Saturday, July 14

Lucky Man

I Admire Forester's Sentiments about Bike Commuting - Unchanged in the New Edition
While few records are truly unbreakable, Cal Ripken’s MLB consecutive game streak is one that is unlikely to be broken in my lifetime. The current active leader, if he never missed a game, would need until 2027 to break it. While it might not be quite so newsworthy, Jon Grinder achieved a somewhat similar feat by bicycle commuting for over 800 consecutive work days. His last one was reported here. Interestingly, even he has concluded it was something special, as indicated by his added post, here. Personally, I agree, though it is the sort of achievement that few with options other than cycle commuting can accomplish more than once, so he better get over it.

I found his report inspiring, though I do not expect to ever come near that mark. In fact, while I’m closing in on 350 consecutive bike commutes, I really do not expect to work enough extra days before I hang up the old "engineering triangle"  to come close to Jon/Cal. Over time, I have come to have a better appreciation for being able to cycle every day, on a schedule, regardless of the weather. Rewards have come from the satisfaction of simply having done something that is simple, but which few in our motorized society do. Getting back to bicycles instead of baseball, John Forester kept a statement unchanged in his new edition of Effective Cycling that I find to be uplifting. Namely:

“In a sense, cycle-commuting is a real test of whether a cyclist has it all together: cycling every day, through heavy traffic in all weathers and lighting, whatever the hopes or disappointments of the day, having the machine in running trim every morning and the cyclist equally capable and competent. In another sense, after a while it becomes so natural to you that you wonder what the catch is -- why so many cannot do it as easily as you do. Then you have arrived...”
Still, the second all-time baseball game leader, Lou Gehrig, provides inspiration as well. As he said in his last-ever game; “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Well spoken. Unlike Lou and Jon, I'm healthy as far as I know right now other than a bit of a cold I caught from one of my kids. Thanks to all three mentioned in this post - Jon, John, and Lou - collectively, I think I've finally moved beyond "fair weather cyclist" status and I thank y'all for that...

From Wikipedia - Lou Gehrig - Second after Cal Ripkin. Like Him, I'm a Lucky Man


Jon said...

I am looking forward to hitting my goal, in August (assuming that I am successful). My big run, before, started with an "every day In May" challenge, and grew from there. It wouldn't bother me if that happened, again.

Anonymous said...

I've been cycle commuting to work for the best part seven years, yet, if I bring the car on an odd occasion, because of other commitments, my colleagues always call out "fairweather cyclist", unfair or what? I'm never ever going to make 800 consecutive pedals, what a record.

cafiend said...

I started thinking of the peak summer commuting season as a stage race. Every day you get up, get out there and ride your distance. Because I'm usually late, I also have to hammer.

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