Monday, June 25, 2012

Every Day May Update

Folks, May has come and gone.  So has most of June.  But I don't want to let our experiment with getting aboard a bike every day for a month fade into the Summer air without comment.  What I'd like most is to hear from those of you who tried it in the comment section below.  There's no praise or shame here, just the dispassionate reporting of scientific endeavor--so cough up the details.  I will, of course, have to begin the whole thing with my own data. 
For myself, the experiment could have easily been renamed "Hardly-Any-Days-May."  The first week went well--I was astride the bike at some point in each day.  Some of it was for good, lusty springtime rides where I could shake off the stale stink of our winter of garage sessions.  Other times I just climbed aboard a bike and headed off to Starbucks.  One night, having had no reason to take a long ride that day, I just got aboard the bike and went off for a spin around the block.  I thought I would feel silly, but instead I felt that even that brief spin cleared my head and cheered me up.  The experiment seemed virtuous and habit-forming.

But then, shortly after that, I got some shingles.

Not the useful kind

I got the kind of shingles you don't want, the sleeper-cell sneak-attack kind.  The kind where the chicken pox virus of your 4/5ths-forgotten youth blasts up out of your nerve tissue and ravages both your skin and your sanity.  So, despite one long, pleasant ride scouting the century route with my man Jasper, May essentially got written off as a month for cycling.  Which sucks, and is disappointing, and all the rest you might expect me to say, but I don't want to dwell on it. It was, after all, not a test of the self but an experiment.  I liked it.  I learned some stuff.  That's enough.

So, readers, how did it go for you?  Tell me of your May.  I'm especially curious, of course, to know if anybody actually had an everyday May.  I'm afraid you actually had to spin up the bike each day of the month to get credit for that--no banking extra rides against rainy days.  That repetition was the nature of the experiment, much more than miles or hours or speeds or any of the other numbers by which we catalog our cycling.  Remember, no success or failure here--I had to edit that word out of the paragraph above--just data.  It was an experiment.  How did it go for you?


  1. I looked at my bikes EVERY DAY in May. I liked it. They're all wheely and sexy and neat-looking--especially the Peloton. My blue 'un looks like an old friend.

  2. At the risk of sounding like a braggart, I will say yeah, sure, I rode my bike every day. Why wouldn't I?

    There were only a couple of days where I had to make a special effort, including one 11:45 pm trip around the block, which was surprisingly refreshing. Victoria and I went for a few lovely evening rides we probably wouldn't have done without the challenge.

    In fact, I've decided to keep the streak going. Not just May. I'm cycling the Every Day Way until the snow flies!

  3. This is all really inspiring. A guy at the bike store last summer just gave me a bike rather have to tune up my old, very old, ten-speed. First of all, the brakes were reversed, rear brake on the left, which he eventually switched. Then I noticed my normal peddling gear was the top gear (or bottom, I forget which) of the range, which isn't quite right, is it? I think I've got some kind of juvenile bike, in short, but it looks good. I'm going home to ride it right now.

  4. @ Anon -- This is a fantastic start. Your meditation upon the object is the first stage towards an embrace.

    @ Jasper -- Braggart.

    @ Gerald -- A new bike is an exciting thing. I don't really think of bikes as juvenile or adult or off-road or on. There are just bikes that fit and work and bikes that don't. I hope you get out there and ride, and whatever the bike is, I hope you feel a juvenile sense of joy in your heart.

  5. I missed three days in May. boo hoo. Interestingly, the days I missed were all Saturdays or Sundays--the days when i had the most time on my hands. On those days, it wasnt the weather or work that kept me from my bike. I simply forgot. I hate even writing those words, but theyre true.


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