Well, April is behind us now, and frankly, I’m kinda glad! It was a hard month for me in a way…
Weather wise, that is. I guess I really got spoiled last spring, but this one has been full of mornings that seemed way colder than they should and lots of rainy commutes. I toughed it out through all but one, and on that one threw in the wet towel about half-way home. I knew a storm was coming that afternoon, but thought I had it beat. Not so much. When the downpour took just a few minutes to fill the street gutters with several inches of running water and the skies with thunder and lightning, I knew it was time to get off the road. I called Pam and humbly asked for a rescue.
But on a lighter note, I had signed up for 30DaysofBiking. It’s essentially an attempt to ride your bike every day in April. Going into it, I knew it would be pretty easy to come close, but I wasn’t sure if I would get all 30 days. I didn’t, but 28 of 30 ain’t too bad. At my age, I need a rest day now and then, and I honestly didn’t want to make up an excuse to just ride around the block to say I had ridden every day. Besides, I took solace in the fact that the two Sunday’s I didn’t ride in April I used to perform maintenance on one or more of the bikes. Does that count?
The other challenge I undertook was Strava’s Spring Classics Challenge. It’s basically a challenge based on the “Spring Classic” single day cycling races in Europe. If you add up the distance of distance of five of cycling’s most storied races that form the Spring Classics, that became your goal for the month. Here’s how they added up:
Milan-San Remo [298km]
+ Tour of Flanders [256km]
+ Paris-Roubaix [257km]
+ Liège–Bastogne–Liège [257km]
+ Amstel Gold [251km]
= 1,319 kilometers
Yes, that’s 1,319 kilometers. For us Americans, that is 820 miles! I honestly had never tried to calculate my monthly mileage, but in no way did I think I would ride that many miles in April. I figured I would just be satisfied with what I ended up with and it would make a nice comparison.
Then, something funny happened. These badges started showing up on my Strava feed as I started hitting milestones.
Notice anything special about the date on that 660 km badge? After the first 15 days of April, I was half-way there! Riding 410 miles in 15 days put the thing in an entirely different perspective. Now I had a real goal to chase, and by gosh, I was bound and determined to hit it!
I kept on riding, and our Katy Trail trip seemed to put it within reach!
Then, the wheels seemed like they were about to fall off! Last Thursday evening some things came up and I needed to bail on my evening commute. That was 10 miles lost. I was already calculating and planning, so I knew it was going to be close anyway. Now, I needed a long Saturday ride, followed by a rest day and two normal commutes to make it by the end of the month. Still doable, but I was nervous. I started thinking about contingency rides Monday night or Tuesday morning to make sure I got those last 100 miles in.
Imagine my frustration, then, when we awoke Saturday morning to rain! Aargh! That dashed my hopes for a long Saturday ride, but I did manage to get out for 35 miles after the rain finally stopped in the afternoon. Luckily, Pam wanted to get out on the tandem Sunday afternoon, so I was able to make up the last part of the long ride I needed.
From there, I managed cross under the flamme rouge with a Monday commute extended a few miles to see my dad.
I crossed the finish line on the way to work yesterday. I never would have thought it, but I finished the month of April with 837 total miles!
I amazed myself!