Tuesday, August 18, 2015

National Bike Challenge

I didn't have huge plans for bicycling this summer after Ming cancelled on RAGBRAI.  A trip to Chicago, which I should probably still blog about.  But that seemed sort of like this extraneous thing (I've been assured 120+ mile days aren't extraneous, but the trip was just sort of a reason to take my family to The Dells and Chicago).

One of my co-workers got me involved in the National Bike Challenge, which I've blogged about before, and that's been my litmus for the summer.  I put in 1457 miles since I signed up, and have tried to remain in roughly the top 12 riders for my company month over month.  The fact that it synced with Strava was a deciding factor in my choice of Garmin odometers so that when I ride my odometer syncs with my phone which syncs with Garmin which syncs with Strava which syncs with the National Bike Challenge.  Welcome to the era of machines talking to machines.  I know that's more important to me than I thought it would be because when it quit working last week I spent hours (and hours and hours) updating the Garmin software, my iPhone, iTunes, Windows, and a number of other things to ensure I had an up-to-date pipeline.

One of the details about the National Bike Challenge is that you get 5 points for bicycling at least one mile in a day.  That's really the bit of trivia that determined my personal bicycling challenge for the summer/fall.  I have now been on my bicycle 88 days in a row.  Potentially more, because I'm ignoring anything before I started recording on National Bike Challenge, but 88 officially.  Hasn't mattered what the weather was like or how dark it was or if I was sick or some muscle hurt, I made it out before midnight to log some time, usually with a trip to Cub Foods or Kowalski's or the movie theater, or by just doing a loop around the neighborhood.  I try to get in at least 2-4 miles in those cases, but one or two have been just the one mile round trip to Cub (or 1.6+ to Target).  If I'm unlucky, it's raining and my odometer resets itself when I lose satellite and I have to log more distance after shopping, but I've learned to enjoy the excuse.

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