Yearly Mile

This time last year someone turned my on to the website Daily Mile. It's a social media tool for keeping a log of exercise activities. I've used it to keep track of how much I bike.

(from teachandlearn on Flickr)

In the past year I biked 2450 miles.

At first glance, it seems like a pretty significant number. After all, that's good for 3 complete trips between Cleveland and Washington - on a bike. At the same time, most of my riding is simply around the city. Getting to and from the places I need to go; and my trips are relatively short. When I biked to college, I only lived a mile and half away from campus. Now, I live a little more than 2 miles from my job.

The more I think about it though, the more I wonder... how do people who own cars manage to put a hundred thousand miles on them in only a few years? It isn't taking long road-trips every week - it's mostly from getting around. Even short distances add up after a while. Medium and long distances really start to add up after a while.

That's the thing about distance - it's so hard for the human mind to comprehend it. If I told someone I biked 2450 miles in a year, would they think that was a lot? What if I told them I biked 47 miles per week? Or 6.7 miles per day? Do the math - it's all the same.

I honestly believe this is how a lot of people wind up driving incredibly long distances for everything. Because when they break it down by day, it's a comfortably small number. But we don't live in a single day. Ultimately, all those days add up.