2015, a year on the bicycle

05 Jan 2016

A new year just started and like every year many people set goals and promises that they will try to do better. Usually that doesn’t last long and it is back to business as usual. I'm not one of those people :)

Excuses, excuses…

When I say that I love my bicycle I really mean it. Some say that they miss it or put in their online profile that they love riding it but in reality they almost never do. That’s something I don’t understand. If you say you love it, you should be on it as much as possible. Anything less are just excuses or just hipster talk and no action. No time, family, too busy etc I’ve heard it all. Honestly, it’s just is a matter of priorities. For me that is less books to read, less TV, less time for my blog, less time with family etc. If you really love it as much as I do that’s not a hard thing to do. The benefits are so worth it. I’m addicted to it. When I’m not on it for a week it feels like a month and I need my fix. So how much did I ride that lovely invention? Find out below…

Graphic of my bicycle riding in 2015

Strava data dump

Strava released their 2015 data and it’s quite impressive. Every second 5,3 activities are uploaded, accounting for 115.788.472 bike rides in total world wide. That’s a total of 4.145.814.539 kilometers. Sunday the 7th of June was the most populair cycling day btw. So how much of that big pile of data is from Belgium?

Strava Belgium data

I had a small part in the 1.817.939 individual rides that were uploaded to Strava in Belgium. Together we rode 96.352.324 kilometers. For a country that supposedly is flat we climbed our fair share, 531.782.235 altitude meters to be exact. The province (East-Flanders) were I live in is the most active province of Belgium with 320.683 activities. In Belgium the most populair day of the year was May 24th. The average distance per individual is 61 kilometer for men and 52 kilometer for women. The average time in the saddle is pretty similar with 2h20m for women and 2h25m for men. What about average speed? Per individual ride the average speed was 22,6km/h for women and 25,6km/h for men. Many of the athletes that are on Strava also ride their bike to work as part of their daily routine. That accounts for 7.278 bike rides per week and 23,9 kilometer from door to door. So what about you? No excuses anymore and get on that bike. I promise once you do it regularly you’ll love it. Bicycling is zen!


  1. 1 Jon Hicks 06 Jan 2016

    First of all, congratulations! Impressive Stats for sure!

    One thing to get off my chest though: I think you intended that ‘Excuses’ paragraph to be motivational, but for me, it felt like the complete opposite. “If you really love it as much as I do that’s not a hard thing to do.” - well yes it is, its very hard as it happens. My family is a priority for me, and I put them above cycling, which is why my yearly miles are nowhere near yours. I don’t see that as being the measure of how much I enjoy cycling though, or ‘how much of a cyclist’ I am. Neither do I think of it as an excuse, its a simple fact of life. The alternative is to spend my life always feeling resentful or guilty, and that would be horrible! :)

  2. 2 Martin S. 06 Jan 2016

    Wow! Knew you were addicted, that’s a lot of riding this past year! What riding do you do most, randonneur or just plain riding on the road bike? Anything on the CX or even MTB?

    I thought my life was complete when I had the time of my life on the road bike. Then I started ride MTB and realized that my life turned so much better in the woods :)

    Any type of cycling has its charm though, of course.

    Enjoy 2016!

  3. 3 Veerle Pieters 07 Jan 2016

    @Jon Hicks
    I’m sorry it made you feel like that, which wasn’t my intention at all. It’s not about the amount of km’s indeed. That’s not what I was saying, what I was trying to explain was that if you love it you grab every opportunity you have, even if it is only hour. There are about 8765 hours in a year so it can’t be that hard to find like a couple of hundred hours. If not, than you don’t ‘love’ it in the true sense of the word imho. I know about family Jon believe me, but I re-arrange my visits, cut them shorter, in other words I make time because my bike is that important to me and my health. The rest is getting up earlier, no TV and more. Just one example would be: do I write a tutorial of 4h or do I do a ride instead? There’s always room, it’s jut a matter prioritising. But maybe that’s just me :)

    @Martin S.

    Wow! Knew you were addicted, that’s a lot of riding this past year! What riding do you do most, randonneur or just plain riding on the road bike? Anything on the CX or even MTB?

    My rides are a mixture. This year however I think I did like 4000km off-road too. Since I got my CX bike in April I’ve been doing one each week. It’s one of my favourites. I rode my MTB less since I got that one. The only bad thing is cleaning after each ride :)