What a month. My stats for the month are relatively mind-blowing for me. The best part of the month was definitely participating in the Great Cycle Challenge to raise money for the fight against kids’ cancer. It was an incredibly tiring but rewarding experience for me and has me entering July with just a slightly higher level of confidence in my abilities to complete the Big Ride.
I Can See For Miles and Miles and Miles and Miles and 1,626 More Miles
I pedaled for 1,630 miles in the month of June. That number requires some breakdown. My personal mileage record entering June was May 2017 at 883 miles. That means I was 136 miles away from doubling my personal best. Additionally, my highest annual mileage total was 2015 at 4,180.7 miles. That means I pedaled for 39% of my highest annual mileage total in the month of June.
I have pedaled for 396 hours in the year 2017 thus far. In the month of June, I pedaled for 113 hours, accounting for 29% of my total time in the saddle for the year. Going back to that personal best year of 2015, my highest hour total for a given month was 55 hours in August, 2015, the month of RTYD III–a 26-hour marathon ride. That means June 2017 doubled the hours of August 2015 (I also more than doubled the 729 miles I put up that month).
I posted my longest ride of the year at 166.4 miles, which was a dry run of Day 1 of the Big Ride from Iowa City to Ottawa, Illinois.
I successfully completed my first ever back-to-back century ride weekend…and then did it two more times.
I put up my highest weekly mileage total, a number that has continually increased throughout the training process. For perspective, when I first started the process of training, my highest weekly totals were as follows:
As you can see, I doubled my highest weekly total in the month of June. That weekend included the Day 1 dry run of the Big Ride.
Another interesting stat is my total elevation gain during this crazy epic month. Naturally, the highest mile week in June also was the highest in elevation gain, clocking in at 14,928 feet. This included a ride in which I went over 5,000 ft of climb.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
I logged some crazy hours on the bike this month. I pedaled for more miles this month than any other, and I went…well, there’s not that many places to go in Iowa so I just popped over to Illinois a few times.
Honestly, the trips during the month were not all that eventful in terms of where I went. I had several mornings completing the same 30-mile loop to school and a few weekend rides pounding out a loop that goes through Cedar Rapids, across to Mt. Vernon, and back down to Iowa City. I made trips as far west as Cedar Falls and as far east as Ottawa, Illinois. I also visited the Mississippi twice, once on the trip to Ottawa, which was part of my Day 1 dry run of the Big Ride.
In addition to pedal time, I spent a lot of time waiting for my wife to rescue me as I had several mishaps with the bike itself, most of them occurring during one weekend session.
Compared to other months, these trips seem relatively mundane, especially when considering the amount of mileage I completed. But to sum it all up, I pounded along the same stretches of pavement several times in the month of June.
The Great Cycle Challenge: The Conclusion
This month was incredible, not just because of the myriad of stats I accumulated, but because of the reason why I worked so hard to accumulate them. I have been biking for a long time as I have explained before, but I have never taken part in any organized activity or ride before this month. To be able to ride for a cause spurred me on more than I thought. Add in some friendly competition while leaderboard gazing, and you have a mile-packed month. Shout out to “Jac Cale” who finished #1 in Iowa for mileage and at my last count on June 30th, had me beat by 225 miles.
Also a massive shout out to all the donors who contributed to my efforts and the more important, larger effort of the Great Cycle Challenge, which is to help fund the efforts of science in finding a cure for kids’ cancer. Special thanks to Ma, Pa, Gram, Goose, cousin Megan, “Anonymous,” Dr. Dunham, Dr. Riccio, Anonymous part 2, Aunt SUE-san, Schoffs x5, Wissman, Ma and Pa part 2, Mags (winner of best comment award), Mahesh Potatoes, Aunt Kathy, B. Plunks, the du Toit’s, the Natalia’s, the Podraskys, the Chatterjees, and finally “Jac Cale,” my faux competitor.
This challenge pushed me to my limits and only worked to increase my chances of being able to actually complete the Big Ride. I have no idea what my cycling endeavors will be come August this year, but I am quite sure I will be participating in this event again in a year’s time. Maybe I’ll shoot for 2,000 miles next June.