Originally Posted by Caincando1
It's taken me a while, but I'm getting over my obsession with "miles". I look at hours now becasue I'm doing specific rides that doen't always add up to a lot of miles. Yesterday I did a 2 mile off road ride. Then jumped on the roadie and went out to learn how to climb hills while standing. I only ended up with a total of 10 miles yesterday. But damn did I get a work out.
Some thoughts on quality vs quantity of miles, as posted to my blog:
Much of our conversation was about my recent complaints about slowing down on my local loop rides. My bike mentor, ever the perceptive friend, found a subtext to my complaints I hadn't even considered. "Neil," he said, "the fact you are concerned about the speed of your rides tells me that you are more than just a transportational cyclist. You want a quality ride, and not to just get from one place to another. And so you have to train properly. I don't want to see you get into the rut, and it's an easy rut to get into, of just grinding out numbers. They should be quality miles, and not just quantity."
As is often the case, Dan is right. I've been preoccupied with numbers - pounds lost, pounds remaining, miles achieved, a metric century completed. Yes, I completed a metric century, and that's something I'm proud of, but it took nearly six hours to do so, and it wasn't a display of good riding. Getting through something isn't the same as finishing well. As a writer, I don't accept bad work from my pen, and I shouldn't accept it on my bike.
I hadn't expected to hear this about myself, and I was stunned by Dan's follow-up suggestion that I not ride both days in the MS 150. During the relatively short time of our friendship, I've been continually pushed to do more, and now Dan was telling me to do less. I tried to argue with him over the point, but I found myself accepting his logic. Dan's reasoning for my riding one day can be broken down as follows:
- I've only ridden one comparable ride, the metric century in Delaware. As stated, that wasn't a great ride. The NJ ride is perhaps harder than the Delaware one.
- It's two days back to back, with the second day on a slight uphill. That's tough on any rider. While my progress as a cyclist has been remarkable, I'm still a novice. I could be taking on more than I can handle.
- The training I would need to ride both days has to be done in about two months. The risk of an injury is very real. Better to set a more realistic, safer goal.
- Even if I can complete both days, I'd be wrecked by the end of them. I wouldn't have any fun on the second day. Riding just the first day means I can finish with a sense of accomplishment, and not think "I have to do this again tomorrow."
- I had wanted to ride an English or Imperial century (100 miles) by this fall, and the MS ride offers a century option. So I could do that, and go "from 0 to 100 in eight months."
- Finally, the shorter duration allows me to focus on quality, not quantity, of miles.