Today I am hoping to convince you to at least entertain the thought of at least considering the idea of getting a bicycle if you haven’t already. (If I don’t do it today then I must certainly will when I show you my upcycling project…hopefully…maybe…)
I only rode my bike for about a week before I stopped, so that I could adorn it. That took longer than expected.
I haven’t worked out the kinks in the routine that I have, but I’m sure I’ll still look bad when I say this anyway. The house I’m riding from is only like 1.5 miles using the major roads. The city’s roads are basically made for cars. The city has sidewalks, share the road signs, but there aren’t any designated bike lanes that are for bikes only (I think we may be getting some though). I choose the sidewalks. I’m so slow and I’m terrified of riding in the street. Therefore, I choose the sidewalks. Because of this choice I have to wait for the walking signs to turn green, (I’ve seen people who use the sidewalks, but go when the cars going the same direction go. Maybe I’ll start doing this.) which seems to take more than a few rounds before it’s ever my turn. It takes about 30 minutes for me to get to school and put up my bike. Thirty minutes for 1.5 miles and it takes about the same time for me to go 2 or so miles and take less busy intersections. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to drive, a few minutes to find a parking place and then about 15 minutes for me to leisurely stroll to my class. I always leave the house about an hour early because I do not want to be rushed in any sort of way and that’s why I let myself take 15 minutes to take to class.
I don’t have a lot of time to work out anymore and when I don’t get my cardio in I don’t feel the greatest. I am not fit by any means, but that little bit of exercise does wonders. My bike rides take that problem out of the equation. If it takes me thirty minutes to get to class, no matter what, then I might as well multitask and get the most effective 30 minutes I can. I could gawk around or pick my nose at a stop light or I could get a work out. On my way home, unfortunately that’s when I’m exhausted, but I still have several hills that I must conquer first. These hills aren’t ginormous and they seem like ant hills to some, but for a newbie like myself, they’re no walk in the park. Summer tends to suck the life right out of me, so hopefully in the fall and winter they might be so bad, but for now there is nothing like being exhausted and still conquering that one last hill before I collapse and (or the first time I go to the top of that hill without breaking a sweat). I have no choice. It’s either do it or sleep in the bathroom on campus. And not being able to use my tiredness as an excuse is pretty motivating.
It is also a therapeutic exercise because you’re being connected to nature and being outside. Some don’t like the gym atmosphere where they’re running or biking, never going anywhere or staring at a wall. Running on concrete may not be comfortable, so biking provides a solution for both and it burns 500 calories an hour. And you get the added bonus of never being stuck in a traffic jam. We don’t have huge traffic jams here, but still it’s nice to be the one going while they’re stuck.
Driving a car is expensive. You have the gas, the tires, the repairs, the replacements, on and on. I save a little less than a fourth of a tank, which isn’t as much as I want, but I go home on the weekends and that’s a 2 hour drive. Still I save about $8 just for the gas.
It also saves money for taxpayers if enough people ride because they don’t have to worry about as many road repairs.
Biking is perfect if you have a co-carpooler that never wants to pay their half because then you can just ditch them and ride for free.
My favorite part is not having to circle around five times looking for a parking spot. It makes just about the whole ride, uphills and downhills, pretty worth it.
You don’t need a loan or a lifetime of savings to get a new bike and then worry about the repairs that you have to make four months later. I got my bike for $50 on craiglist. It wasn’t the prettiest bike ever, but I knew it would get me to where I needed, so I got some stuff (I’ll take about this project soon) for about $30 and made it better. So for about $80 I got myself a pretty decent bike. You can’t even get a car tire for that much.
Those are my reasons for riding a bike. For those that can’t even afford a car it also provides a reasonably priced solution. It may not be practical for everyone, but it could provide an easy solution for some.