Maybe it’s just the engineer/nerd/geek in me, but I think that one of the joys of bicycling, is the data … keeping track of days, miles, speed, time, elevation, routes, etc. … is just a lot of fun, and it’s cool to look back over the old records to remember the rides, and to think “I did that!” (or sometimes “I did that?”).
I began logging my miles almost from the very beginning of my adult cycling, first in a spreadsheet, and now in Strava. I know that some people find such record-keeping to be a burden, or to take away from their enjoyment of the ride itself, but I get a lot out of it.
Yearly Mileage Statistics
|Year||Miles||Bike of the Year (Most Miles)|
|2009||5203||Surly Long Haul Trucker|
|2010||5601||Surly Long Haul Trucker|
|2011||4473||Surly Long Haul Trucker|
|2012||5623||Puch Cavette II|
|2013||5419||Puch Cavette II|
Bicycle Mileage Statistics
|Balance Tabula MTB||3,604||2008-2012|
|Surly Long Haul Trucker||19,825||2009-|
|Puch Cavette II||9,302||2011-|
|Dahon Vitesse D7HG||602||2011-|
Note: Stats are current through the end of 2017
Challenges, Goals, Quests
One of the things that I like to do is to challenge myself in various ways. Here are some perspectives on that:
- National Bike Challenge
- 30 Days of Biking
- Ride Streaks
- Cup o’ Dirt Challenge
- States I’ve Biked
- Kansas Counties I’ve Biked
- My Eddington Number
- Explorer Squares
When I started logging my miles, I recorded in a simple spreadsheet — date, miles, time, average speed, bike. Tedious, but functional.
In 2012, I finally purchased a GPS cyclocomputer (a Garmin Edge 200). The GPS provides a number of very cool features. It, of course, works as a bike computer, displaying speed, distance, and time. But it also records those stats digitally, along with a GPS track. Combined with a service such as Strava, this allows you to log not just the basic stats, but a route map and detailed speed and elevation for the entire route. This is so cool!
Strava opens up a whole new world. You can use it as a social site — see where your friends ride, compare yourself to people who ride in your area, compete for virtual KOMs — as well as a tool to analyze your own performance, and work to improve it, if that’s something that motivates or inspires you. Combine it with a site like VeloViewer, and you can really delve deep into the data. What fun!
In addition the Garmin cyclocomputer I use, there are lots of other options for logging your miles. Many people use the Strava smartphone app (and that works great, other than battery issues) or other GPS devices (Lezyne, Polar, Cateye, Wahoo, etc.). I suggest you start with a smartphone app, since you already likely own the device, and then step up to a true GPS cyclocomputer or GPS watch if you end up really getting into it.