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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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Summer Biking

Chris Campbell

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It's summer and over the past few years the goal for the summer for me has been to bike as much as possible. Over the years the goal has been to bike at least 1000 km during the summer. Officially summer began yesterday and in a wonderful coincidence it's also the first day of summer vacation as well as being a beautiful day, so there is a high likelihood of a ride today. It's fun to get out and move and explore the world on two wheels powered by your own body.

The big change this year is a new bike. A Brodie Voltage and it's surprising how much of a difference the new bike makes. It's a hybrid, so it is lighter than the mountain bike that I used for all of my other rides. So the newness meant that there was a pent-up energy for going for a ride since it was a Christmas present. This was the year with the earliest start biking. So while in past years it could be a bit of a struggle to reach the goal of 1000 km during the summer, the neat thing this time is that I am past the half way mark as the summer begins.

The broader goal for this year is to discover new routes and to go for longer rides. There is a lovely rhythm of going for longer distances and for me I really start to get into the zone after 30 or 40 minutes of riding. Some days the goal is to go as far as possible without stopping. It's great to not touch the ground and go for a ride and then get off the bike when the ride is done.

While I love my bike and the whole experience of riding, there is a balance to be struck. The whole thing has to be fun, so I'm resisting the impulse to get too into the whole world of cycling in terms of clipless pedals and a more specialized wardrobe. It's about keeping it fun and exploring the world a bit more while being healthy. That being said, there are some things that do make a difference as the clothes and footwear need to be comfortable. But tight biking shorts and a sleek, logo-covered jersey are not in the future.

To keep track of my rides I'm using the iOS app Cyclemeter to record the distance and then use Your Flowing Data to collect all of the distances together. I used to have a speedometer and odometer on my bike, but there is something nice about just having the road in front of me and not knowing the exact distance or speed until later. The great thing about using an app with GPS is that you get to see your route afterwards and can look through all sorts of data about your ride. My Fitbit also keeps track of my activity, so it is good to have a bit of redundancy with the systems that you use to make sure that you don't miss anything. But overall the best thing is to just get out and ride and explore the world in a more personal way.

The goal for this year will be more than 1000 km and I should be able to hit 1500, but maybe I should go for 2000 and really try to get out every day. But it is something to not overthink and calculate, but just to do. The journey is the reward.