Cycling Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

Susan 1900 miles
Bill 1900 miles

My husband and I are very fortunate not to have experienced the turmoil in our lives that so many others have during the COVID-19 pandemic. We did not have to balance work with home-schooling of children; we did not have a parent isolated in a nursing home; we both escaped the coronavirus and we did not suffer financial stresses due to the loss of employment because we are both retired. The most difficult things we had to deal with were boredom, because we had a lot of time on our hands, and social isolation from our friends. So as avid cyclists, biking certainly proved to be a welcomed diversion for us during the pandemic.

We live in Erie, Pennsylvania and the weather in the spring of 2020 was mild enough for us to begin biking in early March and by late June we had already accumulated 800 miles. During one ride, while slowly cycling up a hill, I had a lot of time to think and I decided to set a goal to cycle 1,900 miles in recognition of the historic COVID-19 pandemic. When I told my husband of my goal, he too decided to accept the challenge. To catalogue our mileage, I logged each of our bicycle rides in a spreadsheet with the date and the miles rode on each day. All of our rides were completed in the Erie, Pennsylvania area or in neighboring Ohio and New York. I also chronicled turn by turn directions for each bike ride in the COVID-19 journal I am keeping for our grandson, Chase, in case one day he would like to repeat our COVID-19 bike rides. By October 11, 2020 both my husband and I had reached our goal of cycling 1,900 miles in 2020. The average milage for each ride was 20 miles and the 1,900 miles were achieved in 95 rides. Because the beautiful fall weather permitted us to continue cycling, we decided to strive for 2,020 miles; after 1,900 miles what’s another 120 miles? By early November, 2020 we both had accomplished this goal as well!

By comparison to what others experienced during 2020, our personal struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic have been insignificant; but watching our country and the world try to persevere during this crisis was very stressful for us and setting and achieving our cycling goals certainly did help us cope.