According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center (PBIC), May is National Bike Month, and THIS WEEK is Bike to Work Week (May 16–20) and TOMORROW is Bike to Work Day (Friday, May 20). I’m going to be working from home tomorrow so no commuting for me, but my husband is at this very minute biking to an evening committee meeting.
Get Back Into Biking – It’s Still Fun!
The website Bike to Work says that the yearly cost of owning and operating a vehicle is about $9,000 a year, while the cost of maintaining a bicycle can be as little as $120 a year. I don’t think I’ve ever spent near $120 a year on a bike, unless I was replacing a stolen bike (which I’ve had to do several times). I’m sure I’ve spent $9,000 a year on some of my cars. Living with only one car really has saved us a lot of money.
But if you haven’t been on a bike in a while, it’s not so easy to just decide to ride… at least not for a couple in their 50s with sedentary desk jobs. We wanted to do more biking but we needed to make some changes first:
- Get a bike that is comfortable. JUST DO IT. Why add to the difficulty by trying to make due with an ill-fitting old bike that you don’t like. If it’s at all possible, find one that fits properly. Check out Craigslist if you can’t buy new. That’s where I found my bike. On the other hand, my husband’s used bike was so squeaky he felt he was being gawked at. He never felt good about riding. We caved and bought him a lovely new bike with a comfy big seat. Now he’s happy to ride.
- Don’t fight traffic until you’re confident and ready for it. We bike around the neighborhood on mostly unused roads, taking up all the space we want. In our community, we’re lucky to have great bike paths nearby, as well as the Midtown Greenway. Lots of communities are creating bikeways. Check out what’s available in your community with the bike map database.
- Enjoy the scenery. I love to leisurely check out gardens around the neighborhood. My husband likes to leisurely check out me – so he rides behind me. This is all very good 🙂
- Make trips rewarding. We bike to the coop, and then get a ginger brew to take home as a treat.
So what’s going to get you off the sofa and onto a bike this week?