Cycling: one year onHome » Blog » Su Yin Khoo » Cycling: one year on
A summary of how my cycling-as-an-alternative-transport began and how far I’ve come
A little more than a year ago, I bought a bicycle. It was a risky investment because haven‘t ridden one regularly for fifteen years. I had no idea what I was in for.
My first ride involved bringing the bike home—a 5km trip. I was unfit. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath and wait for colour to return to my face. I thought I would pass out by the side of Khyber Pass Road.
My legs and bum were pretty sore the next day but I didn‘t want to throw in the towel. I had taken up the Oxfam 100km Trailwalker Challenge and this biking thing could be helpful.
So in my 2009 goal book, I wrote: bike at least once a week. All I needed to do was get on the bike 52 times and I can strike this off the list. Easy, eh?
I only managed three days in January and five in February. It took a while get going—surprisingly, after Trailwalker—but I persevered.
And by the end of the year, I managed to log a total of 201 days, which over a year works out to be an average of 3.8 times per week. I think I deserve to count that as a success!
Here's what worked for me:
- Entering the BikeWise challenge. Their trip logging tool is a very good motivator. To date, I have cycled 2,165 km, burnt 41,900 calories and saved 411kg of CO2. Here are my stats.
- Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Don't break the chain’ method. I marked the days I cycled on a wall calendar. Towards the end, I was rather obsessed with keeping a continuous record that I stopped being a fair-weathered cyclist!
- Becoming a member of the Cycling Advocates Network.
- Participating in mobile social events such as Frocks on Bikes and the 350 Big Bike Ride where I met other like-minded people.
- Subscribing to a number of commuter cyclist blogs. You’ll learn something new every time.
I lost some weight, felt fitter and didn’t take a sick day off at all last year.
I made enough trips cycling instead of taking the bus that the bike has paid for itself (it was only $499 but hey!) and then some (my basket limits the amount of groceries I can buy).
I started blogging about it and am also curating bicycle winsomeness.
I get a bit upset about the lack of walking and cycling infrastructure. Like not being able to cross the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
I rented bikes to get around on my out-of-town holidays and saw places that were inaccessible by public transport or were too far to walk.
What this all means
In the greater scheme of things, it’s a sustainable mode of transportation that’s good for you and the planet.
But on the micro level, it’s a quick and fun way to travel. Everything else is a bonus.
So dust off your two-wheels hiding in the garage, sign up for a BikeWise event and see where your bicycle will take you from there.
Update: Forgot to mention ruining a number of pants by catching the legging in the chain.