Last year, I managed to log almost 1,100 kilometres, over 850 of which were on the bike. The remainder was walking and some foolish attempts at jogging. I hate jogging. It’s bullshit. Prove me wrong… Seriously though, I absolutely hate running. But I lOVE cycling, and thanks to all the free time I had during the pandemic, I logged quite a lot of time on two wheels. Since the snow has disappeared, I’ve been a little slow on starting up this year, but I’m slowly starting to catch up and I’ve decided on some pretty fun goals.
I had grand ambitions to be out of bed by 6:00 am and hit the road after some brief preparation, but as you can see from the time stamp in the image above, it didn’t quite work out that way. Caffeine was singing its sirens song and I couldn’t resist the pull of my arm chair as I sat and sipped while doing my daily crossword puzzles. By the time 10:00 am struck, I recognized that if I wanted to use this particular day to get some mileage in, I would need to get at it.
I should point out that this was last Monday, which was a statutory holiday in Saskatchewan. This meant that my wife and I both had the day off, facilitating my ability to take off on the bile for a couple of hours to try and get a solid sweat in. I peddled my way down to Wascana Lake, one of my favourite spots for cycling. The reasons are quite simple: there are paved paths that allow for a smooth and measured ride. there’s also a lot of trees and water, lending a small reminder of my home Province of New Brunswick.
However, with the recent lessening of restrictions and conditions in regards to the pandemic, the walking path has become less than ideal. During the pandemic, foot traffic was restricted to one direction AND social distancing was required. Now, not only is there two-way traffic, making it more difficult to navigate, but people are walking and filling the paths with impunity. You wouldn’t believe how easily two people can take up the entire width of a public path and seem oblivious to the words “excuse me.”
As the morning wore on, the temperature began to increase. The day was blessed with a light overcast, a combination of clouds and smoke from recent wild fires in neighbouring Provinces. The result was that I wasn’t TOTALLy exposed to the sun, but the heat was still mounting enough that I was dripping onto my handlebars. Luckily, I brought along a bottle of sugar-free electrolytes and my glucometer, so I was set in terms of hydration and ensuring my blood sugars were level. Insert a PSA here about how extreme heat can affect insulin pumps and CGM…
By the time I got home, my legs and arms were killing me, my shirt was soaked to the point you could almost see through it and I looked like something the cat dragged in. The mileage shown above is what I managed to complete by the time I got there. I took a short period of time, sitting in my garage and sipping the remainder of my electrolytes and some water before hammering a half-dozen jellybeans to regulate my blood sugars.
Remember in the opening paragraph when I mentioned that I was working on some pretty fun goals? I’ve decided to try this app called The Conqueror Challenges. Basically, (and I’m not endorsing this app, I’ve simply installed it for personal use) these are virtual marathons that you can sign up for, pay a fee and it tracks your distance until you’ve reached the goal. You can choose a package where they issue you a completion medal when you’re done or a package where you get the completion medal as well as a t-shirt. They have some pretty cool ones, like climbing Mt. Everest or crossing the English Channel.
Just about anything can be virtual, nowadays. So, why would marathons be any different. I’ve completed a couple of challenges already, so I’ll keep y’all posted when I receive a completion medal. But for someone try to set goals and achieve them without getting involved in something according to someone else’s schedule, this can be it. And that’s pretty much where I find myself; between work and home life, I don’t really have the time to sign up for scheduled marathons or join public events. I’m just waiting on baited knee for karate to open up again. I don’t know, it’s something different and helps to keep me on track. There’s one medal that’s 4,000 kilometres! That’s crazy! I could basically cycle my way home to New Brunswick! That would certainly be a strange and wonderful adventure. ☯️