Three months ago I mentioned how I was logging every ride I did this year into a pocket Rhodia A7 notebook. While I don’t like to be overly anal about how much I ride, I knew that I wanted to “ride more” in 2022. Without an idea about how much I actually ride, I can’t exactly increase it.
I’ve logged in four months of riding. And yeah, I don’t ride a lot. Last month was particularly bad in the amount of rides. Have you ever heard of the 30 Days of April bike challenge? It’s basically a self-challenge that encourages you to ride every day that month. My results? Only ten of those thirty days contained a ride. That’s less than the previous three months, where I rode 14-15 days. What can I say, April was very wet–we got over double the amount of our normal precipitation for the month.
But my miles have remained consistent, about 120 miles a month. This is way less than five years ago, when I would automatically ride about 240 miles a month due to bike commute. No bike commute, no baseline.
I got to 127.6 miles in April, twenty-two miles less than March. But I rode five less days last month. I managed that number because of several longer rides. One of those rides, the second day of my Champoeg overnight adventure, was my longest ride of the year at 41.2 miles. As someone who used to do 60 miles a day or more on bike tours, and has biked up to 130 miles at one go, a hair over 40 miles doesn’t seem extraordinary. But after not biking much, 40 miles is a lot. I am grateful that even at my most-out-of-shape (which is right now), I can still pull off this kind of distance if I need to. And I’ll need to do more of that, soon. The Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour consists of two days of 40-plus miles of riding, and summer tours will see even more.
Overall, I think that tracking my miles has been useful. I haven’t beaten myself up over the low miles (yet), as I know these last couple years have been tough. Summer is on the way, with more bike adventures and Pedalpalooza rides, so I expect to be riding more. If I can ride a bunch then, hopefully I can keep up a good rate when the weather turns.
Timely, as you often are. I stopped tracking (Strava) 18 months ago, and never looked back. Until last month, that is. I decided to attend a group ride, which is turning out to be a new goal: Riding more with people outside my household. Anyway, I’m not going for ambitious rides, but as I’ve slowed down, and am riding less, I wasn’t sure if I could even complete the ride in question. I had no idea of what I’m presently capable of. Having at least an idea of what “a 10 to 15mph pace” feels like would have been helpful. As it turned out, my pace and distance stamina were more than adequate, it was the climb that killed me :-). I do have a new appreciation for keeping track of my riding now. I was just using the wrong tool, I think.