>from boulder to north pole, alaska and some really simple math that’s got me all tingly inside

>about a year and a half ago (some time in may 2007,) i bought a computer for my bike. it’s a small little device that lives on the handlebars. there’s a magnet that’s connected to one wheel, and everytime the wheel turns a revolution, the computer counts it. the computer does the math and, based on the size of my wheels, i can see how fast i’m currently going, (as i type this, my current speed is a whopping 0 mph,) what my average speed is (my current average is 13.7 mph,) my top speed (to date it’s around 42 mph, but lately, the top speed is around 38 mph,) a trip odometer (last time i reset it was when aspen was here, i’ve got about 180 miles since that reset,) and an overall odometer. this is where our story begins. (there’s also a timer, which tells me how long i’ve been on the bike–in motion– a>since the last trip reset as well as overall. these two features i rarely use for some reason.)
this morning, about 1/3 of a mile from work, my overall odometer passed 3,000 miles. 3,000 miles. three thousand miles. we moved to lafayette in february, and i remember fondly passing the 1,000 mile mark that week. that’s about one thousand miles in 12 months, give or take–ok, just take– three months. then, about 3 months later, the odometer turned over to 2,000 miles. in three months, i had done as much riding as the previous 9 months. now, 3 months later, i’ve done the same again.
i told thedalyn this exciting news, (what’s the exciting news, you ask? that i rolled the odometer over to 3000 miles today. try to keep up, dear readers,) and her response was “we live farther away now.” awesome. way to join in the excitement.

something else that struck me today, as i was riding in to work, watching the counter get closer and closer to 3 with 3 zeros behind it, is that 3,000 is not really all that different than 3,001 or 2,999. is mile number 24 any more special than mile number 3,564,852?. for some reason, we put some kind of mystical weight on “round” numbers. the only thing i could think of is that it’s special because of it’s place on a number line.
there was a time when odometers and counters and things were analog, with little wheels with printed numbers that turned with gears, etc, where the 10’s wheel turned once for every ten rotations of the 1’s wheel, the hundred’s for every ten turns of the 10’s wheel. when these types of odometers would get to a round number like 3,000, that one mile from 2,999 to 3,000 is pretty much like all the others, but as that ones wheel turns into place once more, it drags with it 3 other wheels this time, something that only happens every 1,000 revolution.
i can only imagine in 21 months, when the computer’s “gears” roll over to 10,000 miles. will i be 10 times as excited? probably not. but it will be cool to see all those numbers roll over to zero as a new column is introduced.

i’m not sure what the point of all this is, other than maybe a poorly disguised way for me to brag to the world that i’ve ridden that bike the distance from lafayette, colorado to north pole, alaska in about 18 months. not that it would take me 18 months to do that if i was traveling to north pole alaska, since i’m averaging about 7.8 miles per day at this rate. if i was going to ride my bike to alaska, hopefully i’m going to put more miles behind me than 8 per day.

what have i learned in all those hours on my bike (233 hours and 51 minutes to be exact?

a new seat would be nice.

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