A Bike for Life: A suitable challenge?

As I think about my new bike, a bike chosen especially for it’s durability, reliability and flexibility I am wondering what a suitable challenge for me and this bike will be.

Some of the recent goals I have met recently are:

  • I got to about 630 days cycling in a row.
  • I am on target to ride 5,500 miles in 2012.
  • I rode LEJOG (1020 miles) in 11 days.
  • I have ridden over 100 miles in a day, several times.

So what will be a suitable challenge for me on this new bike? One that will prove the bike and help with my fitness (and ideally help me lose more weight).

Some ideas:

  • Ride the new bike a minimum of 10 miles every day for a year (when I rode for 630 days in a row some days I only rode a mile or so)
  • Complete a 100 mile ride every month (I managed that for Jan, Feb and March this year)
  • Achieve 200 miles in a day (my maximum at the moment is just under 120 miles).
  • Achieve a 10 mile ride in under 30 minutes (on fixie my best time is just over 32 minutes).
  • Achieve 100 miles in less than 7.5 hours elapsed time (I have managed this in moving time but elapsed time has always been more than an hour longer)

Any other ideas? What would be the best test for the bike? What would have the greatest positive impact on me?

Maybe I should create a poll for this. What do you think?

The Series so far:

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  1. Just enjoy cycling. Why must everything be a competition? If we didn’t have this “I must be better than you, or if not, at least better than myself” attitude, there would be no wars, no olympics, no TDF, no Wimbledon interfering with normal telly, and life would be peaceful & beautiful. I am surprised to find such obsessiveness in a man of the cloth. Actually, no I’m not, but it’s usually focussed on Steam Railways.
    I have followed your LEJoG blog with interest & admiration. Well done! Especially well done with the weather being so awful.
    Out of your suggestions, and if you intend to couple your efforts with a normal working life, I should think the one that would most prove the bike’s ability would be the 10 mile per day minimum ride, coupled with a few hundreds to demonstrate the bike’s endurance capabilities.
    Anyway, sun’s shining (I think that’s what I’m seeing in the sky) so I’m off out on my bike.
    Best wishes.

    • Martin,
      I absolutely love riding my bike which is why I want challenges to make sure I take time to do something I really enjoy and that is good for me,
      Time for a shower then off to work on my bike 🙂

    • I’m coming to Dave’s defence here on this. I think it’s fine for anyone to have goals and to push themselves a little further, to bring out the best etc. Even a little rivalry is fine providing it’s done in the right way, naturally.
      Martin, you implied a little criticism by being surprised at a “man of the cloth” doing this. Well I don’t know Dave at all, other than reading this blog from time to time but I think it’s okay providing it’s done with the right attitude and it’s proportionate. Besides, I’m sure it says somewhere in the Bible something about worshipping God in all we do, or perhaps it might be honouring God in all we do. Does this make sense?

      • Yes, Doug. It was slightly tongue-in-cheek. I’m currently “pushing myself” in preparation for this week’s Historic Churches Ride & Stride. I’ve plotted a route which takes in all 31 churches in my area, and is 82 miles. To that end I’ve been “training”, and did 90 miles yesterday. I’m not expecting to get to all of the churches, but I’ll do as many as I can. So I’m as bad as anyone, even though I’m competing against myself as it were. Hope I didn’t give offence.

        • Hey guys, no offence taken.

          I like the ideas of getting others cycling. For myself the key need is to stay fit and loose more weight so anything that motivates me to ride more is good. Still thinking about what will be as little admin with most benefit to me and others.

  2. I think your goals should ignore frequency and distance, partly for the reasons Martin says, but mostly because you’ve done it already. Regular rides might be a good goal for a less-experienced cyclist.

    So, where do you have room for a new challenge, hopefully one that’s more about experiences or impact? For example:
    – if you like cycling in groups or have family members who don’t bike: encourage 5 people to start cycling
    – if you haven’t led a regular club ride: design more than 25% of your rides to include a stranger
    – if most of your cycling has been local: pack it up and take it to 3 countries
    – if you’d like to see others make cycling a lifelong pursuit: package this blog series into a Kindle book. There’s been very little written about the thought process of building your own bike.

    Obviously all of this depends what you think would improve your experience.

    Your “A Bike for Life” series is a perfect example of a meaningful goal, IMO. It’s helping you think about what you want and encouraging others to do the same.

    Thanks for making me ask this question about my own next bike.

  3. A bike for life « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:02 am
  4. A Bike for life: Beyond the bike « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:02 am
  5. A Bike for Life: The British bits « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:03 am
  6. A Bike for Life: Tyres « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:03 am
  7. A Bike for Life: The Frame « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:03 am
  8. A Bike for Life: Carrying stuff « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:04 am
  9. A bike for life: Cascading decisions « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:04 am
  10. A Bike for life: Dependability « 42 Bikes - pingback on July 23, 2012 at 6:05 am

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