600 Miles Biked in August and 4,325 So Far in 2020

Another month, another 600 miles. I eked out the last 20 or so late on the last night of the month, after being forced to slow down due to the heat — 29 days of 100 degrees F or more! — and the accumulated tiredness. But I got ‘er done, somehow. And that’s the thing, when it comes to goals, you either meet them or you don’t. Or put another way by famed peacemaker and Nobel Prize winner and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.” winner Of course, they’re arbitrary and frivolous, we can all agree on that during the global pandemic. But biking is still legal here in Central Texas, and it helps A Dude to keep moving. If exercise is like a drug, then cycling is my medicine of choice. So herewith, posthaste, and without further ado are my August and 2020 statistics on the bicycle.

My stats for this year and all time. Copyright Strava

You may grow weary of seeing these charts, but I don’t. That’s because they represent a large investment of time, effort,and energy overcoming obstacles, both external and internal. Because even if the goal is fairly irrelevant to everyone except me, it is still a goal that is mine. And the work that has gone into it cannot be taken away. Well, it’s not like I’m going into any record books, and when I die even I won’t care anymore. The point is, I’m doing it and you can’t stop me. I can’t stop me either, apparently. To quote comedian Robert Klein from a blues song he wrote, sang and played harmonica in at the end of every show: “I Can’t Stop My Leg(s).” It’s a hilarious song you can find on YouTube.

Biking as much as I do, I really should figure out how to stop my legs and take some rest days. But so far I haven’t for almost 11 months now, also because I made daily biking a goal. Not to brag, it’s just a fact. (OK, a little bragging.) When I do stop, by choice or otherwise like a wreck or coronavirus or something better to do (I can’t imagine what’s better than bicycling!), it will be weird and sad, but maybe a little awesome, too.

Why? Because I will have at least attempted if not met a pretty big goal. (Interesting side note: ye olde spelling for a jail is gaol.) How many people do you know can say they bicycled every day for a year? There are probably quite a few, but if I’ve met any, they’ve kept it a secret. But you’ll keep my daily biking accomplishment quiet, hush-like, right? It’ll be our secret, just us. And anyone happens wot read this. Which isn’t a lot, this blog is mostly invisible to the internet.

I spent 80 hours biking 604 miles and walking 44 miles in August. Copyright Strava

Anyway, with my new Garmin Vivoactive Music 3 sports watch, I’m able to track all my activities, which then get uploaded into Strava, the sport tracking application. Looking at these charts, I can see when I’m slacking off and when I’m doing more. It’s useful feedback even if I don’t look at some of the data like the professionals do in the Tour de France, which just started this past Saturday. (See my recent blog about the 2020 Tour here.)

A digital badge, a small token for my huge efforts. Copyright Strava

The cycling challenge in Strava used to have only the 1,250 kilometer level. I never reached it. But now they have this one for 600 kms, and I routinely smash it to smithereens. So that feels good. Also, sometimes I win it among a dozen or so riders I know. That happened for August, with me beating out far stronger and faster riders, but that’s mostly because they have jobs and lives and wives and things. I do all these miles — which are easy for some, hard for many and never attempt by a lot — by using my sheer stubbornness (some might say stupidity) to ride every single day. That won’t last forever and I may have to dial things back someday soon. But until then, it’s good to get out there and do what I can. Whether you’re a slow fathlete like me. a fast racer, or a newbie without much experience, we can all agree that regardless of bike, body, size or speed, biking is a good thing.

Well, that’s my August biking update, for what it’s worth. Maybe it inspires you to walk, run, skate, swim, etc. a little further than you thought you could. Happy bicycling or whatever you’re up to today. And remember, only YOU can stop forest fires.

Eight months in the can for 2020. And what a crap year it’s been! Copyright Strava

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2 thoughts on “600 Miles Biked in August and 4,325 So Far in 2020

  1. I always admired your streak but having just completed a 31 days in a row I honestly don’t know how you manage to keep it going. This is no small achievement and you have every right to be proud of it 💪🚴‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great work on your streak! Thank you, that’s very kind of you to say. Here’s how I do it: 1. Don’t have a car. 2. Live where the weather allows all-year biking and have a trainer as a back-up. 3. If you count 1 mile as biking, it’s pretty easy (only did a few days of 1-5 miles due to mechanicals or lack of time or energy so far). 4. Don’t have a regular job, spouse, kids or pets. 5. Be a little bit crazy and decide you really want to do this goal even if you’re not sure why. 6. Realize that daily riding lower mileage (avg 17-18) is actually easier than say 40 miles every other day). 7. Realize few care and it doesn’t matter if you fail, you’ve just biked a lot and maybe inspired a few people. As they say, “pride goeth before the fall.”

      Liked by 1 person

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