Recently I started to bike to work. I decided to do so because of the lack of exercise I get throughout the day. Hard to jog when your hackin all day long. What I found was that biking completely changed my daily routine and altered my mood more than I expected. It became more than just the exercise. It became meditation that relieved a lot of stress about work and helped me to really dig in and focus when I did get to work.
My schedule has changed
Biking to work means that my commute is now 45 minutes instead of 15 in the car. I have to get up a bit earlier to pack up my gear and hit the road so that I can get to work on time. This means I need to go to sleep earlier. Because of this I’m not sitting on the computer later at night, mindlessly browsing reddit. Waking up earlier has made me feel far more accomplished by 11 in the morning than I was all day before! The best part is that infuriating 15-20 minute commute is no longer part of my day.
I have an hour and a half to meditate during the day
Biking doesn’t require that much thinking but the physical effort involved causes me to forget about what ever was bothering me. Believe me, you aren’t thinking about that nasty bug when you’re trying to climb Old Sauk Rd. I also throw some head phones in and jam out to my favorite tunes. Make sure to keep the volume low enough to hear cars around you but it lightens my mood even more. Also, being out in nature really has a great affect on the psyche. I saw 3 turkeys in the middle of Madison this morning!
Update: There has been quite a bit of criticism about the fact that I wear head phones. I understand it is dangerous and don’t want anyone to get hurt. If you are in a busy city with cars that can kill you or other bikers that you can injure, don’t wear headphones.
I burn 1000 more calories a day
According to my bike tracking app, MapMyRide, I burn anywhere from 400-500 calories one way. This means I can eat just that much more bacon! This higher level of exercise has also made me feel much better, physically. Biking feels a lot less like exercise than going to the gym; unless you are going up said hill.
I feel more determine after work
When you drive to work (sitting down), hack codes all day (sitting down), drive back home (sitting down) sometimes it’s hard to get much motivation to do much of anything after work. You’re used to freakin sitting down! Well working in exercise right after work changed my attitude and I have found that I’m much more apt to actually do something productive that is not on the computer. Although this has led to less blog posts it has led to my basement getting closer to completion.
Tools of the trade
A Bike – I ride a Trek something or other. It was nothing fancy. I spent 300 dollars like 5 years ago. It’s a hybrid. It’s kind of nice because I can off-road it if I need to but I think I would opt for a road bike if I had to do it again.
A helmet – No brainer! Especially if you aren’t wearing one. You can pick one up for 30 bucks and they look rad. You’ll look almost as cool as you would with a motorcycle helmet.
Google Maps can now map out bike routes in your city. Just press directions and then select the bike Madison is very biker friendly and I’ve found a route that has a bike path or lane the entire way.
MapMyRide – This is an awesome app. I just hit the record button and my GPS turns on and tracks exactly where I’m going. It keeps track of pace, elevation, and route. It then overlays it on some nifty maps and graphs when you’re done. You can set goals and save tracks to test yourself.
Spotify Mobile – I didn’t realize that Spotify Radio on mobile is free. You won’t be able to play your playlists or starred tracks but you’ll be able to jam tunes the entire ride.