7/7/2022: 1,000 Days in a Row Bicycled, Humbly Submitted by A Dude Abikes

It began October 19, 2019 for no particular reason. The thousandth day was yesterday, July 6, 2022. Why I did it is still a mystery. How isn’t that hard to explain. I just kept at it every day for a few months shy of three years. What does it all mean? I really have no clue. I just ride, man.

If this is the first blog of mine you’ve read, welcome. If you’re a repeat offender, I meam return customer, welcome back. I’m writing monthly at the moment to focus on revising my book. That continues at a snail’s pace, but it does continue, every day. Just like all the other activities I’ve been doing, some longer than others (walking, reading, writing, flute-playing, flour-eschewing, foam-rolling, meditating, farting…). As for this crazy biking streak, it’s fast (but feels like it’s slowly) approaching the three-year mark. Assuming I live that long, and have no major illness or accident (which can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime), I anticipate making this daily bicycling thing 1,196 days in a row. Why not, right?

Copyright Strava

When I hit one month, then a season, and so on, at first it had seemed like those milestones were unreachable. But I kept going: 400 days, 500, etc. At two years, I thought, “If I make it to 1,000 days, I’ll quit.” Yet now that I’m here I see no reason to do so. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve often complained about being tired. The obvious answer would be “Take a rest day, dude!” However, the main reason for my tiredness is lack of sleep. Which is probably affected by late night bike rides, which in turn are done to avoid the record-breaking heat we’re having in Austin, Texas and surroundings. Oh yes, the hottest summer EVER on record. (For any climate change science deniers, sorry, but you’re just wrong.)

Check my work and follow me on Strava.

There’s an English cyclist of some size called Leonard Lee. He makes some sharp-looking videos on YouTube where he’s got almost 50,000 followers. I found him by accident and began following him on Strava. This year, he set out to bike every day. He’s done it to date so far, but many days only biking for one kilometer. That’s fair enough; for me there were a few ice days, or one or two days my bike was out of commission so I had to abort after a short distance. (As a white male in Texas, at least I have the option of choosing whether to abort a bike ride. That’s a political pun commenting on what I view as a horribly regressive and sexist decision by the Supreme Court to remove a basic women’s health right that’s been on the books for half a century.)

Anyway, a few times I was just too busy or tired, or there was that big ice storm of 2021, so I only got in a mile or so. More often I do at least five, usually 10, and in 2020 (6,666.66, or 18.2 miles a day) and 2021 (5,555.55 miles or 15.2 miles a day). This year I’m on track to make it 4,444, or 12.2 miles a day, even though I’d prefer to keep it to 5,200, or 100 miles a week, or 14.3 a day. But, I’m tired. Point is, I keep at it, and if I can, most other people can, too.

My streak isn’t going into the Guinness Book of World Records, but it has meaning for me. It represents Dylan Thomas’s exhortation, “Do not go gentle into that good night / rage, rage, against the dying of the light.” Some days, it feels like I’m still having my mid-life crisis. Others, it seems like a fairly futile demonstration of ego or maleness; I’m male, and everyone has an ego, id, and superego.

Often, though, I just don’t think much about it. I need to go places, gas is freaking expensive, I’m still fat and need to lose weight, and I just prefer to bike. Although the heat has me biking at midnight when I can help it. The numbers are important but lately as I keep slipping and not hitting that 100 a week, I find myself caring less and cutting myself some slack. I mean, a few of you Gentle Readers, Strava followers, and friends may encourage me, but in the end no one cares, except me.

So the point of all this for me has become less about the numbers and more about the quality of the experience. Like a meditation… What is the quality of my mind as someone cuts me off in traffic? What did I notice while biking? Who did I meet? These questions get at the more ineffable things about cycling, or any sport. I’m not ready to give up Strava or all the goals and stats therein. But I am trying to be more relaxed about it all. Or more Zen, if you will. The Buddha would laugh at my attempt to practice non-attachment while being attached to a certain number outcome. I’m a work in progress, Dudeha. Hm, I wonder if I just coined a new word. I like it. I aspire to be a Dude who is Buddha-like.

Copyright Strava

And with that I’ll say ciao fer niao. I’ll keep on riding and writing (monthly in the blog, daily revising the book, for now). You feel free to come back and peruse my 666+ posts anytime. Or as probably some people still say in Texas, Y’all come back now, ya’ hear?


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15 thoughts on “7/7/2022: 1,000 Days in a Row Bicycled, Humbly Submitted by A Dude Abikes

    1. If you want the technical answer, it is this: I biked alot.

      For a number, 2021 was 5,555.55, 2020 was 6,666.66. Last two months and 20 days of 2019 I’m not sure, maybe 1,200, and to date this year is 2,300. That’s 15,722, about 17 miles per day.

      So, yeah, a lot, for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jasper, Congrats on your accomplishment! I’m not so sure — the heat is a record this summer and quite deadly. One can always put on more clothes and get snow tires. Either way we do our best. At some point we must ask why the competition with ourselves or nature? Is it ego? Especially the male kind. What does it all mean? Isn’t quality more important than quantity? Thanks for reading! Regards, A Dude Abikes

      Like

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