Tag Archives: Bike

My plunge into the cycling world

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The Team-Libby’s in the middle. I would ride 100 miles for these girls.

So there I was, sitting with my group of girlfriends enjoying eggs benedict for brunch on the weekend. Libby looked at me and said, “you have to join my team.” I really like Libby. She could have told me to join her team to wrestle rabid wild boars and I would have said, yes! sign me up. “Little Red” she said, “We’re all doing it” she motioned to the rest of that gals at the table, all nodding their heads at me. “It’s the best” “So easy” “They have men driving the route begging to change your flat tire” “Diet Coke on tap” “Peanut butter sandwiched with Oreos at the rest stops” “no hills” My head was spinning…and I get to hang out with you girls too?! Sweet, I’m in! I thought I might be saved by not winning the lottery to get in, but Libby assured me that she’s really lucky and ALWAYS gets in. We did and now I’m committed.

Slow ha ha. why didn’t I think about the fact that I have never ridden a bike longer that 20 minutes my entire adult life. or the fact that I don’t even own a bike helmet. No, I didn’t stop and think I may not have time to train for a 100 mile bike race . Nope, I’m on LIbby’s team, The team, and I’m still very excited about the thought of doing a bike ride with my friends.

I’ve always been good at things I’ve tried. Roller skating, stilts…what have you… Road biking, sure, I can do that. Let’s try. Slower ha ha. This is kinda hard. Can you teach an old dog new tricks?

Sometime in 2006 I went to a spinning class. After 60 minutes of the hardest workout my heart has ever managed. I fainted into the instructor’s arms while asking her some questions after class. Mortified after I woke up on the floor with her looking over me, I reassured her that, no, she didn’t have to call my mom to drive me home. I have not stepped into a spin class since. Well, until now. I’m killing it in the spin class. I totally pretend to crank up that resistance and pretend I know WTH she’s talking about when she asks “how my base building is going?” But, hey I get there, I sweat and I smile and I sing to the music only going “breathless” when she instructs us to. Five classes in and I’m an expert.

So I’m borrowing a road bike from my super cool sister-in-law. I’ve got the clips, the shoes, the gloves, and yes the helmet. I hop on the bike to ride to work. First time on a road bike EVER. First turn on a road bike EVER. *WHABAMM* I hit the pavement. Turned too sharp, too fast, not concentrating, gravel, I don’t know what happened except that the yard worker at the post office saw everything. But, I’m fine. A little road rash makes me feel young again and I saved my chin from stitches with my thumb that feels broken most days now. But I rode away unscathed. The adrenaline actually helped me up that darn hill to Huntsman. And I’ve successfully ridden to work 3 times since then without falling, so I’m getting my confidence back.

I live on Sunnyside Ave-one of the most popular biking routes in the city-my training ground. So far I’ve made it 30 minutes up. I am still learning how to ride and the downhill makes me so nervous I’m hear myself Lamaze breathing while I go. But hey, I’m on Libby’s Team and I’m super excited about that! I’ll keep you updated.

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How do I look? (Pre road bike)

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What is your contribution?

My latest pleasure of the work day is getting to and from work. I know this sounds absurd. Who likes to commute? I do and I will tell you

My Dance Floor

My Dance Floor

why. I work about 30 miles from my house. And most of the time I use a combination of transportation methods. Driving my truck is the easiest but least favorite. Carpooling is not far behind that. Riding my bike is the clear winner. 3 days a week my commute looks like this.

6:35 am – Peddle my brightly colored single speed bike 4 miles from my house to the Frontrunner train stop downtown.

7:00 am – Load my bike on the train and ride it north for 30 minutes

7:35 am – Ride 2 miles from the Clearfield station to my office.

And then I do it in reverse order starting at 4:45pm to get home just before 6pm.

Although time consuming and requires me to arise early and be a little sweaty for my first meeting of the day, it is totally worth it if you realize my contribution to other commuters out there. In the morning I am still in a bit of a daze but in the afternoon I know I am making someone’s day after a long day of “living the dream” in the corporate world.

How do I know this? I have witnessed it. Don’t judge me but when I ride my bike the music I listen to in my headphones is typically music that I do not want others to know I am listening to. For example, some of the names of the Pandora stations I listen to while I bike commute are: Kurtis Blow Radio, Dance Pop Radio, Dubstep Radio, plus other stations full of guilty pleasures. And what I have discovered is music with a crisp beat, combined with the fact that you just got done with a full day of work and being on a bike makes a perfect recipe to let it all hang out. And by all hang out I mean shake what yo mama gave ya.  At least as much as you can while straddling a bike. Click here for a link to one of the songs that got me going today on my commute.

The first few minutes of my ride home after I get off the train is through a busy section of downtown SLC.  I find myself waiting at stop lights standing next to cars being driven by suit clad working stiffs making their way home, a great song blaring in my headphones, the excitement of not having to answer another email the rest of the day and a bike between my legs. At a minimum I am bouncing my head making sure those around know I am happy to be where I am. I see a smile come over the face of the driver next to me and I know that I just gave him something to distract him from his same old commute.  And maybe if I pull some of my good moves, I gave him something to tell his family about over the dinner table that night.

For those of you wondering what I am talking about I will share with you my go-to moves for bike commuting. Obviously you are limited in what you can do while standing over a bike. But let me tell you some of those lights take forever and if I have the patience to wait for the light to turn green, I can get a pretty good combo of moves in before I have to start peddling again. My go-to move that makes an appearance almost every afternoon is the chest drum. Open handed tapping on my chest with variations like throwing out a point to a pedestrian or hitting the end of my handle bar like a cymbal. Or how about the slight lean to one side and “rollin’ with the homies” with my hands. My personal favorite is the shoulder shrug combined with head bob.  I can do it while I stand still or while I peddle.

Really the way I see it, your dance skills are not important because your coolness factor is multiplied by the fact that you are on a bike. We all know that bike commuting is better for the environment, for your health and more sustainable than any vehicle ever will be but those things do not matter to most. What is important is that you have the opportunity to make someone smile and possibly inspire someone through your dance moves. Now that is how you make a difference in this world.  I guess I could be embarrassed that people are laughing at me but really I don’t have time for that and it would probably take away from the fun of commuting. Besides, one day I may find myself on youtube and I would rather be known as the dancing bike commuter than the talk radio car commuter.