Achievements after a Year and a Half as a Bike Commuter
As I look back over the past year and a half as a cyclist and a bike commuter I have a few observations and reflections to pass along. First and foremost I am forever grateful to cycling for restoring my health, reducing my stress, and improving my looks, mood and mental acuity.
With all these benefits, I’m hooked and I can’t ever go back to my car or transit ever again.
Amazingly, I have reaped all these benefits without being a full-time bike commuter. I cycle only three days a week, to and from work for a total of about 75 km per week. For anyone who is thinking of adding cycling as a hobby or a transportation alternative I say DO IT. It doesn’t have to be a long ride and it doesn’t have to be every day.
Here are the observations of a rookie:
- Why is it that putting a windshield in front of our face suddenly isolates us and amps up our impatience and aggression? I’m not going to rant about bad drivers because quite honestly I notice that this happens to me sometimes. Curiously, cycling has actually made me a calmer driver. I am more aware not only of other drivers and of course cyclists, but also when my own mood goes south, and I make a conscious effort to relax and take it easy.
- Yes – there are bad cyclists just as there are bad motorists. I get angry when someone makes a dumb or dangerous move, but I can shake it off far easier when I’m on a bike than when I am driving. I was even hit by a truck a few weeks ago, but was not seriously hurt, and I have shaken that off too.
- A smile, nod or wave of appreciation goes a long way when in traffic.
- Being a little late is NOT the end of the world.
- Cycling is addictive – I’ve started running short errands on my bike on non-commuting days.
- Not all my cycling has to be a hot sweaty, epic ride. I have bought a beautiful electric bike that I use when I want an easier ride. It’s a BH E-Motion Street 650, and I love it. I can even ride it in a dress! I will write a review about it soon.
- I’ve bought my last car. When our current Fiat 500 is gone it will be the end of my 30+ years as a car owner.
And as soon as they’re old enough, I look forward to sharing the love of cycling with my grandkids!