Biking is becoming more and more of a lifestyle as bike lanes are being added around the world. But the problem remains that getting into the lifestyle in question is harder than you would think. It’s not enough to pick up a top of the line mountain bike and to suddenly decide to give up your car and bike everywhere. Becoming a cyclist is a bit of a process, but there are many ways of getting into the habit of getting somewhere on two wheels instead of four. No one said that getting biking into your routine was easy, but there are enough ways to make it happen that even if you work full time and have kids can you fit it in.
A quick and dirty way of learning to be a cyclist is to start biking to work. Because this is likely to be the bulk of your commuting, once you’ve got your traveling to work switched from car to bike, including the rest of your life will be easy peasy. Obviously, if you live incredibly far from your workplace, this may not be an option, but see if it’s possible to bike to the nearest train station and take that to work instead of being stuck in traffic for an hour or more every morning. More and more workplaces provide showers for people who choose to cycle (or skateboard, or scoot) to work, so find out if that’s an option for your office. If not, start lobbying away.
If you really do live too far to bike to work, consider traveling to the supermarket on your baby instead. Provided that the ride is less than half an hour, all of your groceries, except maybe ice cream, will survive the journey from grocery store to backpack to fridge. If you’re the kind of person who likes to stock up for the week, invest in a rack with side bags. Sure, it won’t be the easiest of cycling, but the extra weight on your bike and body will bulk up those legs in no time.
Another way of getting to know your area is by jumping on your bike and joining a critical mass bike ride. This is a fun activity, so grab your friends and join in the crowd of people cycling through the streets. Sure, they may be a considerable nuisance to vehicle traffic, but once a month on bike lanes isn’t so bad. Even if the ride is too hard for you in theory, in practice, the energy of your fellow cyclists will push you forward.
One manner of saving money while getting a better workout is by giving up the gym and cycling for sports. Locate your local bike path, or even better mountain biking trail if you’re up for the challenge, and get into the habit of having a much more pleasurable workout. Because let’s face it, what’s nicer, being stuck in a gym with a bunch of guys grunting loudly and bad television blaring, or being out in the sunshine with the wind pushing you along?
If the traffic is too much for you to handle and there are no bike paths in your neighborhood, consider investing in some good quality bike lights and going for a night ride. Most roads clear up significantly once commuting hours are over, so you’ll get to have the streets to yourself while everyone is at home in front of the TV. Visit your friends on your bike and have them join you for a ride.