me on several back roads, ending up at the Trace. Usually that means 12 miles, but I have an extension that takes me another 5 miles. 

My overall total miles ridden now stands at 23,909. About ten years ago I started bike riding again for the first time since I was in grade school. Seven years ago Skip Olson challenged me to ride around the world–-24,000 miles. At this moment I’m 91 miles from reaching that goal. For those who are interested, I have a Specialized Sequoia Elite that I bought 3 1/2 years ago. It really zips along.


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Ray Pritchard
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