In February, 1995, Greg LeMond came to Boise.
Remember Greg? He was the first-ever American to win the Tour de France... several years before whats-his-name... the disgraced guy. LeMond won three times in his career. I stood in line on a gray winter morning to get an audience with him. I got a photo and we chatted. I told him I'd ridden 50,000 miles. (Cumulative, since I started tracking in 1986.) His jaw dropped... he interpreted that to mean I'd ridden 50k miles in a year! I clarified. He laughed, and gave me a signed poster - one of his moments of glory on the Champs-Élysées, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background. He wrote on it, "To Steve, keep it up another 50,000! -Greg LeMond." It's a prized possession, framed along with our photo together.
As it turns out, I did keep it up another 50,000. On September 1, 2004, I rode my bicycle to the Statehouse and lofted it high above my head, in a lame imitation of Rocky! Because that was the day I hit 100,000 miles. My office friends were there to celebrate with me.
In 2004, another 100,000 miles seemed insurmountable. Like climbing to a high peak, and seeing for the first time, the distant, even-higher mountain range. Shades of Lewis & Clark!
Well... time marches on, and the miles keep rolling underneath me.
Yesterday, I hit 190,000 miles. Now that tall range is much nearer to the view. I should hit that peak sometime in 2022, based on current annual mileages.
(This may seem like a silly diversion to many. And I'd still be riding, even if I didn't keep track. However, I'd be lying if I said that "chasing those miles" wasn't a motivation for me. Frosting on the cake. I keep daily track in multiples of 5... you know 10 miles, 15 miles, 20, etc. I put a checkmark next to 15, whether I ride 15.01 miles or 19.99 miles. So if time isn't a factor, I'll almost always be motivated to hit the next higher number. The Missus keeps things in perspective. When I boast, "I've ridden 5000 miles this year!," her reply is "That's nice.")