Spurred on by A Dude Abikes and his achievement of riding every single day for a year, I decided to see what it would feel like to ride every single day. Only for a month mind you, small steps! It’s weird, because even after all this time as a “cyclist” I don’t think riding for 31 consecutive days is something I’ve ever done before.
Some of my rides were longer adventures, others were hard blasts, others simply for the fun of it, and a few were even on the trainer (because that’s kind of my job), but every day in October I threw a leg over a top tube and rode.
So what did I learn? Well, not a lot to be honest. I love riding my bike, so ride my bike I did. I’m thankful to be in a privileged enough position to be able to do that. There were three key points that stood out at the end of the month though.
1. Riding every day won’t make you fast, it’ll just make you good at riding every day. I also remember this from my commuting days. You get very good at just getting on your bike and tapping out a comfortable tempo. Riding every day at the same pace won’t make you any faster. In fact it could arguably make you slower! To get fast, you need to ride fast (then recover and ride faster next time). On a slightly unrelated note, riding more means you’re more likely to encounter this…
2. If you ARE going to ride fast or far, you’ll need PROPER recovery rides. Not just a slightly slower ride, but a true blue, leg spinning, minimal effort, easy-as-pie ride. It became clear that going hard every day is not sustainable. I did all my recovery days on the trainer as for me at least, it’s much easier to maintain a low effort and not be tempted to sprint or hammer up a short climb. Sit and spin, that’s the name of the active recovery game!
3. Some days you won’t feel like riding, but a ride will usually make you feel better. There were a couple of day where I just didn’t feel like hopping on the bike, but I got kitted up and did it anyway. And you know what? During and after those rides that feeling of lethargy went away. It’s certainly easier to do this when you’ve got a goal in mind. Sometimes just getting started is the hardest part, but knowing I had a streak of consecutive days to uphold made it that little bit easier.
So will I continue to ride every day? To be honest, I’m not sure. It was great (and I was lucky with the weather) but it’s certainly not the “be all and end all” of cycling. I ride for enjoyment so if my schedule and lifestyle allows me to ride every day then I will. If not, I won’t sweat it. Do you try and ride every day?