New Year’s Resolution Resolved

Monday, the 14th, was an ordinary day, mild for November, cloudy. There was supposed to be an unusually large and bright full moon, but the evening was be overcast. It’s been 76 years since Coventry was bombed.

For me, though, it was special. It’s the 300th day this calendar year that I’ve cycled five or more miles. In January, I made a New Year’s resolution that had two parts: I’d cycle 3,000 miles and I’d cycle 300 days of the year. I thought the distance would be the harder part. I did a rough estimate of my riding in 2015, and guessed it was 2,500 or so miles, so the distance I chose—besides the pleasing effect of beginning with a “3”, like the number of days—meant I had to go further. But, helped by cycling across the waist of Britain with Kyla and careful recording of all the little bits of daily rides, I reached 3,000 miles early in August.

My target for the number of days was easier to figure, if harder to reach. In my diary last year, I kept a note of the days I’d ridden, but, except for sportives, not how far I’d gone. I had ridden about 250 days, so this too would be a challenge. This year, I’d missed only a few days by the middle of October and was well on my way to complete soon after the 300th day of the year, which was the 26th of October. However, a cold that I’d been carrying got worse on the 21st, and I missed cycling for a string of days, more than I’d previously missed all year. I finally hit my target though on the 14th of November.

2016-10-02arriving-vert_webChallenges like this are funny; they nag; they push you to keep closer records, but they do get you cycling more. I found that I was adding short additional distances to my daily commute, just to raise the distance from slightly under 6 miles to something over that round number. I don’t know how much those little tweaks added to my overall distance. I didn’t do many additional longer rides, like sportives. Added up, those were a little more than 20% of my total miles. Most of my distance came from commuting and shopping, the ordinary stuff of cycling. I did most of this riding on the Specialized in the top picture. It’s a solid heads-up bike, but it’s much harder to love than the Mistral that’s my training and sportive bike.

I don’t know what challenges I’ll try for next year, but I hope to keep track both of my days and my distance.

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