Neck ‘N Neck

For those of you who might be keeping an occasional eye on that little bike mileage tally box to the right, you’ll notice I’ve surpassed the 5,000-mile mark in my annual bike ridings, both commuter and recreational.

I should be all happy about that, but somewhat frustratingly I’ve actually biked less mileage than I’d accumulated on this day last year. And while it’s only a deficit of 15 miles it’s still a surprise to me that I’m basically running even with 2008.

I’d started out riding strong in 2009. Over the winter and into the spring I built up a 200-mile “lead” over last year’s efforts. And when I finished April far below average, I responded with “Bike Every Day In May” and knocked out 849 miles in that month alone. But then I flat-out faltered in the summer months, erasing that overall cushion so that now I’m knocking on October’s door and I’m really going to have to buckle down and crank it if I hope to finish this year with more miles than the 6,608 I finished with at the end of the previous one.

See last October I ended up riding my original record of 717 miles for the month. So unless I come close to matching that next month, there’s a chance November will find me not just 15 miles down, but 150 — maybe more.

Given last November’s lowlowlow mileage of 247 I’ll have a chance to play catch up this November, but then the pressure will be on to match or exceed the 547 miles logged in December 2008.

I’m telling you: this has all the makings of coming down to the wire — especially if we have wetter weather than we did at the end of 2008. After the first quarter of 2009 I was thinking 7,000 miles was totally attainable. Now I’m hoping for 6,610.