Sunday, May 24, 2015

National Bike Challenge

I've got a weekend century coming up in less than a month and a 5+ day ride to Chicago (sagged by my family with hotels, so not exactly spartan), so I thought I should try to crawl on my bike a bit more despite the cold weather.  I got in an 85 mile ride two weekends ago (with Alan, Dan, and Dan's girlfriend Julie.  Ming did the short version; we've been giving him a hard time because he said he did 25, but took the detour for the 15) when I pedaled up to the MS50 in St. Paul and back, but that was an aberration.

So I was happy when a co-worker in R&D, Jack, talked me into the National Bike Challenge as part of the work team.  Logging those 85 miles would have been nice, but that's in the past.  I'm a serious self-gamifier, despite not necessarily appearing like it externally (I think).  It helps that my gamifying goal is never to be number one - Litterati is a good example - but to make a good showing in the time frame and time available to me.  So a new way to target some time is welcome.

I've popped up to #42 already (out of 64 logging) and my goal is to break the top 20, although I know Jack is in the bottom of that category and he logs a 60-70 mile ride every weekend.  I'll have to challenge him by aiming for a lot more weekly rides.  With the long weekend available to me, I took the Highline (hills) on Friday, the lakes (up to the top of Calhoun) yesterday, and into St. Paul for breakfast at the 4 Inns (closed, I went to Keys) this morning.  So just about 80 miles if you include some mini rides to the grocery store.

The challenge lasts through July, which means I'll get to stuff a 500+ miles in one week ride in there.  You'd think that would catapult me into the top riders, but our top rider has 1133 miles in 21 days. 53 miles a day.  I think he commutes 25 miles both ways from Inver Grove Heights if I read between the lines.  That's amazing.  If he's on a good road bike, he can probably do it in an hour and a half, so maybe he's only adding 45 minutes each way to his commute by using a bike.  No gas bill, but his food bill must be out of this world.  That's like 2500 extra calories burned a day (I'm going to assume he's smaller than me, but the speed makes up for it).  No. 2 through 10 are in the 25-50 mile a day range as well.  That's a love of bicycling I can't quite match during a work week.

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