Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bicycling is Rather Lovely

I love cycling! I love it almost as much as roller derby as a way to exercise and stay fit. I feel so proud when I reach my destination each time, love the wind flying through my hair, love the challenge of climbing hills, love riding with friends/family, and it has been a real time-saver in getting a workout in almost daily while commuting at the same time. I'm such a multi-tasker.

I started cycling about 3 years ago because a: I needed to cross train for derby, b: I wanted to save money on gas, c: I didn't have time for a workout outside of commuting time, and d: I hate parking 3 blocks away from work. It also helps reduce my carbon footprint which benefits our earth which I like a lot.

In the beginning I made lots of excuses not to ride (it's raining, I have to get up 20-30 minutes earlier, too tired, etc.) and probably only commuted by bicycle 1-2 times a week, 3 if I had a good week. The 2nd year I did a little more probably commuting 3 to 4 times a week at least every other week. This year I have exceeded the monthly miles of the previous year by at least 20 miles each month, although in May this year I did 60 more miles than last May. The extreme jump in May was because I decided to hook up a trail-a-bike for my daughter so that we could commute to her school as well. It was difficult at times, especially up hills, but to ride 10 miles total each day gave me a pretty awesome feeling.

Over the summer it got more difficult to commute with my daughter since her daycare location was 5 miles from home the opposite way from work. There were a few times we rode the bus and I biked from her daycare but I wanted more and I wanted an easier way to have my daughter ride with me that didn't make me feel like the bike was gonna tip over when I stood up on it to go up the hill.

The solution:

My new Yuba Boda Boda!!!

I have had this bicycle for about a week and I love what I am able to do with it. I can bike almost wherever we need to go because this bike not only carries the rider, it carries a second adult rider (or 2 children), PLUS a load. This bike is made for carrying loads and can be ridden in all kinds of weather, and is still not too much bike for just myself with no load/passenger(s).  I have already biked 11 miles on the trail with my daughter and rode 5 miles to her daycare and then 4 miles each way to work once, ridden 4 miles each way to work by myself twice, and will do the daycare/work commute again for the last day there.  We would have ridden 4 days this week, except we had to unexpectedly take care of and eventually put our little chihuahua to sleep so needed to take the car to the vet's office daily for a while while she was ill. After this week my daughter returns to school and we will have a more efficient ride there than last year so likely will do it most every day. Riding 15 miles in 1 day for commuting feels pretty awesome. Riding more will be great for my health AND my pocket book.

I have learned that I am never disappointed if I take the ride on the days when the voices in my head tell me I don't wanna, but I do get disappointed if I eat a donut and I didn't ride that day. Riding almost always helps me cancel out any cheating I do on my diet. If I don't cheat on my diet I am able to maintain my current weight very easily. I also find I am more likely to ride if I get everything ready the night before. It doesn't really take anymore time to get the bike out and get helmets on than using the car either.

We have some kinks to work out such as dressing for weather that isn't necessarily ideal for cycling, but we will learn just as we have learned the past 3 years, we can take small steps towards our goal of riding year round to commute.