In fact, I have completed most of the journey already. Well, sort of. What I really meant to say is that I estimate that before Christmas, when my 2011 riding season comes to an end, I will have ridden the distance between Halifax to Vancouver and back. No wonder I’m a little tired.

According to Google Maps, the distance between Halifax and Vancouver is 5,878 kilometers so a total of 11,758 kilometers for the round-trip. As I write this post I have already ridden 9,136 kilometers in 2011. Not bad for a guy who hangs out on the hills riding at low speed. It took me 370 hours and 49 seconds to complete the distance (PS: there is 168 in total in a week). I burned 205,342 calories, the equivalent of 380 Big Macs or 1,785 Oreo cookies. Neurosurgeon Jeff will be happy to hear that it is also the equivalent of 2,851 Snickers bars or 7.81 Snickers bars per day.

Last year I rode 8,321 kilometers in 387 hrs, 48 minutes and 42 seconds. I also burned 206,166 calories.

This is how the last four years stack up:


 What makes me think I will ride over 11,758 kilometers in 2011? Here’s the math:

I have at least 44 hours of training left before I leave for a CTS bike camp in Tucson, Arizona on November 14th. That represents about 1,100 kilometers (at an average speed of 25 km/hour). While in Tucson I will ride about 560 kilometers, including about 240 kilometers on November 19th when I will ride both the 109 miles and 40 miles El Tour De Tucson race. So that is a total of 10,796 kilometers by November 19th. So the real challenge will be to ride about 10 hours a week between November 20th and December 25th. It can be done. It will be done.

Riding this much and being this fit comes at a cost and it requires big sacrifices. And I don’t mean riding 4 hours a day two days in a row at minus 3 C and strong winds back in March. I don’t mean riding indoors for three hours on the trainer and doing interval training last winter. I don’t mean driving two hours by myself to Jay Peak sometime in May, riding solo for seven hours and then driving back home. I don’t even mean riding in the cold rain for 3:30 hours two days in a row with KK last week end. I am referring to the sacrifices my wife Mary Lou and our kids make and the cost it has on them. Without their support and understanding I couldn’t do 25 percent of what I was able to achieve this past year. I am a blessed man. Being on my bike for more than 370 hours in ten months means I have been away from my family on my bike for the equivalent of 46 days at an average of eight hours a day. That is the equivalent of a month and a half!

I belong to the category of cyclists that Chris Carmichael refers to as “Time Crunched”. Glad to hear I am “Time Crunched”, imagine otherwise. All I can say is that in Chris’ next edition of his book on Time Crunched athletes he should add a chapter on the people who allow Time Crunched athletes to perform: family members. Let’s never forget about their crucial contribution to our cycling “careers”.

Now, what is my plan for next year? I am not sure yet. Maybe we should have a family dinner and talk it over.

Love you guys. Thank you for your patience…..