Some years ago—ten, to be exact—I did a personal bike challenge in which I decided I would ride 2011 miles in 2011, and I asked people to pledge to donate a penny a mile to the South Plains Food Bank’s GRUB Farm. It was a great success, on a lot of levels, firstly because I raised a lot of money for the food bank, but secondly because it got me out on the bike. It was also a success on a more intangible way; 2011 was also a hard year personally, and riding around on my bike, toting up miles, gave me a focus on something that was positive. I’ve wanted to do something similar since then, but it just hasn’t ever worked out—the timing was wrong, or I was injured or ill, or something something something.
I wanted to try it again this year to support the food bank during the covid lockdown, but once again, injury in the form of elbow tendinitis and illness in the form of a mysterious chronic fatigue kept me off the bike for many months. But the elbow is better (though the other one is sort of bothering me now) and the chronic fatigue seems to have finally resolve itself (blood tests revealed mononucleosis antibodies, so maybe that was it. Who knows?). Anyway, I am back on the bike again, and starting to think of doing another bike challenge. A lot has changed in ten years, though—namely that I am ten years older and no longer the athlete I once was, and things seem to break down a lot more easily now. So I don’t know exactly what the challenge should look like yet. It has to be doable and accommodating to an aging body, but, well, still a bit of a challenge. In any case, if I do decide to embark on another hard journey during what has been another hard year, this is the place I will record that journey.
So watch this space.