30 Days of Biking Review

Last month I took on the 30 Days of Biking challenge. Or, as we say in the TwitterSphere: #30daysofbiking.

What is 30 Days of Biking?

The aim of #30daysofbiking was to ride your bike, every day, for the 30 days of April. Some people upped the ante and set themselves minimums (like 1 hour per day). For others it was enough to just hop on the bike and ride round the block. I never set myself a minimum as I thought just getting out on the bike would be hard enough (it was too hard as it turned out!), but once I got on the bike I always found myself riding at least 15 mins.

Goals

When I heard about #30daysofbiking, it just sounded right. It was almost a month since Ironman NZ and I hadn’t touched a bike the entire time; my bike fitness was declining and I had triathlons coming up – I needed to start riding again! But I also liked the ‘back to basics‘ feel of it. Getting round by bike was what I did as a kid. I’m always keen for something that’ll make me feel young again! I didn’t have any clearly defined goals – apart from the obvious goal of riding every day!

The End

Let’s skip straight to the last page…

I rode for 27 of the 30 days. I missed one day because I left it too late and by the time I could get out (10pm-ish) I was too tired (soft), another I missed because I ended up working past midnight (soft), and the third I missed because… because… I think I just didn’t care to be honest! (soft)

What was Good about #30daysofbiking?

  • It got me out – a lot of it was low quality cycling with kids on the back, but it got me out!
  • It challenged me. Grow or die!
  • It got me thinking about where in my daily routine I could use a bike instead of a car; it got me thinking of the bike as a mode of transport again – the first choice mode of transport!
  • Eventually it became easy to head out late in the evening for a 45 min ride with some hard training in it. This could become a useful session in the future.
  • My mountain bike got some love – tires pumped, forks pumped, chain oiled. And it got ridden! Poor thing – it had been years!
  • It reminded me how much I love MTB-riding at night. Big, bright spotties illuminating dew-covered fields and looming drop-offs. Ahhh.
  • Not having a minimum target made it easier to get out there every day – just getting on the bike would count! Once I was riding, I always rode further than I intended, because riding without a goal was FUN!

What was Sad about #30daysofbiking?

  • It revealed to me how busy I am now, and how little free time I have! I must have done at least half of the rides after 9pm (after finishing the kids/bottles/dishes routine!)
  • I got a daily reminder of how much I hate/fear cars when I’m riding.
  • Riding didn’t become a daily habit or part of my daily routine – I always had to mentally make the effort to schedule it. I hoped getting out would become second-nature.
  • I realised that times have changed and, with 4 children, riding kids to and from events is no longer a realistic option. I need a rickshaw!
  • The 3-4hrs of low quality riding per week hid a continuing decline in my bike fitness. It looked like I was doing bike training, but I wasn’t.
  • Not having a minimum target meant that I didn’t make any fitness gains from the endeavour (but it was better than not riding at all!)
  • Not having any explicit goals (or at least having subconscious goals that I hadn’t spelt out) meant that I finished the month disappointed in what I got out of it. And I shouldn’t have been. You have to state your goals so that you can achieve your goals! If you leave your goals unstated at the start then you run the risk of subconsciously moving the goal-posts as time goes on. This will leave you disappointed in what you’ve achieved even though it perhaps surpassed what you thought you’d get from it in the first place! In my case, my explicit goal should have been to just enjoy the experience and see what I could get from it.

What’s Next?

escape into the wild.jpg
I’ve already set myself a fortnightly adventure goal. This is going really well so far. The original aim was to regain the joy of outdoor exercise by escaping into the wild – perhaps an MTB ride or a trail run. With the reality of being a parent of four young kids, it’s morphed into a weekly bush walk. So far we’ve been to Binna Burra, The Spit, Burleigh Hill, Mudgeeraba and Mt Tamborine.

I’d love to do the 30 runs in 30 days of 30 mins #30days30runs30mins, but my primary goal is the Gold Coast Half Marathon in eight weeks and I don’t think this would allow me time to recover from the long runs and hard speed sessions. Perhaps in August I’ll go for the 31 runs in 31 days of 31 mins? #31runs31days31mins

The Marathon Talk guys were running some good motivational challenges like Jantastic, Febulous and Marchvellous. I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for Augustulous?

I’d really love to cement that daily ride habit. I’m toying with riding every day for a year. Once again, it wouldn’t be a 100% thing, but more of a philosophy.

Ride. Your. Bike.

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2 Responses to 30 Days of Biking Review

  1. idreamofkona says:

    Interesting challenge: Did you have any rules on riding indoors, either on Rollers or a Turbo Trainer.

    “You have to state your goals so that you can achieve your goals! If you leave your goals unstated at the start then you run the risk of subconsciously moving the goal-posts as time goes on” A very good point there; something I need to do better!

  2. jontsnz says:

    I’m not a big fan of riding indoors – hence the late night rides with the lights. I primarily exercise for enjoyment and I’ve never been able to enjoy an indoor ride!

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