Not that beast. I mean beast mode. I’m not a believer in magical numbers (unless my lottery tickets finally pay off). It was my second longest month ever, after the 731 I did in April 2017 including 202 Miles in 2 Days for the MS 150. Given my lack of a day job at the moment, I made it my bidness (as some people actually pronounce “business” in Texas) to bike my butt off (it’s still there, though). And bidness is goooood! That’s because I averaged 150 miles per week. Well, I guess it’s volunteering if I’m not getting paid.
It’s surprising that I accomplished this since it takes me longer than it used to. I could blame Sophie, the 28-pound steel bike with nine gears I’m riding, or the prematurely colder, windy and wet weather, but I’m just not moving very fast these days. Some people I know rode Das Hugel, an unsanctioned sufferfest that’s over a century and 10,000 feet elevation (I wrote about it last year.) A Dude doth not Das Hugel. However, compared to everyone who’s home sitting on the couch, I’m friggin’ Speed Racer. So perhaps my efforts are inspirational to somebody out there reading this. You don’t have to believe me, let’s look at the Strava stats.
Strava Does Not Lie
So yeah, there’s your proof. Some other interesting tidbits:
- I rode every single day. One day was 1 mile, but the rest were over 7, usually over 10, with two 50+ mile-days, one 40+, and two 30+.
- Elevation = 18,514 feet, well over three miles going uphill. Actually it would have been more, since I had a few rides that my Garmin watch didn’t register, and manual entries count elevation as 0.
- Time spent = 68 hours and 34 minutes, or almost three full days of cycling.
- This 31-day period started on my birthday, 10/11.
- Total rides = 55.
- One day I worked 14 hours and on that and every day, I did all this biking, and I still did my 30′ walk, 30′ yoga session, and 30′ or more blog or book editing every day.
What Did I Learn?
Well, a few things:
- If you have the luxury of TIME, and you make the EFFORT, you will get RESULTS. Maybe not perfect, or what you wanted, but PROGRESS.
- Plenty of people bike longer, faster and hillier than I. Good for you/them! For those who are not doing much if anything, if I can do it, if you have the bike and basic fitness, you and many other people can do a lot more than you think, too.
- Meeting a goal and then surpassing it feels great physically, boosts your mood, builds confidence, and gets you into all the hot clubs with the cool kids.
- OK, no cool clubs, but it does lead people to say things like “Attaboy!” and “Great job!” or “Impressive.” My dear brother’s reply was “Strong work!”
- Comebacks are never easy, and hard work is tiring, and requires rest and recovery, hydrating and nutrition.
- Some days you feel better than others, and when you do, take advantage of them and go for it.
- Other days you feel worse than others, and when you do, take it easy.
- If you are too tired and burned out, you might start making mistakes, which on a bicycle can be fatal, so just don’t let yourself get to that point.
- Milestones like an annual birthday ride are good anchors to have, but so are smaller goals like “I need to go to the post office today, and that’s just two 6 mile rides,” or “If I ride 45 miles today, I only have to ride 25 tomorrow.” Break it down into smaller, doable chunks.
- Riding with others is helpful, as is telling people what you’re doing for accountability and encouragement.
Now What, Chicken Butt?
This week may see my average drop, and that’s alright. The reason was to make up lost time and miles from the summer, and I’ve done quite a bit. I probably won’t make my secret big goal, and that’s ok, because $ > miles. But I might make a back up goal, and if not that, I’ll at least tie last year. Doing that would be amazing considering all the time I took off due to sinus infection and work / driving, and using Sophie instead of Sookie.
Any moment may find me finding full-time employment, and that will mean less biking, especially now it’s autumn and dark at 5:45 pm here in Central Texas. Sure, I’d love to increase my speed and power, and get a lighter bike with more gears would help. Quantity is a tangible way to measure what I’m doing, but the bigger goal is always quality. To have fun, meet people, improve health, and enjoy the bicycle life. I know I can often do better by being a smarter, kinder and gentler Dude.
It doesn’t happen overnight. But in these 31 days, I can say that I kicked some major gluteus maximus,and that cannot be reversed, taken away, or changed with fake news. This accomplishment will not go on my resume, won’t win me any awards, get me any dates or land me any sponsorship deals, but it is one thing for sure. Which is, to quote a famous dude and Austin-area resident and University of Texas professor Matthew McConaghey: “Alright, alright, alright.”
Now, if you aren’t already, get out there and kick some butt — but you may find that the first butt you’ll have to kick may be your own.
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