O captain, my captain!
You may or may not know that May is Bike to Work Month, with Bike to Work Day happening on Thursday the 13th. Of course, I’m very excited about this month and have been steadily commuting to work for the past few days. Since we moved train zones, I was also really excited to finally have a monthly pass that reflected the new zones and I no longer need to buy a silly upgrade with my old pass anymore (yay!). May is looking pretty freakin’ awesome at this point.
You also may or may not know that my workplace has a cycling club that is really, really into racing and wearing spandex. When people found out that I joined, I was repeatedly asked if I had bought the team jersey or not. (I had not.) You probably know that I’m not a spandex kinda girl so this is pretty much a no-brainer, and why in the hell would I join such a cycling club anyway? Well, I did it because I like bikes and I like other people who like bikes too, and I don’t mind if those bike-liking folks are spandex-freaks or not. They can be aerodynamic enough for the both of us.
So as it turns out, in conjunction with Bike to Work Day, there is a month-long challenge called the Team Bike Challenge, where teams of 2-5 people collect points by recording their non-exercise rides throughout May. The point is to replace motorised transport with bike transport instead, so you can’t count exercise rides but you can count trips to the store, going to meet friends, and commuting to/from work. Of course I decided to create a team for my workplace and we now have a happy little team of five bikey people, including the requisite novice.
Being team captain, I should be setting a good example and logging a lot of miles, right? Right?? Well, no. I’m currently in last place for both points and miles for my team. It doesn’t help that I’m categorised as an Expert Cyclist since I ride more than 12 times a month. Because of this, I earn points more slowly than a novice for the same rides. Boo…..
You get points for how many miles you ride each day, so you get 1 point for 0-4 miles, 2 points for 5-14 miles, 3 points for 15-29 miles, and 4 points for 30+ miles. Since my commute is 13 miles a day, I’ve been tacking on an extra 2 miles just so I can reach that next tier of points. Let’s face it: I’ll never be able to ride 30+ miles a day just to get that extra point, but I can pretty easily find 2 miles somewhere everyday. I can run some errands and ride to Embarcadero after arriving up in SF to grab a couple extra miles. I can also ride to lunch and back during the day for another few miles to rack up the total.
It’s not too hard to get up into the 15-29 mile range everyday, and if I keep this up, I may even get out of last place on my team! Even our novice is kicking my butt right now. I’m secretly hoping that people are energetic
right now, but will lag off later in the month and I can slowly pull out of last place, much like the tortoise.
(And yes, I am quite the tortoise on my bike.)
But in the meantime, I’ll just keep plodding along and logging my miles.