Cycling Perfection – odometer delights

IMG_3333 An odometer seems an odd name for a cycling computer and most people would surely guess that it measures smelliness or some other such nonsense, but each day we watch as the numbers change, the distance rolls by and the speed rises and falls marking our progress across the world.
We have different ways of using it, I have to put mine on maximum speed so it gives me no information about my (lack of) progress unless I choose to press the buttons. I can meditate along and forget the huge distance I need to ride to find food or shelter. With my mathematical brain I find myself calculating times of arrival at this speed or working out how fast I need to ride if I am to get somewhere before dark. I would rather not know.

Isabelle on the other hand has her odometer on the distance for the day, something which I find intensely annoying (although I do like to look every hour or so)
As we get further into our journey we find ourselves getting excited by daily distances of 100 km or more, or the major milestones of 1000 km, 2000 km, 3000 km etc.
This nerdy obsession has developed into an attempt to reach a kind of odometer paradise where all numbers on the screen are identical. I will explain……..
6 digit perfection
Method 1: Cycle at 6.6 km/hr when the distance for the day is on 66.66 km. This is relatively easy as the opportunity occurs most days although there is only a 10m window of opportunity. Attained TWICE!

Method 2: Travel at 9.9 km/hr when the total distance for our whole trip is 999.9 km. This was the first 6 digit odometer heaven that I reached.
6 digit perfection just left me and Isabelle hungry for even higher achievements……
7 digit perfection 
Method 1: 33.3 km/hr when the total distance is 333.3 km…..easy!

Method 2: 6.6 km/hr when the total distance is 6666.6 km…even easier!
8 digit perfection
Method 1: Cycle at 22.2 km/hr when the total distance is 2222.2 km. ACHIEVED!! I can hear your cheers. It wasn’t difficult!

1111 Method 2: The holy grail of 8 digit heaven is the following: 111.11 km in one day travelling at 11.1 km/hr. We have had many opportunities to reach this target but it is almost impossible. We’ve had near misses, 111.11 km at 11.2 km/hr was my closest, but 10m is such a short window of opportunity to achieve this giddy target. We’ve practised cycling at 11.1 km/hr just so that when the distance is right we are ready to achieve……but we’ve always failed……….until yesterday!!
I am very proud to announce that as I approached Samarkand on March 27th 2009 I reached true odometer nirvana and on a slight climb (which I feel helped) was able to cycle at 11.1 km/hr at the exact moment that the total distance for the day reached 111.11 km. Passing cars would have wondered why the crazy cyclist was punching the air and whooping with excitement, but they had no idea of the number of failed attempts that we have both had. 111.11 km is a long way with a fully loaded bike and it doesn’t take much to break your spirit when you fail to reach your 8 digit goal. It was worth all the disappointment though when I finally succeeded. I can sleep easily now, instead of tossing and turning dreaming of the previously unattainable.
As I am sure all you high achieving readers have also found in life, when you reach the pinnacle of success, it can feel as though the future can only get worse.
What is there left to cycle for? Should we give up and fly home?
9 digit perfection
There will never be a better daily target but there is a way of having more digits:

We will have to wait a while before we have a chance of reaching this target….11,111.1 km while cycling at 11.1 km/hr.
I’m excited and salivating at the thought of it. A whole 100m to achieve it does however make it a little less exciting. I might even have a chance of taking a photo of it…..digitally preserved for ever! (The picture above is digitally enhanced just to help you feel a little of the pleasure that I felt – I hope it helps)

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