When I began bicycling more than i ever thought possible, in 2015, I estimated I covered the distance from LA to Boston, about 3,000 miles. It was an educated guess based on Google maps, training rides for two charity rides, and general commuting. Now, it seems I’ve doubled my pleasure, and doubled my money (spent on bike stuff). That’s no big deal to pros, racers, and the generally faster. For me, it’s pretty good. But like my blog buddy back East, I’m working to Be Sorry… Less. By riding every day since last fall, I’ve given myself a better shot at attaining a higher mileage goal for the year. So now it’s time to look at the first half of the year’s stats.
Now that I’m a Strava member, I can see this handy chart and edit my goals as needed. The numbers tell the tale and they do not lie. That 3,100 averages out to be almost 17 a day. Many a night I didn’t feel like doing 1.7. But I stuck with it, hung in there, persevered and here I am. Those few words don’t begin to describe the amount of effort, exertion, sweat, fatigue, soreness, dedication, discipline and sheer will power. But it’s a start.
The thing about trivial statistics like these is that it’s rarely interesting to anyone except the person producing it. That’s not to say others on Strava or you here aren’t curious about or possibly inspired by what I’m doing. The latter is part of the point, although mostly the miles are to see what I can do. But as Half Fast Cycling Club wryly noted:
Well, damn. I guess I’ve never ridden a bike since it’s not on Strava. Just my imagination. How did I get to work yesterday? What was I doing all morning? Damned if I know.
He may have a point. Some folks have no need to incessantly track all their activities, collecting data, always striving to beat yesterday. I didn’t either until I reluctantly joined the cell phone era and a friend convinced me to start tracking what I did. Then I got a Garmin Vivoactive watch, and the rest is history. I record rides and walks and heart rate and sleep because I have the impression that these things help me. And I also want to document for my book in progress and this blog. So sue me.
I’m not that remarkable in many ways, but particularly as a bike rider. I have or make or find the time to put in the time on the bike. At around 10 miles per hour, that adds up. So while many people COULD ride 100, 150 or more miles a week, and many do, and much faster, many don’t. It’s not for everyone. As a middle-aged fathlete, it takes its toll. I won’t be doing it forever. But for now, as I’m on this mission to bike every day for a year, and 6,000 miles total, I’m keeping track. It’s good to have goals and stick to them, because that builds character, confidence and other stuff (I’m not sure what, exactly).
With the upgrades to my Strava membership, my Garmin watch, and now my tires (Gatorskins – resistant to punctures, skinnier and feel faster), I hope to continue to crush my goals and rack up some good stats. In the meantime, I hope to enjoy bike riding, get plenty of rest, and stay healthy enough to finish the year. Plenty of things could derail my goals: crash, illness (like a certain virus that’s making the rounds), job, personal or family situation, etc. Nothing is certain, but if the chance persists, so will I.
How do you stay motivated? What keeps you on track with your goals? Any thoughts on my bike riding?
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