Thursday, May 21, 2009
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: http://commutebybike.com/cats/commuting-101/
I ride for fun, for transportation, for health, with family and friends cycling has become a way of life for me.