In which Michael carefully lowers the expectations of himself

It is Tuesday, December 20, 2011. This morning it was 27 degrees Fahrenheit when I left for work at 6:20. I rode my bike.

For nearly 11 months I’ve been bike commuting. The bulk of the 3500 miles or so I’ve ridden this year have carried me to and from work. I still feel like I’m in the best shape of my life. But, with 11 days left in the year (only 3 of which will demand bike commuting) I’m not sure I’m going to meet the goal I set for myself back in January. As of today, I’m not even sure how many miles I have left to ride (according to Strava I’ve got 3490 miles under my belt but I’ve not uploaded a ride since 12/05) and I’m not sure I even care anymore.

There it is. There’s the sentence that sounds a lot like someone rationalizing the failure to meet goal. But really, I’m not saying I won’t (I might not) I’m just saying I’m not as concerned with it as I was at one time.

Early on in this experiment with bike commuting it was the novelty of using my bike as means of transportation that got me up early in the mornings and pushed me out the door despite being ill prepared for cold weather and dark mornings. As the novelty wore off, the goal I’d set for myself helped me up into the saddle on the tough mornings. Today, today I woke up and pulled on my kit and rolled out into the early morning cold because it’s the way I get to work (it was the having to go to work part I found most difficult). It will be the same tomorrow. It’s the routine.

Which isn’t to say I don’t love it. I just don’t need any goal to keep me going.

Update: Strava is now reflecting my “official” mileage: 3,574.

  1. #1 by Blake on December 20, 2011 - 1:51 pm

    I’m not as high-tech with Strava, but I do have a nice big excel spreadsheet with my commute miles for the last nine years (2011 looks like it will end with 2548 miles) . My company also pays me 1$ a day as part of a “commute alternatives” program. Of course after taxes that’s closer to $0.60. Not much of an incentive but I guess it’s better than nothing. My best incentive is on my off days having to deal with traffic at the end of the day and wishing I was on my bike…

  2. #2 by dellwilson on December 20, 2011 - 4:36 pm

    I too keep trasck of mileage in a spreadsheet. I keep the commuting/transportation mileage separate from the fitness. Historically, about 1/3 of my mileage is commuting and 2/3 is fitness. I also enjoy tracking my YTD mileage against the previous year. If I see I’m getting behind, I will tend to step it up a bit just too stay ahead.

  3. #3 by Michael on December 22, 2011 - 7:42 am

    Blake, if you have a GPS device you should really check out Strava. It’s easy to use and allows for all sorts of fun data mining.

    dell, I try to make my commuting mileage=fitness mileage so I track them together but I classify my commutes as commutes on Strava and I’m sure I could take the time to figure out which miles were commute miles and which were fitness miles, if I were so inclined.

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