Half-way through a year of tracking the miles

Somewhere in industrial St. Johns/Cathedral Park, 21 May 2022. Camera: Olympus XA2 Film: Cinestill 400

Despite my usual tendency to think a lot about something before I do it, I sometimes do things seemingly on a whim. It felt that way when during a weekend in January 2020 when I was under the weather I decided to buy a film camera, though I had entertained the idea off-and-on for a couple years. And at the beginning of this year I decided to start tracking my daily bicycle mileage after a lifetime of never doing so. This seemed even more “whim” like, as I was really not into the idea before that. But if I want to “ride more”, I need to know what I already ride.

I’ve documented all the miles I’ve ridden so far this year. As someone who works from home and whose life became a bit more sedentary due to pandemic, the numbers aren’t exactly thrilling. Last time I checked in about this I had completed April with a paltry eleven days of riding and just 127.6 miles ridden. This pales in comparison to when I worked on Hawthorne and lived in Woodlawn, where I’d have a baseline of 240 miles a month due to commute.

Thankfully things have gotten better since then. In May I managed to hit 236.8 miles of riding. I only rode fifteen days out of the month, but what got the miles up was things like the Lake Pepin Three Speed Tour, where I rode about 45 miles on Day One, the longest ride so far this year.

And while the total mileage in June dipped a bit, 185.4 miles, where I got better was in amount of days ridden: 19, the first time I can say I’ve ridden the majority of days in a month. I think what’s helped is a few things: Pedalpalooza, better weather, and being in the Bay Area for almost a week, where I rode daily.

The other thing that impressed me about my riding in June was the number of days in a row that I rode. I saw the first time I rode five days in a row in a long time. During my hostel days, it was pretty easy to ride five days in a row, but now that’s a major achievement. But I did better than five days: From Monday June 13th through Friday June 24th, I rode every day, making for a twelve-day streak. Granted, two of those days consisted of riding to/from transit to the airport, but it still counts. This has made me feel good.

Now I doubt that I will ride every day in summer. Heck, as I write this on July 4th I haven’t ridden since the 2nd. But as nicer weather, travel plans, and the urge to do longer rides takes hold, I’m sure I’ll do plenty of riding. And if I can get that riding level back up again it could maintain me through winter, which is what I really hope for.

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