In lieu of my usual Friday Free-For-All, I wanted to share this post about my bike.  And it still begins with “f” so it totally works, right?  Right.  Anywhoo…

I FINALLY got my bike on the road this week, and I’m really, really happy about it.  It’s nothing stellar, just a plain old 15 speed.  No idea if it’s actually a good bike or not.  I “inherited” it when the previous tenants in our apartment left it behind.  I brought it in for a little tune-up, and after replacing a wheel, brake pads, and some cable, it’s mostly ship-shape.  They told me it would need additional cable work and a new chain too, but after having already spent $80 on repairs for a used bike, I politely declined.  It works, and that’s all I require.

I rode to and from work both Wednesday and Thursday (we’re house-sitting this weekend so I drove today) and it’s been pretty awesome.  I take the bike path along the Lake Champlain shoreline instead of riding in traffic.  If I were to take the direct route to work, it would be a little less than 2 miles and I could probably be to work in 15 minutes flat, but I’m straight up TERRIFIED of riding in the road.  I have to ride in the road for a grand total of a quarter of a mile just to get to the bike path from my apartment, and from the bike path to my office, and that’s plenty of road time for me.

I haven’t ridden a bike outdoors in I don’t know how long.  Sure, I’ve hopped on a stationary bike at the gym from time to time, but actually riding a bike is totally different.  It felt really strange and unstable for the first few rides, but after that, I felt like a kid again.  When I was young, my bike represented the same freedom that a car does to my adult self.  With my bike, I could travel to friends’ houses, get to the store to buy candy and soda, and go from secret hide-out to secret hide-out.  It was so pleasant and unexpected to rediscover the joy that riding a bicycle can bring.

As I ride down the bike path, I can hear the poor, confused seagulls who think Lake Champlain is the ocean.  I pass other cyclists with a smile and a “Good morning.” I pass runners out getting their AM miles in.  I see people walking their dogs and walking to work and waiting for the bus.  I can enjoy the sun and the breeze and the view over the lake.

Cloudy Wednesday, sunny Thursday

Cloudy Wednesday, sunny Thursday

It’s so nice to enjoy “cross-training” so much.  The route along the bike path is approximately 3.7 miles to work, and 3.7 miles from, which means I’ll be cycling approximately 7.4 miles each day.  To work is mostly downhill, and from work is mostly uphill, so I’ll be exercising my legs and lungs in different ways.  This means that even if I don’t make it to the gym or do any strength training, I’m still cross-training every single weekday.  Woo!  The only downside is that the seat makes my butt really sore.  Guess I need a padded seat cover!

I’ve got my fingers crossed that Ben gets his bike fixed up too, so we can do some fun rides on the weekends, and keep these legs working!

Also, totally random, but I ordered a FlipBelt yesterday!  I plan to use it on my shorter runs to stash my phone and key, since my hydration belt is a little excessive (and also fanny pack-esque).  I got the Neon Punch color and I’m really excited to try it out.  I’ve had really poor luck with armbands and I didn’t want a SPIbelt (too fanny pack-esque).  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!

When was the last time you rode a bike outside?

How do you commute to work?

8 thoughts on “Free-Wheelin’

  1. dgobs says:

    SO jealous that you have such a pretty bike path to commute on! I’m terrified of riding on the roads too, so I’d be opting for that path hands down. When I lived in Watertown I bought a bike with the goal of cycling to work, but I never got my courage up. And then I wiped out on a bike path a few years ago and almost got run over by a very angry fellow cyclist and have yet to get back on a bike. Maybe someday…

    I take public transportation to work – the bus to the subway. To go 12 miles it takes an hour on an average day, 40 mins on the perfect day, and bad days… let’s not talk about those. I used to drive but the bus is so much less stressful! My ultimate dream job will be close enough that I could walk… that would be perfect. 🙂

    • DarlinRae says:

      I used to live and work in Watertown, and my commute was a half mile walk–that was seriously the best! Although Ben had to take the bus and train downtown every single day.

  2. piratebobcat says:

    I have a bike, but I’ve gotten to scared to ride it around here. Dallas drivers are so oblivious and always looking at their phones. I’ve been rear ended that way in my car, and I don’t want to have that happen on a bike!

    • DarlinRae says:

      Yeah it’s pretty scary how distracted drivers are. Even going past a driveway is scary cause they come flying out like crazy people. I’m very thankful for our bike path!

  3. dnardi710 says:

    I agree, I am totally freaked out about riding on roads! I mean at least running I can SEE cars coming towards me so if I need to move I can…on a bike you’re going the same direction as the cars so you have no idea what’s coming up behind you! Plus my dad got side swiped on his bike a few years ago, he fell off into a ditch and the car never even stopped! Luckily it was only a lot of cuts, scrapes and bruising but it could have been a lot worse!

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