2020 in 2020: A Bonus Biking Post

Ride 2020 miles in 2020? Check!

As of October 17, I completed 2020 miles in the year 2020! If you’re like me, you might be curious as to how those 2020 miles broke down statistically, so…

It took me 291 days total, averaging 6.9 miles per day though I took 68 days off, averaging 9.1 miles per ride.
When counting miles per day, I only ever rounded down and, while my average might give the appearance of otherwise, I ended every single day at an even number count of miles. 9.5 mile ride? That would have been counted as 8 miles. Go ahead, call me superstitious, but we’re all a little crazy somewhere.
I rode a total of 240 rides, 163 indoor + 77 outdoor with 43 “Burley Rides” as we call them in our house.
Of the 2020, 1391 miles were indoors, 629 miles were outdoors, and 333 miles were “Burley Rides”, which brings me to my next argument…

Burley Rides with both kids means, I’m pulling approximately 55lbs behind me on said ride. While I did not inflate my mileage to take this into account, I think it’s worth doing the math to accommodate for the extra work. 55lbs is a certain percentage of my weight. If we times my Burley Ride miles by, say, 1.4, it’s really like I rode 466.2 miles instead of 333, which would have given me a total of 2153 miles and had me finishing 2020 in 2020 on October 2.

Regardless, some of my notable rides along the way:
Win took his very first Burley ride on April 3 and Oaklee held his hand and wiped up his spit to help him through it.
Oaklee rode alongside me for 2 miles on her balance bike on May 23. This was my shortest ride. It was also my sweetest.
I rode my half-way ride (1010 miles) on Memorial Day.
I got my very first flat tire on July 11 and the good Lord sent a more than equipped stranger to the right place at the right time who helped me, my kid, my bike and my Burley get home.
On August 23, we left our old house for our last time on bike, riding 6 miles to our new house.
I rode my longest ride on Labor Day (24 miles).
And, of course, I rode my last 2 miles on October 17.

On October 17 I celebrated with champagne, a Barbie cake and a 4 person awards presentation (my husband, my kids and me). A co-worker of mine bought me the most perfect medal. And while my true gift to myself hasn’t arrived yet (a silver ring with a bike on it), finally ordering the Barbie cake I’ve wanted for like 23 years was pretty sweet (though the cake itself was not sweet – it was everything I ever dreamed of until I took a bite – quite possibly the worst tasting cake I have ever tasted – utterly inedible – there’s $35 I’ll never get back).

Before we talk about what’s next, for your enjoyment, my acceptance speech:

It is an honor to accept the award I am 100% presenting myself today. I’ve dreamed of this award literally for decades and finally deemed it well deserved after such a feat as biking 2020 miles this year. This milestone would not have been possible without the help of many others, so allow me to take a moment to thank those who’ve helped me along the way.

I first have to thank the Lord for giving me a body I can use, a community I can explore, and the safety and health to complete such an endeavor as this. I also have to thank and attribute much of my accomplishment to the support and occasional neglect of my husband, Kevin. To my children, their stuffed animals and dolls for literally being along for the ride whether they excitedly jumped into the Burley en route to the playground or were lured in with snacks. To my parents for teaching me to ride a bike and then buying me the bike 12 years ago that I still ride today. To my high school cheer experience that formed me into a goal setter/getter. To the guy who took me, my kid, my bike and my Burley home when we were were stranded with a flat tire. To the owners of the ponies on Barry St and the owner of the goats on Quincy who provided above par pit stops for my kids. To Ms. Whitmer for never shutting down sidewalks, trails and roads (too soon? 😬). To the books that kept me company on my indoor rides. To every friend and family member who checked in or encouraged me along the way – you may have thought your words were small, but they were fuel.

When I set out to ride 2020 miles this year, I had no idea when or if I would actually finish it. So today, I’m honestly surprised to be celebrating two months early. Many have assumed I have always been an avid biker. This is untrue. My bike is nothing special. It’s never been “tuned up”. Last year, I probably rode 300 miles max. The only special biking gear I have is a helmet (though I did have to buy biking shorts because chafing – ow). I fought hard to make today happen and I ran into many challenges along the way. From knee pain, to a flat tire, to a shutdown that made it almost impossible to find time away from my kids to ride, to major life changes like moving, I had to rework plans, go with the flow, be persistent, multitask, take breaks and find ways to make it happen in times it felt like it might not.

If you journeyed along with me this year and thought, “I could do that,” I would say DO IT. And if you journeyed along with me and thought, I could never do that, I would say you’re probably right. The difference is, undoubtedly, thinking you can.

So today I celebrate accomplishment. This wasn’t about changing my body or testing it. It was about taking time for myself, showing my kids what healthy habits look like, practicing dedication to a task, and accomplishing goals. Ride 2020 miles in 2020? Check! Now onto the cake I’ve been waiting 23 years to eat…

So I’m done. A lot of people have been asking, “Now what?” I still have two months in 2020, am I just done? In short, no. But up until this point I’d been prioritizing biking over other areas of my life, and I don’t feel a need to continue in that trajectory. I also need some time to recover. Two days before the end, I fell down our stairs and hurt my knee (why do we still do this as adults?). Having already ordered the Barbie cake, I had to finish 14 miles at a time when I should have realistically rested. I’ll go easy for a couple of weeks now, riding when it sounds nice instead of riding to cross an item off my to-do list, and then I’ll jump back in and see where I end the year at.

As far as next year, will I continue riding? Absolutely. Part of this process was simply about forming a healthy habit. I once realized that if I want to be fit forever, I need to have realistic fitness goals. Do I think I’ll run a marathon at 50? Probably not. But could I ride my bike for 20 miles at 50? I sure hope so. So I’ll continue leaning into this healthy habit, but I might not as meticulously track my mileage and every detail along the way. We’ve got other plans for 2021, and I honestly cannot wait for those to begin panning out.

It’s been an amazing 10 months in regards to biking. The goal getter side of me is sad that it’s over, but my biking journey as a whole will never truly be over. Cheers to this experience, to celebration, and to goal achievement! I’ll keep you posted on where I end the year at.

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