Turned biking into my most played videogame of 2023

Over the last year, I've been into trying to bike on every road mile in my town. I live in a city inside Los Angeles, which gave me a very good first-step goal--and a surprisingly achievable one, because the place I live, Culver City, has less than 120 total road miles within it.

I decided to use Strava + wandrer.earth to track my progress--I track my bike rides on Strava and then wandrer tells me what % of each town or neighborhood I've covered so far. There are a couple sites that do this kind of thing... I know citystrides exists, but only accepts runners for some reason.

This feels totally like videogaming to me. I've played it more hours over the last year than any PC or console game. If I want to make the wandrer leaderboard for my part of LA each month, I have to plan my trips and do little missions into places I have never been to get the maximum amount of new road miles. I sit around looking at maps and planning future routes for maximum territory coverage.

I know that there are plenty of people who have done this kind of thing before, but each person's "playstyle" feels so specific to themselves and their lives and exercise preferences/technical skills that I had to discover my techniques for this all on my own. Most youtube videos about this kind of thing are from runners, not bikers, or from or people who didn't use the same tech/websites I used.

One of the biggest things I've noticed about people doing map completionist challenges is that each person has to invent their own rules for what "counts" as a completed road or completed city. GPS drift means that any journey is likely to produce a GPS map that is missing many small sections of roads, and the traveler will have to choose for themselves whether to go do those roads again, or to just mark them done as a road and move on.

The website I'm using gives me % completion stats for a whole neighborhood, and uses those to make leaderboards... so the goal I made for myself was that I had to get that number as high as possible and top the leaderboard, if possible. So my process involves biking on a lot of troublesome roads over and over again until I get those last few chunks that I may have lost from GPS drift. Anyway, it's interesting how everyone doing this kind of activity ends up designing their own ruleset to fit what they're comfortable with.

Has anyone here done this kind of thing themselves? Curious to hear what your experiences with it were like.


This rules. I will never do it because biking on roads is scary

If you got sidewalks available you can do your town on foot! I have met a much larger number of folks irl who did it waking or running

i'm in the midst of maybe moving and i keep telling myself i'm gonna get a bike after i move and then i'm 100% down for being this nerdy about it

1 Like