Kyle got me "Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike" by Grant Petersen for my birthday this year. He also got me an iPad case made out of a used bicycle tire and a bottle opener made out of used bicycle parts. Very good calls across the board.
I'm enjoying the book, but I'm not sure I agree with everything Grant says. So I'm going to throw one out there now and then, and allow folks to argue the points with me. First of all, #2, Don't Count the Miles. I agree somewhat. I don't focus on mileage myself. I'm always more interested in how much time I get out to ride and how many days a year I can align my schedule to get out and ride. But I DO use mileage. To watch if I'm getting stronger and healthier. If I'm doing a casual ride on my trainer and I find my mileage sneaking up over the course of the winter without pushing for it, I can be pretty sure that I'm getting stronger and/or healthier. When I see the mileage tick down for an equivalent ride (usually 40-60 minutes), I worry that a.) I'm overdoing it, b.) I'm not eating right, c.) I'm not spending enough smaller/shorter rides on the bike, d.) I'm not focusing on my cadence at all so I'm getting inefficient - not bad by itself, but that cuts into how far I get to go on casual rides during the summer, e.) I'm not riding enough. Truthfully, I could probably count calories just as easily as my trainer has that function and I tend to watch those rather than the odometer, but in the end it's all the same. Perhaps I do agree - the mileage doesn't matter. But some metric is still useful, and mileage works as well as any other.