This story sent by Paula & Ted
This past March Ted & I decided we were going to do something about the extra pounds that had crept up over the winter (over the past several winters, actually!). We each had a well-loved, well-used road bike, perfect for long rides, but the problem with long rides is that you have to fit them into your schedule.
The last few years had established a pattern – we would do a fair amount of riding starting the minute the weather warmed up (March? April? May?) and would build up our strength, and miles, then miserable hot weather would arrive and we’d scale back. Come September we’d pick up again and manage some glorious long rides in the Autumn, then put our bikes away sometime in October or November. We were never able to ride as much as we’d like because life would intervene – work schedules, social events, etc. So, while we enjoyed the riding we managed to do, we weren’t able to do it enough to make any serious dent in our waistlines.
This year was going to be different!
First, we took a hard look at what we were eating and drinking, and when and why, and made some adjustments.
Second, we got a couple of new bikes from RD Bike (a Larkspur for Ted and a Kentfield for me, both by Marin). Don fitted them up with saddlebags and rear racks so that we could carry things. (The thing about road bikes is that they’re minimalist. They’re meant to be light and feel best on smooth surfaces — they’re not particularly good for carrying things.) We did this because we live in the city and realized that we hopped into our car to do various errands almost every day, and most of those errands were to destinations that were less than 3 miles from our house. The grocery store, for instance, was 2 miles away and how often were we running there just for one or two things? (Versus the big shopping trip with 8 bags of groceries.) We live 3 miles from the main library in Akron and less from 3 different branches and we hit the library at least once a week. Etc.
So we got our hybrid bikes with rack and saddlebags and began using them instead of driving, whenever we could. Even when it was in the 90’s we found that we were willing to do a 2-mile trip on the bike whereas we weren’t real interested in doing a 30-mile trip for fun. We ride to the store, the post office, the bank, the library, the park, the bagel shop, etc. The bikes are very comfortable to ride, with excellent brakes and the tires sail over brick streets, cushioning the bumps.
We still do longer rides with our road bikes on weekends, and we found that we could do more miles sooner in the season than ever before, which we are convinced is because we’re doing so much more riding in general, even if the rides are a lot shorter individually. (On a relative scale they’re more work per mile because they are heavier and we’re often loaded down.)
Our calorie intake is down, our activity is up and our waistlines have seen significant reductions! And the thing is, we really enjoy our quick trips around town on our bikes – they don’t feel like exercise but they provide the benefits of exercise. (Plus we save money on gas!)
Getting those bikes was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made!