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.
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.
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.)
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.
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