Time for a little truth… I haven’t’ been on my bike all week. If you look over to the side and see my latest Strava activity you will see I have been lacking. I was hoping to take part in the Festive500 this week but with family visiting and scheduling issues, getting on the bike has been a challenge. But I did say truth didn’t I, so here we go. I could have gone out on Thursday but I let laziness take over, it happens to the best of us. When it is cold and rainy, or cold and wet after it was rainy, finding the motivation to get out can be difficult to muster.
We all know the health benefits of biking. We also know the fun in getting out on the bike and just going. There are times when I don’t know if I’m quite ‘feeling it’ when I head outside. Typically once I am half-mile down the road I know kitting up and getting in the saddle is the right decision. That said, after getting all dressed up for the weather and then going for a ride you kind of want to be rewarded you know. Yeah yeah, getting fit is a reward. Getting healthier is a reward, but who doesn’t enjoy the little reward/medal handed to them after a long organized ride, I know I do.
Time for a little background. So some friends of my wife had decided that they wanted to get moving and found a site that has virtual races – Yes.Fit.
The friends had a goal of completing one of the races over a two week period as a way to start of an exercise habit. I was already cycling so I didn’t need to find motivation to get up and moving but I do like group activities. I figured if I can’t so a big ride with others then I’ll do the next best thing by striving to accomplish the ‘same ride.’ We might not be on the road together but we can have the same medal for our efforts.
The idea is you register for a virtual race and when you complete a race a special medal is sent to you. The races are done at your own pace and can be completed by running, jogging, being on a treadmill, and most also include cycling. And another really cool thing is that the races are all themed with a matching themed medal. How cool is that?
I tend to pack the whole race into one outing, however that is not a requirement. These themed races are actually mapped out in real locations so as you upload your progress you are treated with visuals and information on what you would see were you doing the race. This isn’t really a way to see the world, but I still think it is a pretty damn cool idea.
Being the tech nerd that I am I don’t even have to input my rides manually. I link my Strava account to my Yes.Fit account and my ELEMNT is linked up with my Strava. So once I get home and end my ride my ELEMNT automatically uploads to Strava which in turn updates the race progress. By the time I have put the bike away and am cleaned up from the ride my race is completed and in a couple days I will be getting my medal.
So I finished the race that everyone was joining in and then went ahead and completed the other three races in that specific circuit – not all races are in a circuit. Getting those packages in the mail kind of became addictive and now 518 miles later I have 9 races completed and more planned. Wait, it is not an addiction because I can stop any time I want, I just don’t want to yet.
“Yeah yeah, but how much does this cost to do?” I hear you ask. Each race is $25 regardless of the length required. But for that money you do get a pretty cool medal as a representation of your hard work. Are you just paying for a ‘participation trophy’ type of thing? Yeah ok, kind of. But this is nothing different than doing any number of organized rides or charity rides where you are handed a little trinket, or medal, once passing the finished line. But on those cold wintry mornings when you are having a struggle mustering the motivation, looking over and seeing the medals hanging can provide a sense of accomplishment and give you that nudge out the door. If you find yourself on a cold wintery morning in the saddle because you saw your previous medals then it is well worth it.
Oh, and if you do give the races a try, let me suggest you also pop in and do the American Cancer Society race. It is a few dollars more than the other rides but Yes.Fit gives to the ACS. How can you not take part in that?