With a couple of days left in 2019 I’m at 4,303 miles bicycled for the year, so I made a map. My claimed mileage is almost certainly not accurate to that fourth significant digit, but since I GPS all my rides it’s probably close. There are a few hotel fitness center miles in there, and a few rides when I took my bicycle with me when I traveled (to Colorado, Arizona, and California). But the vast majority of the miles were ridden on the roads of my home town of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
My friend Maria Lane (an actual geographer!) dubbed this #geographybybike, a sort of aimless wandering around looking at all the things. A lot of aimless wandering around. A version of the map sans arty black background would show Albuquerque’s river corridor, tracing the trails on either bank. Add a time element and you’d see more and more rides on the valley floor riding ditch banks. A Sunday-specific geography would chronicle a growing relationship with cheap tacos.
I’ve lived in Albuquerque nearly 30 years, and been riding my bike here for 20. I used to be all zoomy and fitnessy, but as I approach senescence I’ve increasingly been about looking around.
It’s given me a fresh sense of my city. There are no bad days on a bike.