Well… semester over. Kinda, sorta. Lectures finished this week. I still have a lab report due on Monday, plus 2 essays and 3 exams scattered over the next 3 weeks. Then that’s followed by 4 completely empty weeks before lectures restart.
That’s a total of 7 weeks where about 80% of my waking time is unallocated. In the past I have used this time to ride my bike and get fit. Nothing much has changed this time around, except that normally I start holidays fat, unfit and slow. By the end of the holidays I end up a bit fitter, thinner, and faster when I go back to work. But I still go back to work. And back to the stresses and habits that make me fat, unfit and slow to begin with. And I quickly fall back to my sad and sorry equilibrium.
This time around, I did the standard holiday thing over the summer break and got fitter, thinner, and faster. Then I just kept right on going. So, for the last 14 weeks, I’ve ridden my bike a total of 2708km (1681mi). And now I’m standing on the threshold of an oasis of bike riding opportunities with my fit and my fat and my fast all in quite reasonable condition. So with that in mind I sat down last night and wrote out my riding program for the next 7 weeks.
Here’s the plan.
It is a grand plan, and fully supported by my wife. Because apparently, over the past few months I’ve been noticeably less grumpy as well as a bit better looking (if that’s possible). And she’s blaming it on all of the bike riding and wants it to continue.
My grand plan for world domination involves “taking it to the next level” for the third time this year. So over the next 51 days I’ve put myself down for 5250km (3260mi). Yes, you read that right. There’s no decimal point missing. And I haven’t just written down a big number. I’ve identified every route for every day and set down the daily distances. And don’t pick your jaw up off the floor yet, because the next sentence will send it right back down there.
In the next 51 days I will also visit my personal Mount Everest on 22 separate occasions. I know what you’re thinking. But it can be done. I’ve already climbed that mongrel of a hill twice in the past 5 weeks. And don’t come around here telling me that I’ve also only climbed it twice in the past 16 years.
The cup’s half full.
Actually, according to my psych profile I’m a the-glass-is-twice-as-big-as-it-needs-to-be kind of guy. What I’m trying to say is – I’m a bit of a positive thinker. In the traditional bordering-on-blissfully-ignorant sense of the word. The worst I can think of any event that physically harms me is ”wow, I’d better try something different next time”.
So I’ve set this whopping great goal that’s within reach if the weather holds out and there’s no family emergencies. Like that’s gonna happen. But even if I let myself down, there’ll still be a huge amount of miles covered and a huge improvement.
So with the half hour ride in the miniscule gap between my teaching assignment today and my job tonight, I have started on the road to glory. 51 days at 103km (64mi) per day.
In anticipation of success, I’ve ordered 2 tyres from the LBS because I’ve already chewed through 2 this year. And the next 7 weeks will see me ride further than I have in the past 21 weeks; which was in turn further than the total for the past 4 years combined.