BikeCommuters.com

Commute

How time distorts things.

Not too long ago it seems, I was young, had a full set of hair, and above all else, I had time. Now with 3 boys, a wife, and less time than ever I have to get creative with when I ride. My commute route began the same way most do, with the easiest way to get to work. Now its transformed into about 90% of all my riding and I love it that way.

I was a 200-300 mile a week road racer who did 3 weekly group rides and wouldn’t get on my bike if it was for less than an hour ride. Now I ride to work about 3-4 times a week for a commute that is about 12 miles each way. Not that my commute is not without its challenges, there are a few healthy inclines on the way to my work, traffic is fairly rough all the time, and the road makes 28s almost a must. Still it’s my commute and I own it.

From the tough climbs to wheel untruing potholes it became my commute. I found ways to extend it and created a few strava segments to challenge myself. I realized that my bike was horribly inadequate (read: I wanted an upgrade) so I got a nice all terrain road/cross bike. That opened the door to even more routes and made the rough patches more livable.

I demoed a mountain bike at a work event and really enjoyed riding dirt so I dusted off the old hard tail mountain bike and now I mix in a mountain bike ride as part of my weekly commute.

I haven’t really grown tired of my commute because I don’t treat it as one. It’s my time to ride, a time to myself, a small part of my day where I can test my legs and my spirit that has not changed even if time has changed everything else.

-Mannuel, KOM Bike Talk

 

A new friend

Hello Bike Commuters! So it turns out that one of the guys from my local bike shop is a bike commuter AND a Vlogger! Here is a video of him giving sound advise about bike commuting:

Check out his YouTube channel at KOM Bike Talk Shop

How Riding Can Be a Part of Life for You

Finding a reason not to do something, according to psychology experts, is easier than finding a reason to get involved in something. Cycling has become a sort of fashion in the 21st century, with better models of bikes that make riding as normal as it would be. There are many people who do not ride, simply without no reason. You probably had a negative rumor that scared you off, or you simply do not know how riding can couple up with your life.

 

You Can Avoid the Traffic Jam

In most urban environments, nightmares happen every morning. Traffic jams are one of the most annoying factors that lead to a gloomy day for most people. Misfortunes start on the traffic snarls. The boss yells at you, your workload piles as you try getting to work, your rear lights get bumped by the drunk driver behind you, and you end up with a ticket for driving without your tail lights.

Well this catastrophic phenomenon can be sorted out by a simple solution of paving your way through the thick traffic on your bike. One of the best things that would happen to you. You will pity the guys stuck in traffic, you will get to work feeling refreshed, and your boss will shine his light upon you. The best thing for you is that, you will have a peaceful day, and you will live to see a clean in-tray.

 

You can Lengthen the Lifespan of your Car

The last time you checked, the mileage of your car seemed to be playing tricks on your vision. Every time you start your vehicle, you cannot help but think how nasty the resale will go for you. Well, here is a quick way to help yourself out on this.

A bike will sort the mileage out for you. In case you think riding is not as significant as it can get on your car’s value, do a simple calculation of the distance you cover every day, for 5 years. That way, you will find that a bike to save the lifetime of your car can help you. Furthermore, the maintenance is lessened, the gas prices are not a morning sickness for you, and there won’t be any tickets for a broken tail light.

 

Your Heart Condition Improves

This may strike you as a funny misconception but it is true. The physical strain that your heart endures to keep your circulation during the panting moments while you ride, helps your heart muscles to wax stronger. More to that, you reduce the chances of exposure to cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, or stroke. Your blood circulation remains great, and you enjoy a longer life. You  never thought you could achieve that on your Danish Bike?

 

Know Your Neighborhood

You probably never got to know where the lady you always bump at the grocery store lives. Here is the chance to know who lives around you, security is paramount in times when terror attacks are planned in homes, so you might want to know how safe your neighborhood is. Riding around your neighborhood every day, chances are that you may not miss a chance on one of those rides to know something about a person living near you.

 

Lose Some Weight

Ever thought of shredding some weight without having to face the “no pain, no gain” mantra that most fitness gurus chant? Bike riding is one of the most effective ways that can help you keep fit, without you thinking about it. Your weight just slides off the scale, though it may take a little longer.

 

It Offers Some Quality Family Time

Taking off on a ride, on a dull Saturday evening may be the champagne pop that your family has waited for all this long. Bonding is one of the valuable moments that a family can settle differences. A ride around the neighborhood will ignite a sense of belonging for your family, and chances are that, you will enjoy each other’s company after the ride.

 

Book Review: The Hidden Motor the psychology of cycling

Hello fellow bike commuters! Are you enjoying bike month? I know I am, I got to ride the train for free last week! The only thing that sucked was the lack of space in the car that is specifically for cyclists, there is room for about 10 bikes but there was like 20 of us riding the train. I also found interesting the number of people that were not dressed to ride but had a bike with them, I think they were just carrying their bike for the freebie.

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Anyhow, today’s post is a little different since it is a book review. Yes a book review! and a hard copy nonetheless! The title of the book is “The hidden Motor The psychology of cycling” by Martijn Veltkamp. The author is a psychologist based in the Netherlands who happens to be a passionate cyclist.

The book focuses on how professional cyclists are able to find that “hidden motor” within themselves to push themselves harder and accomplish things that they not normally do. If you are a bike commuter who also happens to race or do competitive rides you will know what this is about. As a former downhill racer, I would say that most of the times that I raced it was mostly my mind allowing me to block some of the gnarly terrain I was riding and not being afraid of getting injured or maybe it was just plain stupidity.

But enough of my glory days and let’s get back to the book. The book cites a lot of examples of how the mind is able to surpass our physical abilities, a lot of the examples that the author referred to were of professional riders such as Coppy, Wiggin and Jalabert riding certain famous rides such as the Giro, Tour de Flanders and the Tour de France. Interestingly, I do recall watching some of the examples that the author refers to on his book.

One of my favorite chapters is called “Fear: The Fall of Wiggins”. This chapter describes how the fear of descending and crashing got a hold of Wiggins causing him to lose a lot of time on a Giro de Italia stage. Why is it my favorite? because this chapter described how to beat your fear by a simple method: Just do it. Yes, this can also apply to bike commuting and the fear of getting hit by a car. Even though that is always in the back of my mind, riding defensively, being predictable and obeying traffics laws have allow me to face this fear and continue bike commuting.

Even though general readers can read this book, I think if you happen to be a cycling aficionado you will thoroughly enjoy reading it.