I Want To Ride My Bicycle (Part 1)

Wow, long time no blog! It’s been awhile. Life with 3 kids can be crazy (understatement of the year) so certain things I used to do a lot (like blog) have been put on the back-burner. I have, however, found a new thing I like to do. Ride my bike. And I think everyone should go ride a bike more often. So let’s talk about it!

For those who follow me on other social media sites (facebook and instagram), you may have noticed that I’ve been riding my bike a bit. Mostly with my husband. It was *his thing* first, for several years now. But recently, it’s also become my thing. Ivor has been commuting to work by bike for a few years off and on (within the last year it’s pretty much always on). He found a good group of guys he affectionately refers to as the “bike gang” (that’s actually their facebook group messenger thread name) that he commutes with often. They all live in the south San Jose area and commute to the Sunnyvale/Mountain View/Palo Alto area. You may be thinking “holy cow, that’s a long way to bike!”…and you’re right. It is. When they take the “flat route” (by way of the Guadalupe River Trail), it’s about 24 miles one-way (for Ivor). But he actually prefers his “scenic route” most of the time, which is 33-ish miles and quite a bit more hilly. But when you do it all the time, you get better, faster, stronger, and it’s not a big deal. That said, he and his coworkers are fortunate enough to work for companies that have lockers and showers. Otherwise they’d be sweaty smelly messes and would probably be discouraged from commuting by bike. So, having a “bike-friendly” work environment helps a lot.

Anyway, cycling has been amazing for my husband. He loves that he can be active and outside on his way to work, instead of sitting in ridiculous Bay Area traffic every day inside his car. He’s lost a crazy amount of weight and is currently in the best shape of his life. All from cycling (and nutrition, but mostly the cycling thing). It’s not just about commuting for him either. It’s pretty much a lifestyle thing now. He likes going for non-commute rides on weekends, exploring new roads and enjoying the beautiful scenery of where we live, which is way different to experience on a bike than it is from inside your car.

I started getting into the cycling thing slowly. In the beginning it was just something to do together: My husband’s hobby that I supported and took part in with him because I love him. I do also love being active and outside, but running or hiking was more my speed. However, slowly but surely, I have been converted. I get it now. The appeal. The addiction really lol. All the things he loves about cycling, I’ve experienced…and I am on board. The disadvantage I have…and I don’t even like using that word because I’m about to refer to my kids lol….but, I’m a stay at home mom of 3. I can’t just leave my house alone, and go ride a bike whenever I want. While I could do it on weekends with Ivor watching the kids, I don’t actually want to go alone, as riding on roads with cars still makes me nervous, and I have yet to learn how to change a flat tire by myself. So I prefer to ride WITH him, which requires someone else to watch our kids. So that can only happen occasionally when we hire a babysitter (or more frequently when his mom is visiting, like right now).

The solution we’ve found though to keep me riding more often is an indoor bike trainer. Using that, I don’t have to leave the house. I can ride during nap time while the big kids are in school, or early in the morning, or after bedtime, etc.  It’s a “smart” trainer that we use with this virtual riding software called Zwift. The whole set-up is pretty sweet and as much as I love riding out on roads, this is  the best option to keep me riding regularly. It’s getting me more in shape to be able to ride with Ivor (who has to go painfully slow to ride with me currently). I’ve grown to really look forward to my  trainer rides in the garage with headphones on, listening to a podcast or my workout playlist. Alone. It’s me time. In the pain cave lol.

Anyway, this post is starting to get too long. I still have a lot more to say about cycling (what it’s done for me personally, how it compares to running, how to get started with cycling if you’re interested, bike safety, Strava, etc.) and not enough time at the moment.  So I’ve just changed the title of this post to add “Part 1” and I’ll make it a series. Also, bonus points to whoever catches the reference I’m making with the title, “I want to ride my bicycle”.

For now, I’ll leave you with a link to a YouTube show all about cycling that was a big part of my conversion: The Global Cycling Network.  It’s a great place to start 🙂

Until next time,

The Converted Cyclist

 

 

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