It’s year six in the books, for those keeping count of both blog and bodacious bike riding (and four years of basically daily bipedaling, i.e., walking). As you know, 2020 was remarkable globally because of THE KILLER VIRUS, but it was memorable for me personally. I really got after it and as a result last year’s review post was titled A Devil of a Year: 6,666.66 Miles Bicycled in 2020 (7,278 Total with Walking)! So yes, I biked every day all year (one less due to leap year) — again — but for 1,111.11 miles less. That was intentional, since 18.21 miles a day was too much to repeat. But it was also necessary to do less, because, life. And I’m not a machine; I’m a dude. However, 15.22 miles a day is still pretty, pretty, pretty good, so Sophie the Fairdale and I are quite satisfied with it. Let’s get to the Strava images which best sum things up with aplomb. (Yum, a plum sounds delicious, but out of season.) After all, one must have a hint of color!
As they say, if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen. Well, it’s on Strava, so yeah, it like totally happened, man. Or ma’am. Thanks to their Year In Sport video and graphs, you can see everything I did. First of, it’s obvious that I really did not take a day off. A smarter person would break every so often. And someday soon, I may have to. But I don’t have the lighter bike with more gears, or the faster, younger, thinner and fitter body to do long rides like I used to, so daily riding it is for this fathlete dude.
Total time spent on the two activities is equivalent to 4.33 days of straight cycling and walking. More time but less distance is due to me being a year older, more tired, having injuries, the heat and cold, various distractions, and like I said, life. Also, I went vertically uphill the equivalent of 29.81 miles over the course of the year. That’s almost 5.5 times up Mt. Everest. But paved, and not cold. I’m not sure why the slight discrepancy in total miles (6,053 v. 6,056), but sometimes I forget to start my Garmin watch right away and drop a mile or so and may or may not add them back manually. So let’s go with 6,056 total.
My coldest activity was 21 degrees F, but it FELT LIKE 9 degrees F. It was during the Snowpocalypse in February we had that wiped out the power grid for a week in most places in Texas and directly or indirectly killed about 250 Texans. I’m sure the governor has fixed everything so we will have no such problems this year. (I was lucky I was living near a hospital but still froze my ass off due to a leaky old house with only space heaters.) Local legend means you ride the same segment more than others, and personal records are self-explanatory. I thought my top photos (based on kudos) were interesting.
Two days after the coldest ride, I absolutely HAULED ASS on my bike inside on the trainer stand. If I could sustain 25.4 miles per hour on the open road, I’d more than halve my time on the bike, or double my mileage. But in a city, with cars, traffic lights, glass, potholes, that’s just not possible. I used to do more hills when I did shop and charity training rides. But hey, I’m not getting younger and my bike alone weighs 28 pounds with only nine gears. So 1,378 in one ride isn’t a lot of elevation, but it came on my 50-miler on July 4 when it was not cool. Fastest walk was downtown when I was going to a Moontower comedy show since I volunteered, I got in free. As I like to say, “Comedy is my life, and my life is a comedy.” Or I forget, maybe it’s a tragedy. Or both. Yeah, it’s definitely both.
Walking 501 miles is nothing to sneeze at. (Unless it’s December – February, when it’s cedar fever season. Or when it’s dry and moldy, or wet and moldy. Or there’s ragweed, pollen, or smoke from fires in Mexico and Central America.) Since a walk is a few thousand steps, I probably walk at least 1,000 miles a year counting all the steps not on my actual 30 minute walk. My birthday ride at 56.56 miles was the longest one, and that’s fine with me. After my various milestones I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, except myself, and sometimes not even that dude! Giving and getting the kudos, or thanks to fellow athletes on Strava, is a nice thing. I literally can’t follow as many people who follow me, but I do appreciate them all.
And as for that driving thing, I’ve driven less than 4,000 miles in the 17 months I’ve had a car that came into my possession. I still try to do as many errands and appointments as I can by bike. When it’s wet, cold, time is short, distance is far, or hauling things like groceries or laundry is required, I use the proper tool for the job. Given that some people don’t even drive 5,555 miles in a year, like I said, I’m pretty happy with my work on the bike in 2021, even though it hasn’t produced any weight loss. (In fact, I’ve gained a little, who knows why.) There were plenty of obstacles — weather, pain, fatigue, owies, soreness, time, burnout, and more — but I still carried on. I also did yoga, a few swims and resistance bands that make up the 7% in the chart here.
By the way, it’s 5,562 miles by car from Austin, Texas, USA to Panama City, Panama and back (round trip). So, shave off 6.45 from that and you’d have how far I bicycled. That’s pretty damn far, if you ask me.
As for what it all means, well, I suppose that’s for another post, or for others to say. And remember, “Comparison is the death of joy,” said the Buddha. Maybe I’ve helped inspire you or someone. But as the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra sang, “You do that voodoo that you do so well.” As always, thanks for reading.
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