Monday, January 01, 2007


Yesterday I went out to take advantage if the unseasonably warm weather to ride one last bit of bike trail before the rain came in the afternoon. I started at Saltsburg and headed east on the West Penn Trail to scout out the new section connecting the trail through State Games Lands 328 to the Conemaugh Dam. 6 miles each way. Then I headed west as they completed building the bridge over Blacklegs Creek, opening up a whole new section of trail to Avonmore. About 5 miles each way. Then it was south along the Westmoreland Heritage Trail and back. 2.5 miles each way.

At the end of my riding, my bike's odometer read 2,494 miles for the year.

I don't feel any particular disappointment that I wasn't able to to come up with 6 more miles to roll it over to a nice round number like 2,500, but I had set a rough goal of topping 3,000 miles for the year. Not because the number itself means anything in and of itself but because it is representative of the amount of exercise and sightseeing I would like to accomplish.

I also downloaded the logs of my Geocaching and ran them through a statistical program. That revealed that I had only found 37 caches in 2006 when in previous years I had logged closer to 70. Again, this isn't a contest and I don't win by finding more caches than anyone else but the numbers show that I'm not getting out as much as I used to. I'm not riding the trails as much. I'm not hiking as much. I'm not exploring as much. And that is what it is about.

So, herein I make my New Year's Resolution (tm) to ride 3,000 miles on my bike and find at least 70 geocaches.

The 3,000 miles should be relatively easy. Since Codename P has been caught and promised to not vandalize my car anymore, I no longer have to park at the Swineborne lot it hopes of gathering more evidence against him. I can go back to parking at the top of Schenley Park. That should just about double my daily commute. That's easily an additional 1,000 miles right there.

Geocaching may be a little more of a challenge to bring those numbers back up. It will take dedicating a certain amount of time on weekends to the endeavor. Much of it can be combined with bike riding, especially on trails I haven't already ridden yet, but mostly it will require a dedication to getting out at least once a week.

And remember, the numbers aren't the goal. Getting out is the goal. The numbers are just a measure of that.

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