challenge · fitness

Books and bikes: On the home stretch of 2021 challenges

“My two favorite things in life and libraries and bicycles. They move people forward without wasting anything.” Drawing of a girl on a bike climbing a hill.

There’s a lot of stress going on in the world right now. The pandemic and climate change related weather disasters to name the big two. But I’m focusing some of my attention–because it helps me stay on an even keel and get the work I need to get done done, while being a caring, engaged family member–on book and bike related personal challenges.

One of the ways my life changed with the pandemic is that absent all the activities in the world that involved other people–conference travel, holiday travel, theatre, concerts, and so–I’ve had more time to read books and ride my bike. They’re also both things that make me happy and given the state of the world, I’ve been lucky to have room for both in my life.

This year I set my GoodReads reading challenge to 24 books and my riding challenge to 5500 km. The books challenge doesn’t include things read for work and the bike challenge doesn’t count everyday commuting (for no good reason except I don’t track it using my Garmin and I can’t be bothered manually adding those rides, it’s all arbitrary anyway.)

With 19 days to go, will I make it?


On the reading front, the answer is clearly ‘yes.’

“You’ve read 23 of 24 books.”

My daughter has booked a yurt for a few days away in one of the National Parks. We’ll walk and bike, cook food, play cards, but also, read books.

Here’s the next two on my list:

Two books: “Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness” and “Fight Night”

I just finished My Brilliant Friend, which I loved.

What are you reading over the holiday season? What do you recommend from 2021?


On the riding front, I’ve got some work to do but I think it’s an attainable goal. I have 358 km to ride in 19 days, which works out to just under 20 km a day.

I’ve been doing some more group rides and badge hunting to get the kilometers in. December is #daily20km for me.

Neokyo badge hunters’ ride

Wish me luck!

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