- Last Updated: Monday, 08 August 2016 20:06
- Published: Tuesday, 19 August 2014 15:50
- Written by Administrator
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So you want to bike to work and have been looking for information on how to do it right. Well, unfortunately today, we have a few things to say that might cause a bit of discomfort to some. Let’s just say that all things come in different sizes and colors; they’re tough and unbelievable:
1. Getting the right bike. OK, let’s hear Lance say it: “It’s not about the bike.” But then again, sometimes, it really is about the bike and if you don’t have the right one for you, you’d be aching all over, even after just a five-kilometer ride on a smooth road. Why? Because only the right-sized bike and one that’s been configured tofit you can provide a comfortable and easy ride. And do you know why this is not easy? Bike frames are sold with fixed sizes and measurements, and they certainly don’t come in one size fits all versions. Having a bike fitting session is not cheap either. Of course you can adjust the seat post to the height that’s just right for you and you can do the same for handle bars and all the parts that can be adjusted. But this will take time and you have to ride the bike and then adjust and do it all over again several times over several days and kilometers before you can get the adjustments that will not result into muscle aches and sore balls. It's like the Buddhists' cycle of rebirth: your are born again and again; and you don't get to heaven untill you get it right. Whew, you have got to have a lot of patience before you get them really right.
2. Finding the best route. You would be the first to agree that you just can’t take the same route as the one you usually take going to work on public transportation or your private car, if you have one. The streets are always polluted, the traffic is terrible, and drivers are definitely discourteous. There is no more space for you on the road! You can’t breathe and pedal at the same time for even a single kilometer of Metro Manila’s roads without filling your lungs with soot and other dangerous gases. The MMDA will tell you to use the bike lanes they carved out, errr, constructed in the streets to give parking space to cars and trucks… oops, wrong article … sorry for the digression… The best route is not always the shortest one and if you want to arrive early to your destination, you have to bike on pedestrian lanes, zip through red traffic lights, and go against traffic flow. Never mind those drivers who don’t know how to use their signal light so that when they need to turn right, they would just surprise and hit you. Whew, you have to be brave, persistent and have long endurance before you can do it right.
|The best route is not always the shortest one and if you want to arrive early to your destination, you have to bike on pedestrian lanes, zip through red traffic lights, and go against traffic flow...Whew!!!|
3. Researching for tips. The Internet, (this site being the best example,) is full of information, tips and instructions on how to bike to work and just about anything about cycling. The downside however, is that there are contradicting information too, and you’d find out that you are more confused than ever in the end. There would be similar information as well while others are rehash of what other websites said. Who would you believe and who would you rely on for giving productive and effective tips on how to bike to work? The truth is it will all depend on you. Are you a serious biker to work? Or do you just want to try it slow in the beginning and bike once or twice a week to work? Whew, you have to be consistent and decisive, and if it’s not your style, you’re in for a grueling journey on the road.
We can always mention the lack of cycling infrastructure, bad weather, aggravating pollution and many other factors as reasons for not wanting to use the bicycle for our daily commute...
4. Pedaling, Pedaling, Pedaling… So you now have the right bike, have found the best route and have decided to use the tips you have read. Now what? The logical move is to get on your bike and start biking to work. For this to happen in real life, you need to put your feet on both pedals, exert great efforts to try and move them so you can be on your way. The first thing you’d realize is that it’s a lot different when you were just reading about biking to work. You knew you need to pedal of course, but did you know that you have to be coordinated in order to bike? You need a great deal of hand-eye coordination, not to mention quick reflexes as well. You can’t bike with blinders/blinkers on (like horses who need them so they can focus on the track ahead.) Pedaling a bike is hard on almost all muscles of the body that are involved in locomotion and if you’re not in shape…which brings us to our last point.
5. Getting in Shape or Not. You don’t need a particular reason why you have to bike to work but there are people who actually do so because they need the exercise and they want to get in shape. You can read lots of testimonials on the Internet of people who say they have lost weight, maintained their blood sugar levels and took care of their heart all because of biking. We will not argue against these claims (let us just assume that they are honest and true, just like anything you can find in the Internet) and just tell you the truth: forget biking if you want to get into shape. It will never work for you. If you start as an overweight individual and your goal is to lose weight so you can fit into those tight fitting cycling shorts, you’d be really disappointed. Just wear those cycling shorts anyway and damn those who cringe when they see you huffing and puffing your way to work.
Yes, biking to work is possible but hard and we have proven that you just can’t do it right even if you try your very best. The truth is, however, you can bike every day, forget what we have said here, and no one will care if you did it right or not. Only you can say in the end that you have conquered the roads, even if it was indeed, unbelievably tough to bike.