Malcolm Gladwell (“Blink”, “Outliers” and other best sellers) says that true, world-class mastery of any discipline – be it athletics or computer programming or musical proficiency – requires at least 10,000 hours of practice. The TimesOnline UK has a nice summary of this 10,000 Hour Rule, if you’re not familiar with it. Link here.
I’ve ridden more than 60,000 miles since I started keeping serious track in 1987. That’s more than 2,600 miles per year, every year, for almost a quarter of a century. A lot of riding, right? Well – it doesn’t even get me close to 10,000 hours. 60,000 miles at an estimated lifetime average of 15 mph is – do the math – 4,000 hours. Not even half.
The upside I suppose is that "expert cyclist" must be a satisfying thing to accomplish when you're 80.