Ray's Biking Blog

I ride my bike to work… I'm a bike commuter

BENEFITS

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I have always been a bike rider. Ever since I was 5 years old, I have enjoyed riding a bike. The simple feeling of freedom that a bike can give a child is something I still remember to this day. I lived on my bike as a kid. It was FUN to ride.

There have been times recently where riding hasn’t been that much “fun.” I still enjoyed the rides, but they served a purpose. Riding is now something I do to stay healthy, which is great, but I do sometimes view it as a chore. This summer, when I was out riding in 100 degree weather, to train for the 24 Hours of Booty ride I did back in July, those rides were brutal. Anything but fun.

Now that the hint of Autumn is in the air (at least in the early morning hours, where the temps are now in the 60’s….) I can get back to FUN bike rides.

I have been SERIOUSLY dedicated to riding my bike into work now for over 3 weeks. I have put in over 210 miles these past few weeks just riding into work. In the 15 work days we’ve had in those 3 weeks, I have ridden in 13 of those days. Each of those rides has been GREAT! They’ve been FUN! Riding to and from work is the highlight of my work day. Truly the best part of coming into the office and leaving the office. My bike rides are once again what they are supposed to be: FUN!

The saddlebags I bought about a month ago was one of the best purchases I’ve made in years. My bike now carries the weight, instead of me. I can bring in my clothes, all tucked neatly into the bags, and change in my office. It’s been a great 3 weeks.

Some benefits I’ve noticed in those 3 weeks?

– I’ve lost 6lbs simply riding into work

– Sleeping better w/o my “CPAP” mask for my apnea.

– My appetite has really been curbed. I’m eating less and making better choices.

– I “feel” skinny because I’m losing inches off my stomach. I feel good!

– I’ve saved $65 in parking fees from riding into the office

– I’ve driven 205 less miles, meaning less wear and tear on the car, and gas savings

This morning, I rode in and started out very slowly. I was focused on taking in all the sights, sounds of a Friday morning here in Charlotte. I passed some morning dog-walkers, joggers, and got to see the start of the school day for a lot of kids out waiting for their bus to pick them up. The temp was a bit warm (71 degrees), so I toned down my speed. Just the trick! I enjoyed the HELL out of my ride in. I eventually picked up the speed and actually ended up having one of my best averages in 3 weeks riding in. I’ll take it. On the elevator up to my office, I was chatting with a person about my riding. She mentioned she wished she had the dedication I did. Anyone can do this. I have decided that I will for the rest of the year as well as the new year.

This afternoon, regardless of how stressful my day will be, I know I’ll have the privilege and joy of riding back and blowing off some steam on the bike. It’s a great therapeutic tool at times.

So many benefits.

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