n+1 and my quest for 5,000 miles in 2018

I often think about (but haven’t questioned) the passionate (some may call obsessive) manner in which I pursue things that I love to do. It’s part of my DNA to go all-in (or on the contrary, all-out). And admittedly it goes in waves. In school it was tennis, field hockey, volleyball, softball, track. Then triathlon, mountain biking, skiing, golf. Then shooting sporting clays (which is really like golf with a shotgun). Then golf again.

And it’s come full circle back to the bike. Where I am happiest and feel most alive. Where I can take an easy spin or climb the highest peaks. Where I can ride with friends or seek solitude. Where I can set goals and measure progress and improvement — these are all things I thrive on.

So at the onset of 2018 I set a goal to ride 5,000 miles within the year. This came on the heels of a friend introducing me to the discipline of cyclocross (CX) in the fall of 2017, followed by a few months learning new skills and truly testing my anaerobic threshold during 45-minute redline efforts at races on the weekends. I had a smile on my face, from ear-to-ear, every time.

Mile 75 at the Jensie Gran Fondo / Idaho Waffle Cross — Photo by Johnny Harrell

It lit a fire inside me — this new challenge — this opportunity to get stronger and tap into everything I love about being on my bike. So what did I do? Of course, I went all-in. I don’t think I know any other way. I hired a cycling coach (Matthew Busche, Carmichael Training Systems)and we set a mixed bag of goals for the year — goals that play to a variety of things I enjoy about being on my bike or want to try my hand at. Goals that speak to many disciplines of cycling (and my propensity to be a sports gear fanatic.) Gravel. Road. Time trial. Gran Fondo. Cyclocross…

This is where the n+1, or Rule #12 comes in: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1. While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. (Velominati)

Today I checked in with myself on my goals. July 1st will mark the halfway point of 2018, and also the time for my 2011 road bike to find a new home.

I’m 2,712 miles in, and my new ‘+1’ arrived this week. It will be my travel companion to Italy this summer, where we’ll hammer out as many miles as we can. Where we’ll ride the roads of the Julien Alps and climb the highest paved road in Slovenia (Mt. Mangart).

While some may question my approach. Some may call it impulsive. Or compulsive. I simply feel passion. Commitment. Grit. Perseverance.
And a desire to be the best I can be. I’m investing in myself. I’m investing in fun. And in my ‘year of hell yes.’ #smilealways #laughmore #choosekind

Before my first cyclocross race in October 2017… #ilovemybike #ctsathlete #yearofhellyes

A life lived all-in.