Bicycle Commuting, Take 2

So last year I bought bicycle to commute from home in South Austin to my job in North Central Austin a little easier. I would ride part of the way, and use the bus most of the way. I was also hoping to use this to help me get in shape, and eventually get into cycling. I didn’t know anything about bikes, and settled on a used mountain bike off Craigslist. I then got a helmet, lights, and a lock. The 1st week I get hit by a car on the way to work early in the morning. Thank God it was at very low speed from the side. The accident only messed up my bike, and although I ended up on the hood, I was not hurt. The driver gave me $200, and I gave up.

About 3 weeks ago I was given a inexpensive, used mountain bike, and have starting commuting again, but with more caution. I now live about a mile from my job so I actually get more use out of the bike than before. The first thing I learned was how out of shape I really was, and still am. Sorry, but sitting at a desk 35 plus hours a week is not good for you, and being on the exercise bike at a gym is not the same as 30 minutes of pavement in 90+ degree weather. At one point I was tempted to quit, but kept pushing forward. Over the past few weeks I have slowly built some endurance, and stamina. I have even ridden to a few places like coffee shops, and church a few miles away.

I realize that I really love bike riding. Maybe because it takes me back to my childhood. Being an only child it was one of my favorite things to do. Even in high school, I rode from home to school each day before I got a car. I look forward to riding farther, and having to take less rest stops. Before I started riding again, I had become too lazy to even hit the gym that is less than 10 minutes away. Now I am getting motivation to go back and start working out again.

One thing for sure is I do need a better bike. I am very grateful for this one, and will give it to someone who might need it when I replace it. I am trying to educate myself as much as possible about bicycles, and bike riding before I make my purchase. There are mountain bikes, commuters, hybrids, road bikes, and so on. Think I need some kind of hybrid or cyclocross. Eventually, I do want to get a nice road bike and cycle with a group.

Aspirations

So are you stuck in a rut with your workouts or physical fitness goals? Maybe you haven’t even started, but want to. I highly recommend bike riding. Maybe bikes are just not your thing. Look at other activities like swimming, hiking, or kayaking. Maybe it’s something indoors like taking a Zumba class. I have friends that go each week, and I hear they get a great workout, meet people, and most importantly have fun. Try something that will get you motivated to keep moving.

As always talk to your doctor before starting any exercise activity, and use good judgment about your abilities, and the equipment you are using.

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