Monday, April 16, 2012

Finally getting my money's worth out of my bike

As you recall last spring I bought a bike, but sad to admit, I haven't used it much. But, that is changing!!!

On Saturday I used it to go to the grocery store to get groceries. Today, I ran all sorts of errands.

First, to refresh your memory. This is my bike: Novara Transfer. It is a great urban/commuter bike. It is a somewhat of a step through bike, has fenders, a rack and a chain guard. What I really love about it is that it has internal gears. The buddybike which is the tandem I have to use with my son has them and I'm telling you, once you have internal gears, you will never want to go back to regular shifters again. Why? because with internal gears you don't have to be pedaling to shift gears and there is very little risk of the chain falling off. I love that! Oh, and less upkeep too and I'm all for as little upkeep as possible.

Then, because I wanted to be able to ride my bike for errands - like to the library and such, I wanted a nice bag for the rack. I got this: Basil Memories bike bag. Everything is great about this bag EXCEPT that it has buckle and belt clasps to open and close which make it time consuming. However, I think I might sew some velcro on and that would solve the problem. It holds a lot, is secure and cute!

The real splurge though was getting this: The Burley Travoy. This picture shows it as you use it in the grocery store, but the handle unfolds and you can attach it to your bike. Here's more information: You really don't even feel like you are pulling anything as it's only 9 pounds and it comes off so easily. I truly love it, but... until this weekend, I hadn't used it since last spring! Which is ridiculous!

But today I did. Here is my whole set up. I even have a front basket (though I might be taking that off): Melissa's bike with Travoy, panniers and basket and this: another angle.

I had two swimsuits to return today, plus a pair of shoes that were too big and something for my husband to mail. Why not ride my bike to these destinations? So, I took off the trailer and put the 5 packages in the panniers hanging off the rack and set off. First to the UPS store which is about a mile from us. Now, that ride about killed me and it's part of the reason I've not ridden my bike much. Getting out of my neighborhood is no joke. It's all uphill and fairly steep. Last spring I had to get off the bike and walk up a block. This time I could make it, though barely, my heart was pounding big time and it was slow going, but made it I did. Then from there I went to the post office which is about 1.5 miles from the UPS store. That ride was pretty easy with small hills up and down. Then I went to my son's elementary school to volunteer which was about a mile back. Then home for lunch. After lunch I hooked up the trailer and rode to the grocery store.

Now this is where luck comes in play. On the way to the grocery store it is nearly all uphill. None of it is very steep, but it is continually uphill. I have the trailer, but it's empty and I can make it all except for one tiny little 20 feet section of very steep uphill. I tried to make it and almost fell over out of sheer stubbornness of not wanting to quit on the hill a second before I needed to. My goal is to get up that hill all the way by the time summer gets here (for real). But for now I had to walk those 20-30 feet.

I loaded up (and that little thing holds a lot). Today it was about 1/2 full and I didn't put anything in the panniers on the rack and I bought this: gallon of milk, quart of kefir, 5 lbs bag of flour, 2 frozen pizzas, 8 pounds of apples, a bag of clementines, 2 pounds of grape tomatoes, a loaf of bread, and two containers of salad dressing. Now I have some weight to the cart, but the ride home is nearly all downhill and nowhere am I in trouble of needing to get off and walk. And that is why I got the Burley Travoy. I really have no reason not to drive to the grocery store and come summer, the farmer's market which is about equidistant, will be another weekly destination.

All together I rode about seven and a half miles today which added up to a bit over an hour on the bike.  I also walked to and from my son's school twice which is about 1.75 miles total.  All of that exercise that was just part of normal, useful activity - not planned working out. Well, it was planned, but it wasn't a "let's go for a run" kind of thing, but "I have errands to run, let's do it without the car". I am going to do more and more of that too. Moving with a purpose just makes more sense to me than jumping around in a gym when you have a choice.

So, it was a good day. Muscle achiness in the neck is still there, but I didn't need to take anything for it! And you believe it? I forgot to weigh-in this morning!

Stats for 4/16/12:

Total hours exercised in 2012: 75.5/250

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