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National Bike Challenge 2

May is on the way as one website I saw reads. And …

May is National Bike Month

The annual National Bike Challenge starts on May 1st. I participated in it a few years ago and ended up in first place in my locality. It was indeed challenging to do so and I didn’t care to do it again the next year or since. I am well satisfied to have accomplished it once. I am talking about what was involved to end up in the lead. Regardless of how much we ride we can enter the “challenge” and not ‘compete’ to get first place. I was asked and encouraged to register and take part in it as a representative of my area knowing that I ride a lot … or at least I did then. I still ride, but not as much each day as I did then. PeopleForBikes owns, operates and maintains the National Bike Challenge website. PeopleForBikes is making bicycling better for everyone by uniting millions of riders, thousands of businesses and hundreds of communities.

“The National Bike challenge is a nationwide event uniting thousands of current bicyclists–and encouraging countless new riders.”

National Bike Challenge

All that is involved is to 1) register (it’s free) and 2) keep track of your rides and enter the mileage on their website. You don’t have to do it everyday. You can enter it whenever you get a round tuit just so long as you enter it within the time frame of the event. Just keep accurate record of it so you can enter it. Here is a sampling of what the record keeping looks like on their website. This was my mileage back in June 2012 when I participated in it.

June milage

For those who use smartphones there are apps available to use to keep track of your mileage and upload it to the website making the task even easier.

You can read more about this event HERE.

In closing this article I need to mention that according to what I understand Scott is not sponsoring this event this year. The image I have posted up above shows Scott, but that was last year’s image. Cottonelle is the main sponsor of this event.

Speaking of sponsors …

National Bike Challenge sponsors 2016

And BTW, I don’t know if the numbers shown in the image (75,000 people, 35,000,000 miles) are the same for this year or not. Lastly, there are free prizes given away for those who lead in the mileage tallied.


For many of us who live where we have winter to deal with we either can’t or don’t get out to get exercise. I am talking specifically about riding a tadpole trike,

Steve on new trike at Foster Park

but it is also true of nearly any type of exercise one can name other than winter sports such as ice skating, snow skiing, etc. As a result we get “out of shape”( or out of physical conditioning) … to varying degrees depending upon what we do or don’t do in the way of other forms of exercise. As for me personally I have bad knee joints due to osteoarthritis and I can’t walk much. I used to walk a lot before this happened and wish I still could could as I know it is great exercise and I have always enjoyed walking. Anyway, with this past winter being one of the worst on record the only exercise I got was inside the house other than lots of snow removal outside. When the weather conditions finally improved enough I could get outside to ride my tadpole trike I quickly learned that I was extremely out of shape … far more so than any previous year. I mentioned it to my two friends I ride with. One of them spends 6 months out of the year in southern Florida. When I emailed him and told him about being out of shape he replied back “round is a shape”. He is going to get a knuckle rub on the old noggin’ when he returns up here to the north. 🙂 

round is a shape

All kidding aside, being out of shape is not a laughing matter. I am 67 years old and I am finding that the older I get the harder it is to try to lose weight and get in shape. About the first 2/3 of this past winter I did pretty good as far as maintaining my weight. I usually gain about 15 to 20 pounds over the winter. This winter I started off doing great and experienced very little weight gain. However, by the last 1/3 “all bets were off” as I started gaining back weight and ended up about where I usually am each winter. The only difference is I fell way behind in my physical conditioning since I was not able to get out and ride thru the winter. Yesterday was my longest ride thus far this Spring … about 30 miles. The thing I am most concerned about is I have noticed over the last 2 or 3 years that I am not nearly as motivated as I used to be. Just a few years ago it was not uncommon for me to ride 40 or more miles per day. Just two years ago I managed to ride the most miles of anyone in Fort Wayne signed up for the National Bicycle Challenge.

I entered this national bike challenge but for me it turned into a competition trying to outdo those who were leading. I managed to do so but it became challenging indeed and no longer fun. So I don’t do it anymore even though there are some who want me to. I am just not interested as I know it would turn into another competition thing and I don’t care to do that. In order to take and keep the lead I was riding a lot of 65 to 85 miles days. That was just too much. Now I rarely ride a 40 mile day and most days are 25-35 miles when I am in as good of shape I obtain thru the riding season (Spring, Summer & Fall).  I have found that for me I need to do what I can to keep myself as motivated as possible. Part of that is keeping my riding fun. When it becomes work and drudgery then I lose motivation. A few years ago riding 40 plus miles a day was fun. Now it usually isn’t so I don’t do it anymore. What can I say?

Update: Since I wrote this I have added e-motor assist to my trike and it has turned things around for me. Now I once again enjoy riding and am getting more exercise than I got before when I didn’t have it. And I am often riding 40 plus … even 50 plus miles a day.

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