Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Round and round...and round

Wheels keep on turning and turning and turning
and nothings disturbing the way they go around.
Wheels keep on turning and turning and turning
and nothings disturbing the way it goes around.
-The Wheel by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians

Who here doesn’t know there personal record for solo miles driven in a single day? Be it either a midnight-to-midnight period or a continuous 24-hour period. Hmmm? (And yes, I know the song lyrics above have nothing to do with driving, more the wheel of life, but we’ll get to that).

I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours…

My personal best came on a drive from Pittsburgh to Beaumont, Texas. As insane as I may seem sometimes, I knew I couldn’t make that in one hop. But I did make it in one really long hop and another that was considerably shorter. The first day, the record day if you will, started around 6 a.m. north of Pittsburgh and ended 17 hours later at 10 p.m. just south of Jackson, Miss.

“Wait, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. is only 16 hours, so you’re lying already!”

Under normal circumstances I might be stretching the truth a bit, but I'm not. In this case I had the benefit of crossing from the Eastern to Central time zone, thereby gaining an extra hour of driving time.

In the end, when I dragged my ass into a motel in Jackson, I looked at my trip odometer and it read “10.” As in 1,010 miles. I’d rolled it in a day.

You get past 900 and something in your head is like, “No way I’m not getting to a thousand.”

That’s kinda how I felt this past weekend. I had an odometer at 973 miles and there was no way the weekend was ending without hitting a thousand. About halfway down Ohio Drive SW, 27 miles into a 33 mile ride, and at a 17 or so mile per hour pace, the odometer on my bike rolled from 999.9 to 1,000.0.

It was a very moving moment for all involved. Cymbals crashed, fireworks exploded and the band played on.

Or that could have just been the sounds of traffic around me. I like my way better.

Overall, it took me a little more than a year to reach this mark. Truth be told, I probably hit a thousand miles sometime in May, but since I got my bike in April 2010, but didn’t get my computer until the end of May, there are some lost miles. Probably about 100.

Now I know, from a hardcore cyclist point of view, 1,000 miles in a 13 months is not a whole lot. My brother, who bought a new bike about a week before me last year, put 2,000 miles on it before 2010 turned to 2011. But 635 of those came during an eight-day ride from San Francisco to San Diego in October. Still, that kicks a lot of ass in my opinion.

But I’m pretty happy with my accomplishment and, while I don’t think I’ll roll to 2k this year, I’m pretty sure I’ll actually put at least a thousand on the bike before the year ends…unless I keep up my current pace which would see me rolling from 9s to 0s sometime in October.

We’ll see.

One sour note to my triumphal ride: If someone happens to find a small saddle bag with a spare innertube, tire spoons and inflator (not to mention a Motorola Razor) on the Capital Crescent trail between G-town and Bethesda, drop me a line, I’d like the tire-changing gear back. I already bricked the phone and replaced it with an iPhone, so that’s really all good. More on my new toy in the future.

And, finally, we’ll end this 1,000-mile post with some pictures of other people riding bikes. These are from last weekend’s Clarendon Cup. The race was 100k on a 1k circuit in Clarendon. These guys did 60 miles in about two hours twisting and turning their way through the streets of Arlington.

For more pics of the race, go to my
Flickr stream (or click the cool box to the right).

On your marks...get set...GO!

This is like, two laps in and these two guys already put some distance on the field.

Yes, I laid down on the street to get this picture.

I tried to crop this picture and the next two as close as possible to the same ratio since they all took place in about six-tenths of a second. Click...

If you want to take a 100-degree turn at 30 mph, this is how you and your friends have to do it.

This was a snap shot. I was sitting and enjoying a beer at the Wood Grill and I looked across the street and saw this, I assume, father and son. I yanked the camera out of the bag and let the motor drive run as the peloton sped by.
Imagine, if you will, being in a pack of cyclists going 30+ mph around a 100-degree turn. Allatonce. It might be enough to make you want to slam on

Stay on target.

Not a completely bad motto to live by.


HK said...

Woo-hoo! 1000 miles is a fantastic accomplishment. Great photos, too. I've driven from Houston Texas to Eastern NC in a day but not solo and I was young, 20 or so.

Anonymous said...

arlington, VA to baton rouge, LA - 1140 miles, 18 hours, 39 minutes. 10:23 PM to 4:45 PM the next day. that was the worst thing i have ever done in my life. and after i got there? definitely hit the bars. i was awake for about 42 hours in a row...

FoggyDew said...

HK - I kinda did that when I left Texas back in '06 - Beaumont to Charlotte, but I stopped somewhere in Alabama or Mississippi for the night. Still, a long drive.

mags - That is insane. But respect, girl. Getting somewhere because of a party is a perfectly acceptable reason. Case in point: My brother went from Vegas to Chicago in less than 36 hours for the same reason.