What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

on-line sports activity tracker

on May 30, 2014
The Georgia Tandem Rally has gathered in our city this weekend ... what fun!

The Georgia Tandem Rally has gathered in our city this weekend … what fun!

Nimue and I learned, and try to to remember, to set S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-oriented. We’ve applied the mnemonic with success to our cycling. In 2013 the goals she chose were: 1) to ride the tandem at least 150 hours over the course of the year; 2) ride at least 2000 miles; and 3) complete a century (that is, ride the bike at least 100 miles on a single day).

Obviously we couldn’t know if we’d succeeded or failed without measuring our cycling activities and recording them somehow. To make it easy on ourselves, we jotted each ride’s data down on a calendar we keep handy in the kitchen almost immediately upon coming home. Later we transferred the information to a Google docs spreadsheet. It worked: our measuring, combined with a realistic (and adaptable!) training plan, helped us reach all three goals.

We also entered our rides at the Endomondo on-line sports activity tracking site. For the purpose of reaching our annual goals, it was superfluous, but we did so as part of participating in the National Bike Challenge, a program of the American League of Bicyclists to encourage cyclists to, collectively, ride toward a common goal. (This year’s challenge seeks to enroll 50,000 Americans to log 30 million miles from May to September.) In 2012 and 2013, Endomondo partnered with the NBC to provide the software platform for recording miles.

After the Challenge ended, Nimue and I kept using Endomondo—we were welcome to do so (the company, for its part, hoped we’d upgrade to paid memberships). We continued recording there, I suppose, because we were in the habit. And I do solo riding that doesn’t involve the tandem; I wanted to keep track of how many miles that amounted to.

Now, however, two things have changed. For this year’s challenge, the NBC rolled out its own interface for logging rides. And Nimue realized it was four-times redundant for her to record on the kitchen calendar, in our spreadsheet, on the NBC site, and at Endomondo.

Today, I’ve decided that’s something I can shed as well. I appreciate Endomondo and recommend it to anyone whose needs it meets. For me, however, it’s one more thing I don’t need. A pen and a square on a calendar are enough.

shedding style: release

Comments welcome … have you any unnecessary redundancies you might reduce?


2 responses to “on-line sports activity tracker

  1. Mark says:

    As we get ready to head off to an area that is great for cycling, I’m thinking that the whole family may be spending more time on two wheels. I like the idea of setting SMART goals for your riding.

  2. revdarkwater says:

    We’ve enjoyed a few miles in and near Black Mountain. We’d love to do an off-season tour on the Outer Banks. From the mountains to the coast, NC offers so much … not just for cycling. Do you quantify goals in climbing? I’d presume so, though I don’t know as much as I’d like about it. (Granting that we quantify as a tool to get to quality.)

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