April 24th 2010 at The Bike Lane’s Cyclefest, I took on the challenge to go by bike more often. Grinning like a 5-year old at Christmas, I received a brand-new Trek Valencia Ride+ (which my Mom has subsequently named “Valerie”) to ride for roughly 80% of my trips that I would typically make by car. I had an idea of what I thought I was taking on, but while my path has lived up to some expectations so far, there have definitely been surprises and lessons learned along the way.
Now, six months and almost 1,800 miles later, I am half-way through my year of going by bike (officially) and a firm believer that going by bike instead of car, isn’t as hard as most people perceive it to be. I ride pretty much every day to work, which takes me just a little longer than if I would drive or take metro. I ride to the grocery store, which is actually less than a mile from my apartment, and other places when the need arises. The e-bike has proven helpful in keeping me a little less sweaty and feeling gross than when I do pedal a typical bike to work or out an about. If anything, my challenge has been learning to adjust my riding style from training/racing to commuting!
I’ve also had my fair share of adventures going by bike, from bike thieves, to flooded paths, angry drivers, helpful friends and above all, I’ve had fun riding! Going by bike is easy, saves money, environmentally friendly, healthy, and again, fun! I am so glad that I’ve taken on this challenge, and while the past six months have had their ups and downs, I feel that overall, it has been a great experience, and despite the forthcoming winter months, I’m still looking forward to going by bike as much as possible!
And in honor of 6-months of going by bike – here are the Top 6 things I’ve learned so far:
1) Remember to plug your e-bike in at night if you intend to ride it to work the next day
2) Lock your bike to something solid if you are going to leave it outside
3) I cannot ride my e-bike like I ride my mountain bike
4) Knickers are amazing riding clothes
5) Be polite when passing other cyclists and trail-users
6) The e-bike can actually carry two people (for short distances !) :-)