600 Days in a Row of Bicycling

Back on February 23 I wrote 10 Techniques I Used to Bicycle 500 Days in a Row. With today’s ride I’ve added 100 more to that. Quite by accident, coincidence or kismet, the screen shot of the dates (below) was taken with 66% of my phone battery left at 6:00 pm. How cool is that? So yeah, every day for a whole year, seven months and 22 days, I’ve swung a leg over the top tube of Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer (and occasionally Sonnie the GT Arette) and pedaled away. But here’s the thing: I don’t recommend it, unless you enjoy a challenge like the one attributed to Jerry Seinfeld which he didn’t actually make up, called #DontBreakTheChain. It started on a lark accidentally, and I just kept going from there. Still a fathlete, so I’ve got to do something. And like George Costanza claiming to design the new addition to the Guggenheim, “Yeah, and It didn’t take that long, either.” Because as we all know, you can only live one day — and bike one pedal stroke — at a time.

I was feeling pretty wiped out today despite a solid seven and a half hours of sleep. Whatever mystery ailment has been plaguing me, which I wrote about in my last post, was making a good argument for staying off the bike, 599 days be damned. I simply had to lie down and take a nap — or rather it took me. I had no choice in the matter since my head was pounding, and I didn’t feel like I could do anything. After the rest I felt a good bit better, did my daily reading, drank some water, Gatorade Zero and ate a Bobo’s Oat Bar. Took another Vitamin B and C for good measure. Then I headed out and managed 17.5 miles at 11.1 mph, which is fast for me.

Biking 15 miles a day at a leisurely — actually, relatively a snail’s — pace of around 10 miles an hour is not a big deal. Some people run faster than that. Compared to what I used to do, both with Sophie and Sookie the Fuji Silhouette before she was forced into retirement, it’s nothing. So I have doubts that the cumulative effects of biking 600 consecutive days is what’s causing my tiredness. I do know that getting outside, breathing fresh air, sunlight on the skin (though I often go after dark), and having the blood pumping is all very beneficial.

So, should I take a break? Maybe. Will I? Not unless I’m forced to by either my body just saying no, or something medical. A five-mile ride on the home trainer would be sufficient. Now that I’ve gotten Sophie a fair bit of new parts, I shouldn’t have too many mechanicals. In addition to the new drive train, that includes a new rear brake (free since the mechanic broke it by accident), cables and housing for both brakes, and a new rear Gatorskin tire, since I wore out the last one. So the bike is working well, but the rider is not.

And here are some images from my May statistics, © Strava:

Here’s post I wrote in May 2019: My Meh May 2019 Strava Statistics.

© Strava
© Strava

In the end, what matters is the quest. On every quest, there are obstacles, challenges, and setbacks. Sometimes, a quest ends in success and other times, in failure. But not really, because if there is learning, growth, and adventure, then it’s still a success. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and nothing is guaranteed. But I can rest easy tonight knowing I passed yet another milestone. Which is FAR better than passing a kidney stone.

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