Posts tagged ‘goals’
It began one year ago – #30daysofbiking. And then turned into #330daysofbiking; my goal to ride 330 of 365 days. Today I managed to cross the finish line. Day 330. It actually took me 367 days to reach the benchmark; I missed a few more “buffer” days for out-of-town travel than I had anticipated … but it is what it is, and close enough for me.
While I would have liked to celebrate this day with some exceptional or special ride, it was really just a day like many of the others … through the local landscape, me, my bike and a few cows. As I was riding and thinking about this entire “project”, I realized it was the most appropriate way to reach the finish line. Just another day, just another ride. From the beginning, it wasn’t about epic mileage, conditioning thresholds or anything cycle-spectacular. It was just about being out on a bike. Every. Every. Day. (Or as close to every day as was humanly possible.)
I am sure that many, if not most other people would’ve kept more detailed statistics about a project like this – and in hindsight, it may have been interesting. I basically only kept a daily log in a little Moleskine journal, with the date, a very rough route description and the bicycle I rode. I estimate mileage to be several thousand miles, but I have no desire to try and make a more specific calculation. Beyond this, the only other stats I can offer are:
- I have ridden 14 different bicycles – in 4 states and one foreign country (Italy)
- I had one significant crash
- I wore out one pair of shoe cleats and one camera
- number of cows and old barns seen along the way … (lost count long ago)
The best record of the experience, the emotions, and the daily adventures is probably buried in the entries of this blog over the past year. The rides with friends and family, the rides in the rain, the rides in the snow, the rides on the sunny blue-sky days. The several thousand photos I have accumulated, many appearing in these entries. It’s a little too difficult to sum up.
While I wish I had something more profound or insightful to say for this final day, I can’t find the words tonight – other than, “it’s not hard – go out and ride your bicycle.” One day a week or seven days a week. Thirty days, or 330 days. It’s the best gift you will ever give yourself. All you have to do is pedal.
To the people who have known me best over the course of my life, they know with little doubt where my first love lies – on the snow, on skis, in the mountains. As much as I am passionate about cycling, and as much as it has become such a big part of my life, there is nothing I love more than being on skis on a cold sunny day on top of a big mountain. Nothing. Period. (Apologies to my beloved bicycles.)
A little background … my father decided put me on skis when I was a pre-schooler, and I still have fond memories of first lessons in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico before I was even able to read. My dad became a National Ski Patrolman in the midwest where I grew up, which enabled us to ski virtually every day during winter. I grew up racing and eventually became a ski instructor. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to ski in the summer for several years, when I shipped off to summer race-training camps on the high mountain glaciers each June.
Skiing was a huge part of my life, of my family’s life … and despite ending up living in the snowless Southeast and raising my own family, the passion continues with my own boys, who have become incredible skiers in their own right – learning to ski in North Carolina, and skiing each year in the Rockies. They have become skilled enough to ski everything on the mountain – from the trees to the double-black diamond chutes.
So what does any of this have to do with biking? Well for me, it appears that this crazy obsession/diversion of the trip to the mountains has managed to derail #330daysofbiking. Since I managed not to get in a single day of cycling while out West, it appears I will be two days short of meeting my goal by April 1. Rats. But I just couldn’t help myself – the lure of the snow and the mountains was just too irresistible to do anything other than ski. It’s my only excuse.
Despite this “failure” – and it is disappointing, because I was so close – I think it was good to have the interruption for sake of perspective. Maybe it was good to get off the bike for a few days and revisit another passion with the people I love.
Someday I hope that we will be living in a place where I can set another (silly) goal – one that would look something like #100daysofskiing-and-#300daysofbiking. Load the ski equipment onto the Xtracycle and pedal to the mountain for a day on the slopes. (Although I might have to add in a #30daysofcupcakes and #100daysofknitting just to round things out 😉 ).
For now, I have a renewed enthusiasm to be on my bike again, and the quest continues to finish #330daysofbiking one way or another. Since I can only blame my weakness for snow for the lack of cycling in recent days, I’m leaving a few last pictures from the mountains. Sigh.
Today I reached day 300 of #330daysofbiking … and I am still wondering how I actually got here? (Don’t even say “by bicycle”.)
I will be honest – I am sighing a big sigh of relief and happiness that I’ve managed to stay on target and am on the final stretch to meet this ridiculous goal. For some reason, I was feeling … well, ridiculous. A little giddy, a little goofy, and considerably nerdy for some reason.
I wanted to ride out to get a cupcake (but didn’t). I didn’t want a “serious” ride today. For other reasons unknown, the famous bicycle scene from Napolean Dynamite was on my brain today – as well as the Napolean Dynamite soundtrack song, Music for a Found Harmonium from Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Ok, well that was on my iPod. (But please listen and watch, for it is the only way you can appreciate my peculiar mindset.)
Dressed in skirt, tights and a sweater with ruffles (and I would’ve added a hat with feathers if I owned one) – rather than “cycling clothes” – I took Elisabetta out for a purely leisurely and fun ride through a local abandoned golf course (more about this place will come in a future post), riding on the golf cart paths. No traffic, no people, no chasing dogs. It was relaxing, it was fun, and it was probably a little bit silly and pointless basically riding around in a series of circles. But I think it was what I needed. To just let loose, to let my inner Napolean come out – to feel like a kid on a sweet bike. Without the sweet jumps, of course.
So … I have until April 1 to finish the last 30 days of biking (for #330daysofbiking). Hard to believe that nearly a year has passed by, and even more baffling to realize that I may actually see it happen. We’re heading to the mountains and going to be doing some spring skiing in March, and I was (am) afraid of not having access to a bike for several days. But if all goes as planned, I still have enough “buffer” days to finish. Fingers crossed.
Meanwhile, here are a few pics from the last few days of #330daysofbiking. A little more serious, a little less my inner “Napolean”. 😉
Well, Mark is back home from France … and I am thanking him for these beautiful photos (and wishing I could have been there). Not the bicycles of Le Tour, but incredibly beautiful just the same. For my wonderful and silly friends who have said they like my photos, I am thinking I will officially hand over all of the photo gear to Mark and let him take over. He had my Lumix point-and-shoot on his trip, and came back with some of the most incredible shots … castles, bicycles, narrow French cobblestone streets, coastlines and azure water. He has “the eye”; I give up. 😉
He also kind of saved my butt for this post, photo-wise. We received a day of rain today – very much needed after all of the recent heat. I managed to swim in the morning before everything started, and snuck in a quick ride in the evening after some thunderstorms moved through. It was late and overcast; nice for riding, but not so great for photos with only my iPhone along.
My only big news for the day involves some numbers. Since April 1st (the start of #30daysofbiking), I have officially ridden a bicycle on 94 of the past 100 days. Whew. And no, I have no idea of the mileage – I have no interest in keeping track. For me, this is about getting out on my bike, or a bike, as close to every day as I possibly can. Sometimes I miss a day or two (oh, say … when kids develop appendicitis, that kind of thing). And sometimes (like tonight) my rides are barely more than a few miles up the road and back. Sometimes it is the road bike, sometimes the Xtracycle. But for me it’s all about the challenge (and delight) of pedaling each day, no matter what the destination, the distance, or the type of ride.
So now, I officially have 265 days remaining until March 31 – the one year marker from the beginning of #30daysofbiking – and I will do everything possible to ride 236 more days between now and then, to reach my #330daysofbiking goal. Three hundred and thirty days out of three hundred and sixty-five. Sometimes it feels like a big number, and other times not so big. Mostly, I have such wonderful recollections of the beautiful rides, the fun times with my family, the flowers, the cows. Even the rain.
And grateful to the friends who are following along with me … hang in there with me, ok? 😀