3.5 Years of Daily Cycling & 2023 1st Quarterly Report

Way back B.P. (Before Pandemic), I started riding my bicycle every day. Today marks three and a half years, or 42 months, or 182 weeks and five days, or 1,278 days in a row. Also, I’ve walked daily with very few misses and many extra miles in five plus years, and I’ve done yoga daily (moreso nightly) over nine years. I continue to reflect on that, and it’s time to review my Strava activity stats for January-March 2023. Let’s take a look.

Copyright Strava 2023

The good news from this view of what I did in Strava is that I traveled 1,478.2 miles in three months. That’s almost 500 a month–bicycling and walking. At this rate, 6,000 for the year would be totally respectable. But as usual, my goal is 105 miles per week to total 5,200 a year biking (the five extra miles per week is for padding for rain or whatever).

But the bad news is that it took me 245 hours. That includes my 30′ a day of yoga, which obviously has no distance. That’s not bad at my age and fitness (and fatness, which seems to be increasing for reasons unknown, which is vexatious). But it is what it is. I’m no racer, no Maverick in Top Gun who said “I feel the need, the need for speed.” I’m more interested in maintaining or not losing what fitness I have. And not dying from cars. See my post from the first day of this month, A Dude Rode His Bike in Austin Today, and Car Drivers Were Nice!

If you’re keeping score, I walked 130.7 miles in the first quarter, and I biked 1,347.5.

Here’s another chart I usually add.

In the past four weeks, which includes the first 10 days of April, my cycling is right above my target. The 22,963 feet of elevation is actually a decent amount of hill climbing for a dude who generally avoids many, if not most hills these days. And 118 hours cycling is about 80 minutes a day on average. Some of that time is putting Sommar the Fuji Finest on the home trainer, which goes by quicker. But now the ice and cold have left Central Texas, I’m outside most of the time unless it’s raining. Outside takes longer due to city traffic, and if I’m riding Sonnie the GT, she’s heavier steel.

I include the overall numbers, for some perspective. I’m quickly approaching the 40,000-mile mark since I began this experiment the last week or so of 2015. That seems like a lot to me. Elevation gain is almost 1 million feet. Total hours are a number can’t fathom.

There are certainly obstacles. I had a flat tire tonight after ordering more gloves from Sun & Ski Sports. Fortunately it was just half a mile away at the library, where I was getting the most current Andrew and Lee Child novel about the Jack Reacher character, called No Plan B. Since I don’t have a working portable bike pump and didn’t have the right sized tube to fix it myself, I walked back to the shop and had it fixed.

Another challenge is that I’m pretty darn tired. Plum tuckered out, we share here in Texas. Not sure why, lrobably undersleeping as usual, but I don’t think I’m overexercising. A new guy at S & S said he used to commute daily like 30 miles. Finally he stopped and takes rest days, which is smart. I don’t bike that far usually. But I have some drive to keep going, and so that’s what I do. Just. Keep. Livin’.

Despite the low energy, some days are good. I managed to do a 42-mile ride on March 31 and a 43-mile ride this past Sunday evening. Sometimes, I find my old legs, so I’m able to find a deeper gear and go long, or medium, as I used to do for charity rides.

Getting outside to bike is important for cardiac health, but getting vitamin D and nature–even in a city–is good for maintaining mental health, too. While walking, I meet new neighbors, or more precisely, their dogs, including a gorgeous grey longhaired Afghan I saw the other day. I buy a lottery ticket from one of two convenience stores. So far this has not been a huge success, but the shop clerks are nice people. The results say NOT A WINNER, and that gets old. I see little free libraries where I find and return books, yard art, birds, and flowers. Yoga allows me to work out the kinks from cycling and at least try to de-stress. Usually, it’s pretty gentle poses. So I am still doing those 15 miles average, 30 minutes of walking, and 30 minutes of yogaing daily. It takes time and mental energy to do them. Most days I absolutely must nap. Getting older sucks but it is preferable to the alternative.

These activities bring me some happiness and health, but it’s all a journey. I’m not sure what the destination is–nirvana, enlightenment, dropping excess pounds, meeting Ms. A dude Abikes–but as long as I’m able, I’ll be out there on the roads, sidewalks, and trails. With the bluebonnets, birds, wind, sun, and clouds. With my bikes Sommar the Fuji and Sonnie the GT. Just a dude, putting in the miles to ward off aging, to the extent possible. Every ride can be an adventure, and it could also be the last.

Here’s another view of my work on the bike from the photographic side of things:

In the meantime, what floats your boat? Gets your goose, or gander? How is the weather where you are? Is it conducive to cycling, walking, or other outdoor activities? What are your goals for 2023? OK, enough with the third degree. Thanks for reading ADudeAbikes.com, and please come by again and feel free to comment, like, and follow if you aren’t already. Happy Spring, y’all!

Copyright 2023 A Dude Abikes. All rights reserved.

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