Every year for me since 2015 is the “year of the bike” by default, but 2017 was exceptional.
Following a conversation at my local bike shop, a handful of shop regulars started a friendly competition to see who could ride their bike at least 1 mile (logged on Strava for proof) per consecutive day of 2017, with a “last wo/man standing” approach.
It was said that as a commuter, I would surely win. But with the time I have off with a school district job, and my inclination on some weekends to stay at home and slowly drown in cat hair, it was a challenge nonetheless.
Strava did let me down unfortunately, with a total of 362 days logged for the year between times that I saved my ride the next morning and an overnight, 2-day logged ride while on the Natchez Trace with spotty reception.
But scout’s honor, I did ride the minimum mile each day, for a total of 5k logged miles at years end.
It was a sad day when I broke the streak on January 2 of 2018. I half considered keeping it going, but a) I do feel bad clogging up people’s Strava feeds with often underwhelming 1.1 mile or repetitive commute logs on many days, b) it does add pressure and an extra complication when planning a trip, and c) I would rather set a total 7k mile goal for 2018 instead. Oh, and d) I currently have bronchitis and haven’t left the house for 3 days.
The best result of this experiment was creating a photo diary of sorts for the year. I think I took more pictures than usual, in part to add some interest to my boring commutes and short rides. Between the title, pictures added and comments among friends, I have a capsule of sorts for 2017 to remember the literal and figurative ups and downs of 2017. In a year where the need for self care was pretty much unprecedented, riding daily was also a thoroughly needed catharsis and mental break from the general chaos that often seemed to reign supreme.
Some highlights of the year?
Marches and rallies, because 2017:
Group rides that might otherwise blend together:
Getting a beautiful new road bike:
Crossing items off the bike-it list: Georgia Guidestones, Silver Comet Trail
The Natchez Trace in April
Good times with friends and family:
Road trip ‘side rides’ with borrowed wheels along the way:
Buying and renovating a house.. with some interesting trips to Lowe’s
Sharing ongoing progress with house projects:
Not to mention countless other memories.. it’s hard to fit a year into a post.
There were some challenging days (Marked by neighborhood loops during Irma, which took out our power for 3 days)
And icy snow days that I had off of work but managed a slow roll down the street or around a salted parking lot)
But I can’t recall once regretting the yearlong commitment.
Not to mention I finally got my gummy bear prize, hand delivered:
I would highly recommend a month or year long experiment like this; I may even try it again myself down the road. In the meantime, I’ll keep rolling through 2018, open to new adventures✌️