In the quest to live a healthier lifestyle, I am using my bicycle for transportation and working out more and more. I either ride by myself or attach a co-pilot bike to the seat post of my bike and my daughter comes along for the ride. I have been able to burn extra calories and save a little on gas money by riding to my parent’s house, the local library, parks, and town events for the family. The plan is to add a basket, bike rack, and some panniers to the bike for trips to local markets on the weekends and future commutes to school and work.
As I complete more and more bike rides, I find myself enjoying the rides more and more. When I am by myself I feel like a kid again riding around looking for adventures. When I am with my daughter, the constant “wheeeeees” and giggles I hear from her brings me such joy. The strength I am building in my legs feels awesome as does the increase in my cardio output. The challenge of climbing steeper and longer hills motivates me to be better.
To improve the bicycling experience I have been cruising around the internet looking for articles and videos on bike maintenance and commuting by bike safely. I have pinned many of them on my Pinterest.com Biking board. One important thing I learned was that since my bike was several years old and very little maintenance had been done to the bike, I was in danger of one or several of the cables breaking on me while I was riding. Any mechanical failure is the last thing I need especially while I am riding with my daughter. I brought my bike to the local R.E.I store last week to have basic maintenance service done to it plus all the cables/wires for the brakes and shifters replaced. The bike department at the Paramus R.E.I. did an excellent job and were very courteous.
During the week while my bike was in the shop, I took advantage of the store’s free bike maintenance class. Those who attended were taught mainly how to fix a flat tire on both the front and rear wheels on several different types of bikes. I went into the class very intimidated of such a task. The master bike mechanic who gave the class was very patient, passionate, and knowledgable of how to take care of your bike. I left there knowing how to fix a flat and was eager to practice at home.
My daughter and I really missed my bike while it was in the bike shop. She was sad when I picked her up from my Mom’s house with my car instead of our bike/copilot combo. During the week when we were getting set to go to the library, she was very upset that we were driving instead of biking over to her class. I think we both have a crush on bicycling. Hopefully we will continue to have a long, enjoyable relationship with our bikes.