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How many miles did you ride when first starting?

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How many miles did you ride when first starting?

Old 07-20-17, 08:23 AM
  #1  
kaybe
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How many miles did you ride when first starting?

I am mostly curious about this because I see people talking about 25-50 mile rides and was wondering how long it took to get there and where you started. I started riding this week after 6 months of extreme inactivity (4 months of chemo and 2 months of recovery). I am up there at 330ish LBS as the only person in the world who seems to have gained a bunch of weight on chemo. I'm at 3 miles round trip and am wondering how low that is compared the other 'super clydes' out there.

I will not let this effect my confidence or attitude or anything - mostly just satisfying curiosity. I expect to be on the lower range of starting out as I'm out of shape, still recovering from treatment, and competing with 85+ degree weather. I also kinda wanted to strike up a conversation and get myself a little bit involved in something. My personality keeps me more interested and determined when I have more than one attachment to a hobby.

So lets hear it. Mileage-wise: Where did you start and where are you at today?
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Old 07-20-17, 08:31 AM
  #2  
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Hooked up with a group of high mileage riders at the beginning when I was a young 66 y/o.

First year 11,200 miles
Second year 15,923 miles had a Goal of 20,000 miles.

Average ride at the two year mark was 72 miles.

Do what you can and keep it Fun.

NOW: Crashed 2014, 57,000 miles. Brain Damage and Brain Surgery.

Bought a Trike for crash safety. 4,000 trike miles in three years
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Old 07-20-17, 08:50 AM
  #3  
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Well, when I first started back at it this year, after a year off or so (lazy and apathetic, no health issues), I started, literally, by just getting on and going until I was tired basically. Then I was quickly up between 8 and 12 miles and stayed there for quite awhile. Now I'm ramping it up a bit ... generally between 15 and 20 miles or so.

The good news is once your base miles are in your legs, it's easier to make jumps in distance, but your body has to get used to that time in the saddle.

Keep at it ... three miles this week. Seven miles next week, etc ... you'll make quicker progress than you think.
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Old 07-20-17, 09:24 AM
  #4  
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When I started a couple of months ago for the first time seriously ever for me, I was toast after 2 miles. When I bought a better bike I right away hit 5 then 7 then 8 and its been a steady rise from there. 22 is my longest and I try to do 17+ 4 times a week now, so if you stick with it you will gain miles fast.
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Old 07-20-17, 09:39 AM
  #5  
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I think my first ride as an overweight adult was 2 miles. My longest ride is around 68 now over very hilly terrain. It takes time. Do your thing and stay determined.
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Old 07-20-17, 09:45 AM
  #6  
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When I got back on the bike after a 15 year hiatus I'd ride 2-3 miles a day. By the end of the summer I could ride with the kids to a bookstore, 5 miles away, and sometimes ride home. It took me about 4 years to do my first metric century (62 miles), and another year or two to get to 100 miles.
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Old 07-20-17, 10:00 AM
  #7  
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My start wasn't as spectacular as 10 Wheels's was, but it only took one season of riding to get the endurance for long rides. When I retire I'll probably start doing some big years, but I've only got the free time for 4000-5000 miles a year right now. Of course, being in Minnesota and not wanting to give up other winter activities like cross country skiing limits my season. I think I hear a fatbike in my future, though.


When I first started I had been a couch potato for 30 years and had just hit 270lbs, and the first few rides were a mile or two, with long rides about 5. In a couple months as my legs got used to doing something other than sitting or walking I was up to 20 pretty regularly. I stopped riding for a few years - interest faded due to knee pain from arthritis and I got into another hobby I had wanted to do since I was a kid, SCUBA.


Decided to lose weight and start riding again in 2012, with the big goal of a century ride. It seemed like an impossible distance, and I just wanted to have done it once in my life. Picked the 2013 Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride. Rode solo all 2012, thinking that I would be unsafe in a group or an anchor - a bit of body dysmorphia from being the least athletic person in the universe, despite the fact that I was getting to be decently strong. Started 2012 with 10 mile rides, 20 once a week, and by late summer I could do metric centuries if I started out rested. Went to PT for my knees and figured out why nothing I did to correct the problems worked.


Story of my first century attempt:


Got to the Ironman - 42 degrees, 25mph winds, and a downpour. Now I'd just go back to bed, but I had something to prove to myself in an almost self-destructive way. The first leg of the ride was 60 miles, and just about everyone that made it to the rest stop at the 30 mile mark were waiting for busses back to the start. I decided to keep going. There were paramedics at the doors making sure people were OK, one kind of came over to check on me as I started to leave and went and got some latex gloves to keep my hands a little drier. Another rider came running up and asked if she could join me since her riding partner was one of the hundreds who had abandoned. She wanted to finish the 60. That made things a bit easier, and she was kind of a voice of reason talking me out of continuing on after that section. I finally decided to stop after the 60 - she said, "It's pretty obvious that you CAN ride 100 miles whenever you want, but I'd stop after this..." I think it was kind of what I needed to hear, that, yes, I can actually ride that far. Actually doing it was kind of secondary. The temperature had dropped to 39F at that point, and it was as much sleet and freezing rain as rain at that point. I was still a bit disappointed, but the crazy stubbornness was gone. There was a lot of hypothermia in its place, though. Took something like ten tries for my numb fingers to actually unclip my helmet after loading my bike on my car. Not very long after stopping pedaling I realized just how cold it was and I lost body heat really fast. It was hours before my core temperature was back to normal.


tldr; failure!


That was late April. In June I joined a B-level group ride, still kind of worried about messing up other people's ride, but it wasn't so bad. In August, tired of having the century goal hanging out there, on a Saturday afternoon I just decided to go out and do it - just me and my bicycle. Turns out it wasn't really that big of a deal, it wasn't really any more challenging than 40 or 50 miles, just longer.


I'm still down a little fitness after crashing last year training to try out a race or two, went around a corner faster than Gatorskins will allow, broken pelvis. Oops. Kind of dropped the idea of racing because I can't descend or corner like I need to after that, but if my animal brain can start to trust my bike to do what it can do again I might give it a shot. Fitness is mostly back now. 5 and a half years into riding more seriously I can ride a century with no careful planning or extra rest ahead of time, but they kind of have lost their shine because of that. I could probably keep setting incremental goals (5 hour century or something, but that's just 15 minutes off my best, or a double century... Last distance goal was 200k and it just wasn't an interesting goal), but my priorities have changed a little since the crash. It's more about riding in cool places rather than putting up numbers that are starting to mean less and less to me.


It was still amazing to me when someone I occasionally ride with came up to me and said I should come do some 12-hour time trials with him, but he started even heavier at 320lbs, so I really can't find too many excuses.
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Old 07-20-17, 10:20 AM
  #8  
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Wow some similar experiences here and an awesome story from @kc0bbq. Glad to know that I'm around average for someone starting out. I for sure thought I would be below the average. Ive always been a big guy but I have also always been healthy and active enough to where it never interfered with anything I wanted to do. After those 6 months on the couch I am, by far, at my highest weight and it's noticeable in my daily life as far as tiring out easily.

Im going to keep it going at a steady pace and increase. I've got a document I'm keeping to track my mileage over time too. I always feel accomplished when I can see my progression.

Thanks for the replies and I'll be following and reading any more that get added
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Old 07-20-17, 10:34 AM
  #9  
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My first ride was about 5 miles. then for most of the next month my rides hovered between 5 to 9 miles each time, then near the end of that month, I finally broke the 10 mile barrier. After that I still had a few single digit rides but started to pull double digits more and more. I found that there were so many more trails as well that I could ride on. In my 2nd month I was able to go for 22 with some elevation change (About 350 overall very small grade 2%-3% probably at most but tough for me!) but then rides in the 10-20 range were now the norm. By month 3 I hit my best performance, routinely hitting 20+ each time, while finding new trails to visit. I even hit 31.9 miles (slightly over a metric half century!) My numbers slowed quite a bit over the late fall and early winter, but over a nice stretch of warmth in February did two 20 milers and then got up to 40 miles a few days after that. It's still my longest ride to date, but I generally average 20, mainly due to time, not ability.

For me it was tough early on looking on strava and not wanting to go farther than you can when you see your friends and followers doing epic rides. You seem to be doing good though, doing what you can and not going past what you can do early on. I think that's the best way to do it. Do what you can and you'll be doing epic rides before you know it.
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Old 07-20-17, 10:39 AM
  #10  
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When I first started? Less than a mile.

In a year, I was doing an organized Century ride, all as a clyde.

Take my advice: don't worry about what others do, do what you can do. Everyone is built different.
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Old 07-20-17, 11:04 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by kaybe View Post
Wow some similar experiences here and an awesome story from @kc0bbq. Glad to know that I'm around average for someone starting out. I for sure thought I would be below the average. Ive always been a big guy but I have also always been healthy and active enough to where it never interfered with anything I wanted to do. After those 6 months on the couch I am, by far, at my highest weight and it's noticeable in my daily life as far as tiring out easily.
The only other thing to take from my post is don't forget that you have Gatorskins on your wheels and not the stickier tires you're used to.


It's hard not to worry about being behind some mythical curve. It's hard not to be chasing something. It's hard not to be proud of what we've actually been able to do. You're riding a bicycle distances that need to be measured in miles. *Miles*.
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Old 07-20-17, 12:03 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by kaybe View Post

Im going to keep it going at a steady pace and increase. I've got a document I'm keeping to track my mileage over time too. I always feel accomplished when I can see my progression.
Download Strava for your mobile and use it to track your miles. Just stick it in your pocket or bag when you go out.

In fact, to answer your question I'd have to go back and look at Strava to figure out my mileage progression, but basically I started lower and have built up slowly over time. I think it's really going to vary depending on how much riding you're able to do - going from 10 miles to 25 per ride could take a couple months or a couple years.
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Old 07-20-17, 03:10 PM
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I only got into cycling on a regular basis about a month and a half ago. I'm 6'1" 280ish, and was able to push to about 5 miles. I stayed at this distance for a couple of weeks, and then started bumping it up gradually. Yesterday I did my longest ride, 14.6 miles. I'm sure you've heard this before, but don't push yourself too hard at first, and especially with the heat we're having lately. Take a day off to recover and let your body recoup.

BTW, welcome to the forum, from another Jersey guy. I'm just discovering some of the cool places to ride around here, did the D&R Canal yesterday from Washington's Crossing to Lambertville. It's nice and flat and good shade from trees.
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Old 07-20-17, 03:22 PM
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I think I'm just around 300 lbs and two years ago when I started I could only go 2-3 miles. Now I can go 10 on hilly terrain and with cargo, still hoping I can get up to 25 mi rides and beyond.
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Old 07-20-17, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FRC928 View Post
I only got into cycling on a regular basis about a month and a half ago. I'm 6'1" 280ish, and was able to push to about 5 miles. I stayed at this distance for a couple of weeks, and then started bumping it up gradually. Yesterday I did my longest ride, 14.6 miles. I'm sure you've heard this before, but don't push yourself too hard at first, and especially with the heat we're having lately. Take a day off to recover and let your body recoup.

BTW, welcome to the forum, from another Jersey guy. I'm just discovering some of the cool places to ride around here, did the D&R Canal yesterday from Washington's Crossing to Lambertville. It's nice and flat and good shade from trees.
I am trying some routes near home but I am thinking I'll want to start heading off, at least on the weekends. I made it to 4.3 miles today and didn't stop on the last incline on the way home like I usually do. I thought about stopping and then I thought about not stopping and went with that instead. Its only around the block from my house. Bike hit the grass and i plopped onto my front porch lol. I will give my body credit in that I might not have the greatest endurance, but my recovery time is pretty good. I think I'm going to try to ride as many days as possible in a row but go long days & short days alternating.

93 degrees
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Old 07-20-17, 06:07 PM
  #16  
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I am still starting. I'm also about 320-330 and my first ride or two were only around the block. By the second week I could do 1-2 miles at a workout pace. I'm about 3 weeks in and can easily do 3 miles and next ride when I get home (I'm in NYC on business) I'm going to shoot for 4-5. Last ride on Tuesday was 3.5 miles with an average speed of 13mph. I'm about three weeks in of about 3-4 rides per week.
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Old 07-20-17, 06:11 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by kaybe View Post
I am trying some routes near home but I am thinking I'll want to start heading off, at least on the weekends. I made it to 4.3 miles today and didn't stop on the last incline on the way home like I usually do. I thought about stopping and then I thought about not stopping and went with that instead. Its only around the block from my house. Bike hit the grass and i plopped onto my front porch lol. I will give my body credit in that I might not have the greatest endurance, but my recovery time is pretty good. I think I'm going to try to ride as many days as possible in a row but go long days & short days alternating.

93 degrees
Personally my biggest jump came after taking an off day. I had gone 4 days in a row and took one day off. The next ride I went 1 mile further and improved my average speed by 2 mph. I also felt better doing it. Especially early on when you're pushing you body hard in ways it isn't used to, rest days are important. I dropped 50+ pounds a few years back training for a 5k and it was the same. Your muscles need time to recover and build after you push them.
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Old 07-20-17, 08:20 PM
  #18  
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When I first came back to cycling a few years ago, I was over 250lbs and had been very sedentary for quite a while. I was full of cycling ignorance and quite a bit of self-doubt - the ignorance won out and I just rode until I was tired, usually very tired. I knew nothing about cadence, nutrition, rest days or (claimed) average speeds of riders I didn't see on my rides. The one thing i did know... I was slow and the rides were only slightly less than torture (both physically and mentally). Distances ridden each day in my first few months went from under 2 miles to 10 mostly because I rode an out and back route constrained to a river levee --- easy, identifiable landmarks that didn't allow any lying to myself about my actual accomplishment/lack thereof. Also, there were only a few "good" stopping/resting//turn-around places. (Some were good for taking breaks; others were only good for turning around.) Eventually, I wroked up to riding an official 200km brevet in "officially acceptable" time. Along the way, I went from a DF to another DF, thru 3 different trikes, to a long-wheel-based recumbent, and finally got a short-wheel base recumbent. The only bike I have left is the recumbent.

And then fell off the "ride most days of the week" bandwagon (oh, the sacrilege!). Just didn't ride for the most part for about 18 months.

Started again early this calendar year, essentially from scratch, weight back up around the 210 mark, again with no fitness to speak of and fighting respiratory issues (from heat/ humidity, pollen...). Just plugging away like I did before has reaped the same sort of progress, faster actually. Mostly I think it's because I know what to expect and, for me, it's mostly mental difficulties. ("Can't" often comes to mind but is mostly beaten back into silence by "but you've done this before despite all the 'can'ts'"). I've worked my endurance/fitness back up to consecutive 120 mile-a-day rides and even completed an unofficial 600km brevet while "training" for a 1200km ride this autumn.

If you can do 2 miles a ride now.. good for you. Keep doing it. One day go 3 blocks further - or whatever distance strikes you that day. Repeat that on your next ride, and the next, and the next. Do it for a week, two, whatever feels right. Then increase the distance and/or speed slightly again. Rinse/Repeat. Simple as that. (my thighs, lungs and calfs scream laughingly at me as I write that.)

Seriously. Don't focus on anyone else, on their distances or speeds. Ride your own ride. Set and modify goals solely based on YOUR OWN (non-riding) GOALS. Mostly, just keep riding.

Last edited by dual650c; 07-20-17 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 07-21-17, 05:02 AM
  #19  
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I just started riding 'for fun' (for some definition of fun) about 3 weeks ago. Started at two miles, now I've done 7.7miles without a break. My max in one trip was 10 miles, but that was with the family and a stop for lunch basically in the middle.

Right now, if I'm riding solo for exercise, just around the neighborhood, I'll ride till I'm mentally/physically "done" and then try to go another 5-10 minutes, even if it's just to keep moving and do a bit of a cool down.

Last night was 4 miles at a "workout" pace.
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Old 07-21-17, 05:19 AM
  #20  
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I started riding again after loosing my foot and gaining a lot of weight during recovery. My trusty MTB was waiting on me. My first ride was all of a few feet down the street just to see if I could while the wife and son ran along beside me to keep me from falling. My first actual ride was at a flat park nearby and I nearly died after one round, a mile. Within a few weeks I was going five miles and not long after started doing group rides and such.
Within two years of being back to riding, I almost completed an "English" Century at 93 miles, couldn't do one more foot. I wasn't paying attention to what it was ACTUALLY doing to my body and leg, so I have since cut back my riding a great deal. I generally do no more than around 20 miles at a time now.
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Old 07-21-17, 05:46 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by kaybe View Post
.... I'm at 3 miles round trip and am wondering how low that is compared the other 'super clydes' out there......
So lets hear it. Mileage-wise: Where did you start and where are you at today?
After taking an early retirement... the early stages of gout had me off my feet. In the spring I saw a used bike for sale... and thought at least if I can ride a bike I might get some fresh air.

My first ride was to get a coffee. What I had imagined might be a great way to get out of the house and get fresh air and exercise. The ride was barely more than half a mile each way. My legs were so shaky from the ride to the coffee shop... I had trouble standing when I first dismounted. It took weeks before I got up to 3 miles. Then I expanded to 5 miles. And by the winter end-of-season I was doing 10 mile rides.

Seven years later.... I have all the bikes and equipment I could ever ask for (but I continue to acquire more). Most of my rides are between 20-25 miles. But because I ride year around now-a-days my shorter winter rides drops my "average ride" to about 16-18 miles. Barring any injuries or illnesses (I've had one unlucky year) I ride 2000 miles a year.

I lost weight while cycling. I also gained weight back while cycling... then lost and gained again. Although exercise makes weight loss easier... my food intake controls my weight.

Thanks for the chance for me to remind myself of where I started... and how far I've come. It all seems so easy now. But I remember feeling so inferior to other cyclists in those first (many) months.
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Old 07-21-17, 07:19 AM
  #22  
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I began riding my bicycle for fitness in February 2016. I have kept a log of every ride. My first ride was 2.5 miles and it took 25 minutes. I rode 4375 miles the first 12 months. I now average 300 miles a month.
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Old 07-21-17, 08:05 AM
  #23  
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not a 'super clyde' (this week I'm 213 lbs) but may I add some thoughts anyway?

time in the saddle & saddle comfort might be the 1st limiting factor, rather than actual miles. IMHO riding a bike should 1st be fun. the only person a new rider should compete against is him or herself. I wouldn't be so concerned with STATS because over time your personal records will improve. my Wife recently told me her strategy for cycling was "pedal only when absolutely necessary". nice thing about bikes is, they roll even if you don't pedal

with all that said, when I got back into cycling it was to ride to work 17 miles from my home, & another 17 back after work. 1st ride took a long time. be patient with yourself

may God bless with your treatments

Last edited by rumrunn6; 07-28-17 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 07-21-17, 09:52 AM
  #24  
jsigone
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I was a MTBer before I got a roadie. Normal rides were around 10-18miles.

I got my roadie in 2005 (superbowl weekend) and joined some friends the same day, they took me on 56miles loop, I had no food, total newb to endurance. Flatted, tip over crash, stitches. I was about 250 something when I bought my Felt F90. Fell in love with the sport and adopted the life style of being on the bike often. I did 3-4 lunch rides a week plus at least on longer ride similar to my first ride. I still do the same schedule to this day....more or less
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Old 07-21-17, 11:58 AM
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Started on the bike in January of 2015, at a fairly light 250lbs. Knew nothing of pacing, recovery, or anything cycling related. Started with neighborhood rides of 16-20 miles in length, 2-3 times a week... the only problem being I live in the foothills, and was doing 1,000-1500ft of climbing per ride with no base physical fitness. I was limited to 2-3 rides a week because I was basically operating at 90% of my cycling capacity every time I was on the bike. Did my first metric century within 3 months, and my first imperial century in September of that year.

Ended my first year just north of 7,000 miles, with about 300,000ft of vertical. Then just started riding more and more and more, lightly blew myself up in October of 2016, still managed to end the year at 11,800 miles with 450,000ft of vertical. This year I've already broken a frame and my right hand, so I've lost about 7 weeks of riding combined. Nowadays I average 35-40 miles per outing with about 1,500ft, riding 6 days a week. Still hovering around 200lbs, give or take.
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