« Mileage Through March »

It's that time of the month: the truck mileage report! And this aint no April Fool's entry either!

  • January 1, 2009: 209,855
  • February 7: 210,000
  • March 1: 210,120
  • April 1: 210,203

The end of March, the third month of 2009, has my truck odometer at 210,203. Last month's entry was 210,120 miles, so I take that to mean that the month of March saw me drive my Toyota just 83 miles! The year of 2009 so far began at 209,855 miles which brings a total of 348 miles driven so far!

Obviously, the biking is working out well, and the new development has been on a couple of instances when for no really good reason, I've taken a few rides just to get out. One was on a night when my Kelligirl was sick and went to bed early. A fine time to use up some evening that would be wasted on the computer. So I set out, not knowing where in particular I would go. I don't know why, but I have this magnetic attraction to some of the damn hard hills in the region. So, to start that evening off, I hit the hardest, most daunting one I could think of: Illion St. in Bay Park which leads to a slightly milder Milton St. Then I hit a few more for fun along the way. All in all, that ride was just shy of ten miles as I mapped it on Google. The hardest part was dealing with the fog, which made a few dark downhill stretches a bit of an adventure.

Another ride turned out to start the same, again hitting that notorious hill, and then just cruising through places I haven't ridden in years, and several I have never ridden. I got home and mapped that and found it had been just shy of 20 miles.

And of course, I am still doing my commute and trips to church on the bike. A new thing is to ride to a certain destination where Kelli and I need to shop or do other business (coming from different starting locations), do whatever business, then bike back. It sort of reduces our togetherness by a bit, but it is an excuse to say, get to Costco on a bike when everyone knows you can't get out of Costco without a truckload of stuff!

The business of getting to church involves a pretty serious hill entering Mission Hills, with a few paths to choose from. Each time since I got the new bike I had to take some breather breaks. I started with five such breaks and successively cut one out at a time until just a couple weeks ago I found I could do the entire stretch with no pauses. It was quite gratifying. That I did it two days in a row was extra special and helped prompt me to try out other hills with the same approach. The two rides mentioned above were partially exercises of that sort; but even more absurdly than the ride intending to just kill time and burn some calories is the fact that a few days ago, I decided to tackle that same nasty Illion St. hill not once but twice in its entirety solely for the purpose of getting a bit of video! I wasn't going anywhere—it was just to show off. This arose after telling my bike shop salesguys that I have this thing for hills now. Whenever someone comes into the shop and asks why anyone would want to ride a singlespeed bike, they tell the story about me and my 21 speed not being as bold as me and my singlespeed, now happy to ride hills like a pig wallows in mud!

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