Category Archives: #30daysofbiking

Another 30

Today was day 2 of my second official #30daysofbiking. This time around, I’m doing at least 10 miles a day. With longer rides on the weekend, I’m hoping for about 500 miles or so in the month.  We’ll see how it goes.  I’m starting stronger than last time by a long shot.   Some of those early rides were pretty dire, and the rides the day after that were even more pathetic.  But I got through, and I can safely say that I rode more days than I didn’t over the last 6 months or so.  That’s got to count for something on the old health-o-meter, right?

As I think back on the previous #30 (which turned into 105), I find myself thinking about the power of the social network.  It was a chance encounter with a post by somebody I hadn’t seen since high school that piqued my curiosity and got me back on my bike again for so much of the summer.  What a cool coincidence, and what a cool time we live in that this sort of thing can and does happen.  Before #30daysofbiking, I didn’t really even follow twitter much, and didn’t really get what the big deal was about.   Now I get it.

The funny thing is, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to me.  Nearly 5 years ago, I found Crossfit, and I can safely say it’s changed my life for the better.  This was an early example of the power of social media and open-source thinking to change lives.  I much prefer Crossfit’s approach (free, social, interactive) to Tony Horton’s expensive, overly-produced P90x and their variants.

Think about how you stay informed these days.  I still listen to the radio (MPR, contributing member, thankyouverymuch), and I occasionally turn on the TV, but most of my information is delivered to me on my terms, in little previews that I can explore in greater depth if I choose, when it’s convenient for me.  I have the whole internet in  my pocket *ALL THE TIME.*  Such connectivity was science fiction 10 years ago.  Now it’s like breathing.

Now that the technology is here, look at how fast we’re learning to use it.  Read your facebook feed and see how much news has crept in, and how much other information is improving the signal to noise ratio (provided you are good at hiding apps like FarmVille and Mafia Wars. )  Links to Pandora, news sites, and other media are the next wave of connectedness.   Say what you like about Jobs and Zuckerberg and the like, those guys at least have a vision for a future where you can do more and see more and stay more connected with people who matter to you.

Sure, there are problems, and there’s abuse, but that’s nothing new.  The  Ponzi schemers and patent medicine hucksters from the past are no different than the phishing, 419 scamming scumbags we have to deal with today.  Set up a system and a small but visible minority of the population will try to take advantage of it in not-nice ways.  Doesn’t mean that the system isn’t worthwhile.

Think about the rate of change in the last 5 years, then think about what’s going to happen to news, marketing, sales, and politics over the next 5 years.  What will top Old Spice Guy?  You can bet there are legions of very smart people working on that right now.

More importantly, when will we reach the next tipping point, and what will that be?  What’s after the iPhone generation?

#30daysofbiking firing up again for September

After a couple of weeks off for travel, Sturgis, and other miscellaneous work duties, I’m getting back in the saddle for another 30.  I’m hoping to do 300 miles in the month.

Go here for more info:

http://30daysofbiking.com/bike/

I highly recommend that you join us on this!  It’s a refreshing, fun, and rewarding way to reconnect with your two-wheeled past.  Why do I say past?  Well, I used to ride a lot, back in grad school.  Yearly pilgrimages to Moab, mountain bike races, and a longish but doable commute got quite a few miles on my legs.  Moving to California in 2000 probably put me at the most miles I’ve ever done in a single year, though I’ve never kept much track of the actual miles ridden.

But work, life, and kids sort of intervened.  I’d still pick up the occasional issue of a bike magazine, and go for a spin once in a while, but it always felt harder than I remember, and I never managed to stick with it.  I’d go to watch the bike race in downtown Stillwater, and feel vaguely bad about myself that I had this tremendous love for bikes, but hadn’t made actually riding them that often a priority.   My actions weren’t in line with my core values.

When I saw a Facebook posting (thanks Bob Amaden!) alluding to #30daysofbiking I perked up and paid attention.  I got to the party a little late (April 16th) , but made up for it by not stopping until work-related travel absolutely forced me to.  It ended up being 105 days straight of more than 5 miles on the bike.  The longest ride was a nice hilly 56-miler down to Afton and other places in the St. Croix river valley.

If you’re anything like I was, you used to ride more than you do now.  Maybe you didn’t, but you probably bought a bike at some point, and when that bike was shiny and new you put on more miles than you do now.   Well, that can be fixed in short order, and you won’t believe how quickly it takes to feel that wonderful feeling of motoring under your own power again.  The small triumphs of hills conquered without downshifting (or the fixie equivalent: motoring up hills seated with higher gearing than you used at the start of the season), and the sureness of knowing that you are indeed fitter than you were the week before are still there waiting for you.  The mellow relaxation of a post-ride endorphine high is still just as pleasant.

Think about it this way:  your life is probably a lot more complicated than it was when you last put on any serious miles.  You need those miles now more than ever to put everything into perspective.

I’m looking forward to a nice way to round out the summer.  It’s already feeling a little chillier out there (in the 50’s the other night made it wonderfully brisk.)  Soon all the rides will be in the dark, and there will be some weather to worry about.   Bring it on, I say!