Turn It Up to 11… Months of Daily Bicycling

Oops, I did it again. I rode my bike every day over the last month. That makes it 11, and as everyone who has ever seen This Is Spinal Tap knows, 11 is just louder than 10. One month from now, assuming I am able to complete this self-created challenge, I’ll have a full year of biking every day. My average has been around 17 miles or so. Some days was just a bit, but sometimes it was quite a bit more. No matter how you slice it, homey, it’s an accomplishment to be sure. What it means, if anything, is debatable these days. But the fact is I did it so it means something to me. So I blog about it. I know, some people are bored by stats. But they represent effort, will power, discipline, motivation — all the sports psychology that ideally should be motivating you to hop on your bike or take a walk or something. Right? So read on and get inspired already!

600 miles biking, 50 miles walking, 3000 degrees F. Copyright Strava

The hardest part about daily cycling is knowing that there is no break. No matter how great or crappy today was, the slate is wiped clean for tomorrow. And there are always lots of reasons to not do it: you just don’t feel like it, your legs are dead weight, you’re tired and need a nap before you can even think about getting on the bike, you have diarrhea, it’s raining/cold/windy… those are just some of the things you might have to overcome if you’re going to do this. I wouldn’t advise it, actually. But hey, I’m doing it, so if you’re up for it, go right ahead and knock yourself out. Then, when you awake from your concussion, hopefully you’ll have forgotten this hair-brained idea that A Dude Abikes has put into your head.

The good news is that it IS doable, especially if you don’t have any time constraints or speed requirements, which I did and do not. Speed is for freaks. Like literally, there’s even a phrase for that: speak freaks. But there will be hard days. Like in August when it was 100 degrees F for 29 of 31 days. That was pretty difficult, but I managed to get away without much in the way of sunburn. Although I felt as if I was getting heat exhaustion pretty much every day. I may have lost a few pounds in water weight temporarily, too. Now we’re having cool weather down to the 50’s and 60’s at night, so it’s much more pleasurable to bike.

It was never clear what the IT is in this phrase. Copyright Strava

Many people may do this not as a fitness challenge but as a fact of life. The bicycle is their mode of transportation, and if they are to go anywhere, it’s by bike. That’s been mostly the case for me, too. And I hate the city bus., too. Or they are a very fit athlete maybe even a bike racer who needs to stay in top condition. However, even racers take rest days. Except even then they go get on their home trainer or stationery cycle.

Each person’s psychology is different. Some are motivated by competition, others just in achieving a personal best, and even more do not care about such things. That’s fine. Until I began this literal and figurative journey on the bike and off, I was not a statistics fiend, until recently, that is. Having a purpose for what you’re doing is key. And if that is nothing more than doing it “because it is there,” that is cool. You do you. Do your best, forget the rest.

I don’t have too many exciting bike ride stories to share from the last month. It was so hot that I was just trying to survive, find some shade, and ride at night as much as possible. Still, I put in another 600-mile month, and that record will stand when compared to other months as being an extra degree of difficulty. I wore my boating cap that covers sides and back of the neck, Pearl Izumi sun sleeves, sunscreen, and mask when appropriate, so I did my best to keep myself covered.

I beat out 10 folks I follow, but we were all just doing our own thang. Copyright Strava

Of course I had to drink copious amounts of water, both plain filtered and with Nuun hydration tablets. Lately I’ve taken to using Propel powders, too. Also, I found myself craving fruit, so I had plenty of grapes, watermelon, bananas, and so on. After riding I took my daily walk to wind down, enjoyed cold showers, slathered on the aloe vera, and plopped down on the yoga mat before writing. So, now that it’s over, I’m sort of missing the challenge. But not really. I actually got chilled in the rainy ride above. I’d love to not be here next summer. Nice weather is really better for bicycling.

In the end, it’s another brick in the wall. Eight months of the year gone, four to go. And one more before I make it a year of daily riding. Before then, I will have achieved a very special long-term goal. And you can bet your bippy I’ll be blogging about it. Don’t ask me what a bippy is, it’s just a saying. Go look it up. And if you can and have access to one, ride your bike! I sure do.

Copyright Strava

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