It’s like missing the spare, leaving one pin standing. Hot looking girls are a perfect dime not a California 9. It’s a gymnast getting docked a tenth for a slight wobble on an otherwise 10.0 vault. Lately, as you'll see interspersed between paragraphs, every ride I’ve done recently has come up 9’s: 49 miles, 59 miles, 29 miles. Sure, I could roll the extra distance, take a circle around the block or noodle an out and back down the street, but that’s questionable ethics isn’t it? Every mile must have a purpose.
July 5th The Full Nelson Ride: 49.7
For a cyclist, a ride distance ending in 9 is the marathon equivalent of running a 26.1. Track athletes don’t do the 99 meter dash. No one takes a picture of their car’s odometer with 99,999 miles. They wait for the big 100k before locking the steering wheel with their knee and snapping the Facebook photo.
June 30th BioWheels Sat Morn Beatdown: 59.3
There’s people I know, dirty dishonest cheating people that I stick my tongue out at, that’ll go the extra mile or tenth to get over the hump. Not me. I prefer to stew in disappointment and despair, cuz that’s the way uh huh uh huh I like it (KC & The Sunshine Band.) I don’t think that counts. The ride was over when you arrived back at the parking lot, the house, the bridge or wherever it was over.
However I once, strong armed by riding companions, dipped my toes in the foul water and rode the out and back of shame to turn a 98 mile ride into a century. I’m still not sure putting off the shower and sandwich an extra 10 minutes was worth it. It certainly felt like cheating, not quite something I’d bring up in a confessional, but more like using white-out on a term paper.
June 27th NKY Amsterdam Loop: 29.5
Noodling out the extra mile doesn’t count for me. You either ride 100 miles or 50 miles or 25 miles or you don’t. Circling in the parking lot or a zip around the block at 10mph is not riding. The only way to legitimately tack on mileage to a ride that may fall short is to add purpose. Otherwise, it’s a sad pathetic empty mile.
June 26th Dayton Silver Grove: 29.8
So here’s how to ethically add the distance to your ugly ride that ends in nine. Do something special with that extra mile. Ride to the store and buy your companions a coke or an ice cream. Take that mile and see how far you can go no-handed. Go after the nearest Strava segment. Go back to the intersection where you saw the penny on the road and pick it up. Hammer that extra mile as hard as you can. Bikefucious says, “100 miles is not a century if not all are ridden with purpose.”