Riding My Bike to Work: Rain or Shine

Our lifestyle has changed so much since we decided to get out of debt. We had talked off and on about selling our vehicles in order to clear us of monthly payments. Can I be honest with you for a minute though? I did not want to sell my car. I was scared of changing my lifestyle. I was afraid of losing my independence. I was stressed about how in the world would I pick up my groceries. I was nervous about riding the bus or taking my bike to work. But Sam, my strong leader and my sweet encourager, who is the brave one between the two of us, never pressured me to sell but encouraged me to be creative and to not allow myself to be stuck. He decided enough was enough and bought an old 1990 Ford Taurus with cash in leu of his dream truck. That is our “Dave car.”

After watching him sell his truck, I knew it would be selfish of me to keep my car and maintain payments while my husband just made a big sacrifice. The next week I decided to do the same. It was time to rip the band aid. Adjusting to riding the bus was really not as hard as I thought it would be and it didn’t take long to get the hang things. It actually got me outside and walking more, an opportunity I normally wouldn’t have with my car.

Before I sold my car, we talked about getting a fat tire bike in replacement, and in that case, it would be worth it. The hills were a concern for me as well and where we live, hills here are very steep for riding a bike. A couple weeks later, Sam surprised me with a fat tire bike. The thing about this bike is that it is electric which means it allows me to ride my bike up hills without a problem. People at work ask me if I have to peddle since it has a battery. Yes! I still have to peddle! It is not a motor, it is a battery. I still have to put a lot of effort like any bike but this allows me to go at a faster speed.

It is all downhill when I’m heading to work. It used to take me 12 minutes but as I’ve become more bold with my speed, I can confidently say it now takes me 9. It feels so good when I’ve made it to work and I can feel my lungs, and that’s a good feeling. If you were to ask me what my favorite part about my commute is, I’d say it’s on my way home. Yes, you read that right. My favorite part is going up the hill. For a couple reasons: 1. I enjoy the exercise and pushing myself and 2. On my way home I get to see a waterfall that I can’t see going down the hill. I love when I reach that bend right before I approach the waterfall. I cannot wait to see this view in the fall!

I bet you’re wondering what I do when it rains out, huh? Well, it’s really not that hard. Starting from the head: since my helmet allows so much air flow, I either use a baseball hat or my hood from my rain jacket to wear under my helmet. I usually wear something breathable and light with a couple layers under my rain jacket, which is wind resistant so it really helps when it’s windy or when I’m plowing down the hill. For my pants I have my bike shorts and then wear a layer of leggings. I always change when I get to work and it doesn’t take me very long at all.

If it is sunny out or if the weather is kind of iffy, I still wear my light jacket with my gloves but pack a few things in my back pack just in case something happens. I had always wanted to commute with my bike but never could because of the distance and the hills. Somedays I miss the convenience of a vehicle but as I’m riding my bike, I enjoy every minute of my commute.

Have you ridden your bike to work? Would you be brave enough? Tell me what steps you have taken for a healthier lifestyle.

 

Love,

The Leal’s

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