Thursday, May 21, 2009

Tactical Transportation

I, like many, grew up riding a bike - mostly up and down the driveway - later a little farther, always disappointed with the parental imposed boundaries that kept me safe.
My riding faded away with the arrival of 4-wheelers and later a drivers license.
Two years ago I began riding again, largely to improve my health, but with hopes of riding to work eventually.

I began slowly. Riding a little over a mile to a school near our house and later a few miles further (still avoiding big hills). Someone gave me a trailer I could put my children could ride in - when my son Noah first asked if we could go all the way to McDonald's I laughed out loud.

Last year I decided I couldn't let hills stand in the way of more miles and pushed onward. I started tackling hills late last April (early riding by Alaskan standards). Soon thereafter I began running small errands, avoiding late fees at Blockbuster by enjoying an evening ride into town (6 miles give or take one-way) By late May I could make it over the big hills on the 8+ mile ride to work! I soon felt the sky was the limit and found I could replace many miles of driving by biking.

The kids were willing to sit in the bike trailer as long as there was a worthy destination among the errands, like ice-cream (a stop I could afford in more ways than one - through saved gas and burned calories).

As winter fell I acquired studded tires and try to ride to work at least 1 day a week in the winter. In part, I feel this is helpful in showing the bicycle commuting is possible in most places. Others certainly out-do me on this - but few do it on a "tactical mountain bike" like mine.

If you care to start - I suggest you start with the bike in your garage - or other cheapy - then upgrade as a reward after you are putting on the miles. A few other tips:

I ride for fun, for transportation, for health, with family and friends cycling has become a way of life for me.

1 comment:

  1. And this should just about blow out of the water most other people's claims that "it's too cold here" to commute by bike! Kudos to the champion bicyclist in the family!