I really did not plan on riding around the world. It just sort of happened like unplanned weight gain or waking up one day an realizing you are going to be 50 this year.
5 years ago I was 25 pounds overweight, slightly stressed and bordering on chronic hypertension - not a good recipe for living to a ripe old age. I had given-up on riding bikes 10 years earlier due to some bad back pain every time I rode my Bob Jackson. I knew I had to do something so I started riding a mountain bike I picked-up at a garage sale.
I enjoyed getting out again and found my back tolerated this more upright posture on a bike. I started thinking about road riding again and petitioned my ever patient and supportive spouse for a new bike after researching this new fad called compact frames. During my hiatus from cycling technology had evolved for aging boomers giving them a more relaxed fit (like our Levi jeans) for creaky backs. (Who says us boomers have not had a positive effect on the world?)
After educating my spouse about the brave new world of bicycles and related pricing, I was ready to get a new road bike. I strolled into Two Wheel Transit with my mountain bike and said something to the effect of if you can duplicate this position on a good road bike, I will buy it. Before I knew it I was riding home on a brand new Klein with a big goofy grin. The long rides I fondly remembered were now incredible challenges that left me drained and defeated. I persevered one pedal stroke at a time and started racking-up miles.
I tracked every ride in a spreadsheet even though my therapist says I am recovering from my CPA affliction. I had a goal, to begin bike commuting from home to my workplace in Fairfield which was 25 miles each way and needed to track when I could do it. It took almost 2 months to build-up to that point, but on May 18, 2006 I did my first round trip bike commute to Fairfield. 24 more such trips followed that summer and the commute became a highlight of my day. That first year I pushed the pedals 4,507 miles between March and December. I lost most of the extra weight and began to reverse the negative trends in my health.
Along came other goals and I continued to track my miles to gauge fitness and progress each year. I included trainer miles though some folks may argue that they do not count, but a mile is a mile as far as I am concerned. Like weight or age, positive things like miles and milestones creep up on you. Just before New Years day, I was entering my ride data an realized I had logged over 25,000 miles since April 2006. Somewhere in the dark dusty recesses of my mind, I remembered something about the earth's circumference at the equator being about the same distance.
Sure enough, I looked it up and the circumference is reported at 24,901 miles around. So I looked back in my trusty log and found that I had passed that milestone toward the end of ride on my trainer on December 23, 2010 without realizing the significance. This most likely falls into the category of who cares for most normal people, but is one of those things that keeps me riding just for the joy that it brings.
Had I known where this was going, I would have let my nerd tendencies roam free and mapped out which parts of which countries I would ride to next as I crossed seas, continents and mountain ranges. Perhaps it is better this way as my kids already think I am strange enough.
Regardless of why or where you ride, keep riding because you just never know where it might take you. So now that I have ridden around the earth, does anyone happen know how far it is to the moon?