Back in the Saddle
When I was younger, I used to love riding my bike. I’d go off for hours on a beat up BMX bike and ride through muddy trails with friends. I’d tear up and down single track trails, as well as ride 20-30 miles daily on the the road. I’d even strap a backpack with sleeping bag and tent to my back and cycle 80 miles for a camping trip.
After I graduated college, I got an office job and have barely ridden my bike. As a web developer, I’ve fallen into the trap of a more sedentary lifestyle. I’m 50 pounds over my ideal weight and find it difficult to ride more than 5 miles at a decent pace with my kids.
Fast forward 25 years and I’m lucky if I can find the time to take a 5 mile ride with my kids. Even the COVID-19 situation did not give me more time to get on my bike this year. Finally, at the end of this summer, I made a commitment to myself to dust of my newish rode bike, get over my fear of clip-in pedals, and train toward riding a century (that’s a single bike ride of 100 miles) before the snow hits us.
Younger, active Craig always wanted to ride a century, but never took on the challenge. Now, with COVID-19 still looming, the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia still inspiring me, and our very restricted social lives, it feels like the perfect opportunity to get back into the saddle and push myself to crank out the miles to get myself back into shape.
Getting back on the bike is brutal: my butt hurts, my legs hurt, and I keep falling off my bike as I’m still learning how to unclip my pedals at a standstill (remind me why clip-in pedals were a good idea!?). However, I was able to get to a point where I was riding daily. After 2 weeks I was riding 15 miles per day within my hour ride. I started feeling good and was well on my way getting back to a point where I wasn’t afraid of riding 100 miles in a single go.
However, over the last 3+ months life changes caused me to lose focus. I fell back into my old habit of procrastinating. I lost momentum and stopped riding consistently. With the cold weather quickly approaching, and being more of a fair-weather rider, I have to admit to myself that I probably will not be logging enough miles before the snow comes to build a base of endurance to ride my century.
I’m not giving up, I just need to accept that this goal won’t be achieved in the time frame or manner I originally hoped, and that’s ok. I’m going to start riding again tomorrow, track my progress, and rebuild the forward momentum I had built up a couple months ago.
I the meantime, I’m not only going to dust off my bike, but I’m going to dust off the tiny app I started to build to track my cycling progress towards the century.
I’ve named the app ‘Zero to Century’. The app will allow a user to
- Set their fitness level
- Set the goal date they wish to ride their century
- Track their daily rides: completed, speed, time, distance
- Calculate the estimated time to complete their century based on the ride data they enter each day
I originally started to build this so I’d have somewhere fun to track my progress and show me how close I was getting to my goal. The idea of calculating the ride time for the century based on my completed rides shows me my progress and helps me better estimate how long the final ride will take me.
Over the next few days I will add screenshots, more details, and recordings of me coding the app. Once completed, I’ll post when it’s live. Afterwards, I’ll try announcing the launch around the Internet and on social media and see if anyone else finds this useful.
Follow along as I build and launch Zero to Century.
I’m going to build an app to track my progress from out-of-shape couch potato to more-active century cyclist. What better way to kick off my solomaker journey, than tracking my physical journey to get more active and improve my health?