Nothing says spring better than daffodils in the garden.
For many, spring marks a beginning, a time when flowers blossom in the garden and, new life begins. Like these flowers, we do the same. We shed our winter clothes, get outside more often and, sprout new life. In the spirit of spring, I am challenging myself to cycle more and do pushups.
I challenge myself to cycle each and every day in April. This is not much of a stretch for me. I already cycle most days. This means, no car trips, not even to transport bikes to favourite cycling destinations. And, this means, no walking to the local shops for groceries and neighbourhood cafes for lunch.
This will not be a major inconvenience, even in the pouring rain. My purpose is not to get back on the bike. I am already on the bike. Rather, I hope to encourage others that may not be on their bikes again this year, to do the same.
I train a lot both on my bikes and in the gym. I like it. It makes me feel better, stronger and more confident. So, imagine my shock to learn of my inability to do pushups. Well, I can do a few but, they aren’t pretty.
Bike Like Crazy, a brave young woman that commuted on her bike throughout one of the worst winters in the north east, introduced me to the “100 Pushups Challenge“. This is a 6 week training programme designed to have you complete 100 consecutive pushups in 6 weeks. I may not get to 100 in April but I hope to complete a more respectable number and, more importantly, beat Bike Like Crazy’s count.
The pushup challenge will be a stretch. It seems I don’t have muscle in the right place. But this winter I learned that perseverance pays off. I was advised to do single-leg squats, told they would improve my cycling power. Well, they did. But when I started, they too were difficult. I remember the morning after doing just 10 on each side. I could hardly move. I was sore and stiff for days. Fast forward 3 months and I do three sets of 15-20 repetitions. I am hoping I will have a similar experience with pushups.
I am not going to bore you with regular posts about either my daily rides or pushup totals. No. But at the end of April I will summarize what I learned, who joined the challenges and what’s next.
So, if you are up to these challenges, let me know and, share your experiences.
Good luck for April and enjoy all the cycling. We have the wonderful weather here in Africa but sadly our crime rate puts a bit of a downer on the ability to cycle alone…. it is just not safe… bike jackings in the bigger cities are a regular and violent occurrence and our motorists are genuinely horrific with cyclists being knocked down and killed far too often. It makes getting out every day difficult unless you have a mate to ride with – which is a bummer as sometimes it is the wonderful solitude and the only sound being the hypnotic, soothing hum of your wheels that soothes the soul!
That’s a shame.
I was reminded of you last night. I watched Long Walk to Freedom (the Nelson Mandela story) and, not for the first time. It is a remarkable story. I wonder how much things have changed. If you are frightened to cycle alone, there is a lot more to do.
I cycle alone a lot. I actually prefer it. I think of it as my time. Time to reflect, explore and energize myself.
By the way, I enjoy your posts. It’s nice to see a grandmother genuinely enjoy her grandchildren. Your post about growing up in this new age is interesting. I have worked in the computer sector for 30 years and have seen some remarkable changes. There was a time when I was the technical wizard in the house. Today, my kids teach me more than I was ever able to pass along to them.
OK so all i have to do is bike every day in April. Miles are irrelevant? Here is a link to my National Bike Challenge profile. https://nationalbikechallenge.org/rider/39116 Not sure if you will be able to see it but I have biked every day this month and with spring break next week my wife will not be coming down to pick up my son and I have specifically told her I want to bike home. However we have two days of baseball practice so at least two days that I will not bike at least 30 miles a day.
That’s it. Ride every day. Mileage doesn’t matter. The idea is to encourage people get get on the bike more and in the car less. Good luck and keep me posted.