One day while driving, I saw a lady biking, on her scrubs, biking towards the hospital where my wife works. I just dropped off my wife and we were heading the opposite direction as I was heading back home and she was heading towards work. That was a year ago and that's how I started biking to work. If she can do it, I can do it too! I borrowed my brother's Cannondale road bike for a month just to see if it was doable. My butt was sore for a week!
My own $650 Cannondale courtesy of Craigslist!
That time my commute was 10 miles on the freeway each way or 8 miles on the main road by bike. I would sweat, had blurry vision at times. I will play a lively music on my iphone and I was racing the bus, it will pull away from me but whenever it will stop I will catch up and overtake on it. But once I get tired it will slowly take the lead on me, I was averaging 18mph including stops. Nowadays is much different, my pace is around 15 mph with no music on my ears just enjoying my 40 minute ride.
When I figured out that I can bike to work, I returned the bike to my brother and bought a $1,500 bike. After few months the brand new Felt bike got stolen! FML! Again I borrowed my bike while I am shopping for a new bike. I went to Craigslist this time and shop for a used bike. I found a $650 like new condition 2009 Cannondale road bike. One of the best decision I've made in my life!
If you are not biking yet here are tips on how to start biking based on my experience:
- Borrow first then test the water if its doable. Use google maps to plan your route, use bike path as much as possible even its couple of miles longer.
- If you dont know anybody who has a bike, buy a used one at Craigslist. You really dont need a brand new bike to be honest. Americans use their bike on the weekends and recreational purpose most of the time. Pick the bike that is few years old only. Research the bike you have an eye on before checking it out on person. Check the reviews from the users most importantly. Dont be afraid to haggle but dont lowball where its unreasonable.
- When started biking, allow ample time for rest. If you feel dizzy go in the shade and rehydrate. Bring water, if you run out of water, stop by at any fast food restaurant and dont be embarass to refill your bottle with water. Ask nicely :)
- Be very careful and ride defensively!
- Bring extra set of clothes in your backpack.
- Bring extra food as you are going to be very hungry at first as you burn those calories. But dont worry, your body will adjust to it in the long run not needing that much food.
Before I started biking, I was wondering how it feels like to be a biker. I would see bikers on group during weekends. And I kinda feel envious on how they have the luxury to do it. They have the time of luxury to do it every weekend, they have luxurious bikes and luxurious protective gear on them! I wish I can do it too.
As I started biking I realized that one of the many benefits of biking is you can do your recreation and commute at the same time. Or you can do your cardio and commute at the same time. Depends to you how you look at it. In my eyes I am doing my recreation and my cardio during my commute all at the same time! What are you waiting for, start biking!