Life in the Bike Lane
I don’t do resolutions. At least not the New Year kind. Goals? Not really. Bucket list? I have three buckets in the shed, but they’re not on any list.
And that is why you’re seeing this column well after January 1st. By the time you five loyal readers read this, most of your resolutions will be broken.
Like many others, I want to lose some weight, but I started in August and in just five short months I am up five pounds. I am already a regular at the gym, except during the time between June and November. I define “regular” as “sometimes”.
I take some guff from friends because I tend to keep track of stuff, you know, statistics. So, I know since living in Lincoln, I have averaged 7259 miles per year on my bike. While I don’t see it as a goal or resolution, I do like to ride at least that much. In fact, in 10 years, I haven’t varied more than 10% up or down (OK, it’s 12.2%, but I didn’t want to appear too compulsive about this). I’m retired and belong to a very active bike club and, in the spring, start training for a long, seven-day ride. I’ll ride 1000 miles for “May is Bike Month”, then over 500 miles in the first week of June. I know this doesn’t describe everyone’s situation.
The point (yes, there’s a point) of all this is: I want you to get on your bike in 2019. One of the problems with a New Year’s Resolution involving outside activity is the weather. It’s cold. It rains. It would help if New Year’s came in June.
If you haven’t been riding, go ahead, set a goal, a goal you can easily make. How about 5 miles or two short rides every week in January. You may have to juggle your life a bit around mundane things like kids, work, rain, but I know you can do it.
Then, in February (yeah, I know it will be cold), add a few miles. Up the total by 10, make that 12.2%. After two or three months you should be able to find a comfortable level of activity for your life.
I have previously discussed the benefits of cycling. It can help protect you from many serious diseases including strokes, heart attacks, depression, diabetes, arthritis and obesity.
It is a low-impact exercise. This is especially good for we older Placerians and those who find jogging difficult and going to the gym impossible.
We can all fit some bike riding into our lives by using a bike for errands, commuting to work or riding to school
Riding 7259 miles in a year? That’s just crazy. Shoot for about 100 miles per month. When you can do that easily, re-evaluate. Up your miles again. Carefully calculate how far it is to the bakery and back.
You may even catch “the fever” and start looking at a new bike.