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Two Mile Tour

19 May

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Not a three-hour tour, a two mile tour.

If you’re old enough you may remember Gilligan’s Island and the three-hour tour… three-hour tour.

Got the song in your head now? Me too. Sorry.

About the Two Mile Tour. I came across this cartoon by Bikeyface on Twitter last week. It hit home with me.

 

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Riding a bike doesn’t mean riding some long distance, well it doesn’t only mean that. Riding a bike can mean pedaling for a block, a mile, two miles or a century. It’s all riding.

So it is about the bike, but it isn’t about the distance. Cyclists, myself included, tend to get hung up on mileage and speed. That’s changing for me though.

With my attempt to ride every day – prompted by April’s #30DaysofBiking – I’m learning a bike ride doesn’t have to be at least 20 miles to be worth doing. I wasn’t aware I operated on that belief but I did.

With the #RideEveryDay policy some days my bike ride has been as short as a mile or even less on a few days when it was pouring. RideEveryDay isn’t about the miles as much as it’s about riding the bike every single day no matter what. I’ve missed a day, May 8th, because I was away from home and didn’t have a bike, but otherwise I have.

Bikeyface’s point is that just about anyone can ride two miles and then build on it if they want. They may never choose to ride further than a couple of miles and that’s okay.

They may never choose to wear lycra shorts or use clipless pedals and that’s okay too. Good in fact.

Honestly I’m relatively new to the camp of “biking” rather than “cycling”, where with the former anyone can do it, and the latter is populated by two-wheeled addicts (or enthusiasts if you prefer) like myself and probably you with our high tech gear on our high-end bikes.

If you pay great attention to wind speed and direction you’re likely in the cycling camp. Before smart phones and apps the weather channel was my most viewed cable channel.

I get that the cycling model I’ve always subscribed to has not appealed to the majority of people. It hasn’t brought bicycling to the masses by any stretch. Seems to me that most of the new people coming to cycling/bicyling just aren’t interested in seeing how fast and how far they can ride. They aren’t interested in what their resting heart rate is (46) or their average speed (15-16 if it’s flat). They are drawn to biking for transportation and fun.

Personally I don’t care what brings people to biking just so long as they’re here.

The love of bikes can include all of us: athlete types, people riding for transportation and the people who haven’t been on a bike in years but remember it fondly and want to try it again, just for the fun of it.

For those people, two mile tours, in street clothes, sans helmet if they choose, might just be the ticket to get them riding. Hope so.

 

 

Daily Biking Challenge

4 May

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Transitioning from April to May means moving from the 30 Days of Biking Challenge to the National Bike Challenge.

The National Bike Challenge runs from May 1st through September 30th every year and is designed to encourage people to bike by People for Bikes. The idea is to get more people on bikes and encourage them through contests and activities. You can participate in the challenge and log your miles on the website.

Anything that gets people riding bikes is a good thing and worth supporting. For me personally it’s good as it gives me another platform or structure to continue with my daily biking challenge.

Since I began last month, April 2nd, I have ridden every day, about 300 miles worth. Things are going to get trickier later this week as I will be out-of-town and have no bike to ride. The place I’m visiting has an exercise bike so if worse comes to worse I can ride that I suppose, or possibly rent or borrow a bike. Anything to get my hands on a bike for a daily ride – short of stealing. Just so you know, I have my limits.

RideEveryDay

Spring Training

28 Apr

April is winding down and so is 30 Days of Biking. Yesterday was the biggest test yet for my allegiance to the cause.

It rained all day and evening, heavy cold rain. Cats and dogs kind of rain. I put it off as long as I could then donned my rain jacket and pants for a really quick spin on the bike. Just enough to call it a ride. Barely.

We had two nice days of riding over the weekend. Amazing how easy it feels on Rocket the road bike after the daily slogs on my nameless mountain bike or Condor the commuter. I decided to do all of my Monday – Friday rides on the heavier bikes and save my zippy road bike for my longer weekend rides. My thinking was and is to use the slower, heavier bike rides to build my fitness and the longer rides would be easier as a result.

It’s working. I felt the benefits of this strategy on both rides over the weekend. Both rides were noticeably easier than they were in March. Granted I’m riding more, every day now, and that’s part of it, but I think a bigger part of the improvements are from the daily training on the beefier bikes.

Some of it is mental – some part of everything is mental – and I’ll take it but there’s no question, in my mind at least, that it is easier to go fast and long on a road bike.

Don’t get me wrong, I love riding all three of my bikes, but for different reasons and purposes.

Anyone see it differently or employ a similar strategy for early season rides?

Nightrider

16 Apr

The approaching headlight of my husband’s bike. Pitch black on last night’s ride. #30daysofbiking

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For the Love of Bikes Blog by Susan Lash (2009 - 2014) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at www.loveofbikes.com.