Cycling in small doses

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Those small bicycling rides can add up.

Instead of waiting until my mood and the weather is just right for a big ol' monster bicycle ride, I've been using my bicycle for light errands in whatever the weather.

Here in the Northwest, that usually means drizzle and temperatures in the upper 30s to 40s — not ideal for cycling but better than freezing cold and snow or ice.

What happens is that once I'm outside, that chill and drizzle doesn't seem as bad as it did when I was sitting in my warm house. After I'm done at the bank, or the store, or the Blockbuster, I'm apt to point my bicycle down the road instead of pedaling back home. A two-mile ride turns into a 10- or 15-mile ride. The total mileage on my bicycle training log shows 214 for January, instead of the usual wintertime 80 to 100 miles.

And I always feel great when I get home.

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