Do Fitness Trackers Have a Dark Side? The Exercise Strikes Back

Unless you’ve been living under Iraq and haven’t read my stuff before, you know I got into using a fitness tracker at the same time I began this blog. A look at my list of post titles will show many with numbers of miles I’ve ridden the day before, that week, month or year. And while my Garmin vivoactive 3 music watch and the Strava application have certainly helped motivate me and keep me accountable, there are also some negatives. Aside from the data and privacy concerns, who’s the servant and who’s the master? Welcome to the Dark Side, Luke. And by Luke, I mean you.

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My Own Private I Dunno

I’m feeling a bit philosophical about having just finished bicycling the equivalent of one spin around the entire equator. It was no small feat, taking almost five whole years including rest days. After such an epic, long-term, half a decade of riding my bicycle, the question I get asked, and am naturally asking myself, is: What comes next? I dunno. But maybe I can begin to try to figure out an answer here.

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AROUND THE WORLD IN 1,770 DAYS (24,901 MILES): 5-YEAR GOAL ACCOMPLISHED !!!

*NEWER POSTS ARE BELOW.* Yes. I did it. I finally finished the equivalent of bicycling one lap of Planet Earth at the equator. Pretty awesome, if you ask me. Or even if you didn’t ask. Let me tell you about it. You’re already here, right? May as well keep reading. It’s a lot easier than biking around the world, I can assure you of that!

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Call Me Mister Consistency

In my last post, Muscles, Might & Math Mean More Miles, I touched on how numbers help motivate me to achieve my bicycling goals. As it turns out, the last seven days I’ve ridden an average of 21.25 miles per day, from 20.5-22.2 miles. And I did that because of the math, which then went from my brain to my legs. Sophie the sea foam-colored Fairdale Weekender Archer got the memo as well. All I did was subtract the mileage I’d completed for the year (over 5,000) from the total goal, and then divided that by the number of days remaining in 2020. The answer? The number 21. So that’s my new mantra. So far, for seven days, I’ve done just that, 21 miles, within .5-1.2 miles difference. Call me Mister Consistency.

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Muscles, Might & Math Mean More Mileage

As summer winds down and autumn finally cools us off, my stock is trending upward and quarterly reports are good. By that I mean my bicycling progress, of course. As mentioned in my post 55-Mile 2020 Birthday Bike Ride with Friends; 5,009 Miles for the Year, I’ve surpassed 2019’s total miles of 5,005. And, that was 81 days early, too. While I continue to come nowhere close to breaking any wind, um speed records, like the tortoise and the hare, I’m not the fastest dude, but I do get there. The race is on to cram as many kilometers as possible into the rest of this most shitty of years, 2020. And it occurred to me while naming last night’s ride that my formula for success is simple, although far from easy. Allow me to explain.

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I Bicycled Every Day for an Entire Year: Lessons Learned

Here’s the thing:  I didn’t set out to bike 366 days in a row. If you had a crystal ball and told me my future a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you. I just went on my birthday ride, a mile per year of life, as I have done the last several years. But instead of taking the next day or more off to rest like a normal person, I became more like Forrest Gump:  I just kept bike-ing and bike-ing and bike-ing… Except there was no Robin Wright as Jenny yelling, “Bike, A Dude, bike!”

The Energizer bunny I’m not. I’m just a middle-aged, slightly overweight (aka fathlete), regular guy who chose the bicycle as his vehicle for his mid-life crisis mobile. I can’t tell you why I did this, except at some point it was simply to see if I could do it. And now I have. Don’t believe me? Check my Strava activity log – it’s all there. But this isn’t really about me. Here’s the main thing I want to tell you: If I can do it, most of you can, too.

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Approaching the Summit of a Goal? Prepare for the Ride Downhill

As with most if not all of my posts, I’m writing it because I think it might help others in some small way. But I’m a work in progress also trying to figure things out myself. This comes after 2.75 years of daily walking and  writing, 4.75 years of blogging, 5.75 years of a whole bunch of bicycling and almost 1.00 year of daily biking, plus 6.75 years of daily yoga. So I know a thing or two about my own sports psychology. (I’m no professional though, so see a real doctor if you need one.) As I approach the zenith of several goals, one quite big, another that’s Huge, and a third that’s FREAKING GINORMOUS, I know that there’s a big zenith of a let-down coming, too. So let’s talk about what we can do about when that happens.

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September 2020 Stats: And I Did Walk (& Bike) 501 Miles

Last September set records for being hotter than July even here in Central Texas. This year, wonderfully cool weather arrived on the 4th, cancelling out 29 days of 100+ degree F days in August. But I still had to do less biking because of my dumb J-O-B. So it was all I could do to make my 100 bike miles and 10.5 or more walking miles for the week. But together, 501 is still pretty respectable. Life goes on, even during a pandemic. You do your best. Let’s go to the numbers.

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600 Miles Biked in August and 4,325 So Far in 2020

Another month, another 600 miles. I eked out the last 20 or so late on the last night of the month, after being forced to slow down due to the heat — 29 days of 100 degrees F or more! — and the accumulated tiredness. But I got ‘er done, somehow. And that’s the thing, when it comes to goals, you either meet them or you don’t. Or put another way by famed peacemaker and Nobel Prize winner and President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.” winner Of course, they’re arbitrary and frivolous, we can all agree on that during the global pandemic. But biking is still legal here in Central Texas, and it helps A Dude to keep moving. If exercise is like a drug, then cycling is my medicine of choice. So herewith, posthaste, and without further ado are my August and 2020 statistics on the bicycle.

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Write What You Know, In My Case, Bike Stuff

Teaser: This was going to be a book review. But I haven’t finished it yet. It’s a good one, too. When I do, I’m sure it will be awesome. Or adequate, or astute, or any number of other adjectives commencing with an “a.” One of those. I think; I don’t know this. But today, it’s not about a book, it’s about what I know. Whatever the hell that is. These days, it’s hard to really know what one knows. Ya’ know? I guess after a few years of biking my butt off, I do know a few things about bicycles, cyclists, biking, and the like.

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