better, study of - Pete Carapetyan's personal blog

Cycling 773 Miles in 21 Days - Be Careful What You Ask For

13 May 2010
Posted by Pete Carapetyan

The first thing I promised myself after a 15 month contract finished was a straight 21 day cycling spree.

I finished it Tuesday of this week. That was a couple days ago, and my body is still thinking about what it was that I did to it. I swear, I've even got callouses on my butt now, on the bone tips that touch the seat. Guess it's only logical.

It's been nice getting a couple of whole days of work in without a riding interruption, but mostly it's been nice just getting some physical rest, and trying to remember what normal feels like. 


I've got all my best photos from this circuit stored mostly on this blog. Too lazy to re-post them here. They are pretty though.


21 days - April 21st to May 11th

36 mile circuit (except one day at 43 miles)

16 mph fastest two days. Other days closer to 13-14 mph.

42,000 calories burned (by Livestrong calculator)

Dreams of being Lance

An acknowledged dopamine addict for decades now, I've had this cycling jones for the last 25 years. It's only recently with the kids out of the nest that I can really follow the dream - or at least - when contracts allow. But this is the first time I've ever given myself so much time to ride in one consecutive spread. I'll never race competively, not at 55, but it's fun to race against my best times, and race against some of the youngsters that loop around White Rock Lake, where I ride.

My legs hurt. That was about 4 days into the 21. Then, they kept hurting. Every day, they would just be sore. Dang. This is supposed to be fun. I even thought I'd lose a little bit of weight, but instead I think my leg trunks just got tighter and bigger, and the scale barely budged. 

I got a couple days in that were so fast they almost met my all time records. The third week, my legs all of a sudden stopped hurting. I could feel the shift, there was some kind of power thing where they decided that "heh this is no big deal, let's go!" That got really fun, and my times were fast, but now it wasn't because I was trying to go fast, it was just happening. 

Don't Complain

Paula put up with the complaining about the soreness for about two days. Then, she got almost as sore as my legs. "Pete, if you're hurting.  just quit riding." At least she didn't say " big dummy." It was hard for me to understand her statement, for a couple minutes.

Then I realized  "Heh! I'm the one who set this crazy goal."  She was only being - you know - logical. "Gee whiz, Paula". That logic stuff...What's up with that? I did clam up though, figured it might be a good idea if I was going to keep riding.

I also discovered something about this dopamine rush that I love so dearly. You don't notice it if you don't rest a day in between. There is no up because yesterday's dopamine is still floating around. Oh well. But it didn't seem to cut down on the clarity benefit. That blow-out thing that I like about riding, where it seems to just blast your brains past all the normal garbage that clutters inside, that seemed pretty dependable even with the daily rides.

Making Friends

One side benefit of going every day on the same circuit is you seem to make more friends than when you go out on the weekends. Not sure if that was just because I was in a space to do so, but I met a few people and had a few nice conversations. That was an unexpected benefit.

The morning riders, and the retired cyclists that go out every day - these are guys that make me appreciate what a nice chance I had, just to go cruising every day. To feel the wind in the cold early May mornings. To look around me at the beauty and only partly realize how fortunate I was to have this opportunity.

Fuzzy Greenery

Spring in Texas is a super duper growing season, and this was certainly no exception. My route goes through miles and miles of dedicated green spaces, and it was exploding from every pore.

By the third week it was starting to feel almost like the green stuff was going to crowd the trail. That's a 6 to 12 foot wide trail, so it takes a lot of greenery to make you feel crowded on a trail that wide. It seemed like it was growing so fast it was almost like it was feeling fuzzy or something. Quite a feeling.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy day. Maybe it'll break enough to let find a 3 hour window so I can get a ride in. Gotta stay in shape, tour of Texas is right around the corner!