So I have been riding my bike for about a month now, and have to say this will be a lifetime commitment of sorts. I am still working on building stamina and endurance, but it is getting easier. I have been riding to work, church, and few places around North Central Austin daily. I have said before that I am very grateful for the man’s mountain bike my son and his girlfriend gave to me. It is a very inexpensive, used Walmart type bike, but for now it does the job, and most importantly is keeping my butt moving.
What have I learned so far?
Get a bike that is suited best for how you are using it. I am really past the point of an upgrade so I am saving for a new bike and figure I will need to spend $250-300 for a decent bike. I am riding in the streets, sidewalks, grass, and trails so it will most likely need to be some type of commuter path/pavement type bike.
Lights! The other night I rode down to UT to see the Longhorns practice, and by the time it was over the sun had gone down. This presented problem for me since I did not have any lights on my bike. This by the way is both unsafe and illegal. Luckily, I was able to catch the Capital Metro bus back home. So today I stopped by Performance Bicycle on Anderson, and got a great deal on a headlight/taillight set. I am now set in case I am end up being out late.
Bike Laws. I saw a couple on bicycles actually get pulled over today by APD, and have to say that was a first! There are laws in place for bicyclists that are similar to cars, and if busted you may get a ticket that I have heard can be pretty hefty. I am trying to learn more about this so that I can stay safe, and keep my money. Here is a great source of information I have found for bike commuters in Austin.
Get know the best routes. Some streets have bike lanes, some don’t. Some routes will be more level, and less hilly. There seem to be common streets that bicyclists share, so it is common to see other riding the same paths. I love neighborhood streets instead of major roads. There is less traffic, and almost peaceful.
I still feel kind of green to the bicycling thing, and sometimes I feel like others on bikes can sense this. Almost like when, Keanu Reeve’s character in Point Break tries surfboarding for the 1st time with real surfers. Anyways, I am not letting this discourage me. This is just the beginning, and I look forward to the day when I am ready for that serious road bike!