I’ve been smiling around-the-clock since BikeWalkKC has contacted me and asked me to share with you what it is like to commute by bicycle. There’s plenty to be said and for this reason I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. Over the next 3 months, I want to encourage you to get out there, fight the good fight, sweat it out, and change your life. “A bicycle can change my life!?” Yes. Yes it can. But I don’t blame you for not believing me. I wouldn’t’ve believed me either 6 years ago.
Buying a bike was one of the most pivotal moments of my life. It was the beginning of a seriously beautiful relationship. I fell in love, madly in love.
And so I divorced my car. We’re over.
I’ve been a car free cyclist for 6 years and over 5,000 miles. I do just about everything on my bicycle except brush my teeth and race. I’m not a competitive cyclist, but rather a “zen cyclist”. I do it for the love of doing it. There are not many things in this world that make me happier than riding my bike. But people, let me tell you something—this is NOT how I felt at first. At first my legs burned a LOT. It wore me out, broke me down, and I made plenty of “rookie” mistakes along the way. It was a struggle: me against the hill, me against the wind, me against traffic, me against myself. And true, I still face the adversity of weather and traffic, but I assure you my friends, it gets easier.
I didn’t know that within a few months of cycling I would be the strongest I’ve ever been. I didn’t know that it was possible for me to be happier (special thanks to science for endorphins!). I didn’t realize that I would gain an astounding amount of energy and a fierce appetite that I delight in satisfying because I can. Finding a parking spot, making car payments, getting gas, locking my keys in my car, getting stuck in traffic, getting my car broken into, property taxes, and having “surprise” car problems are all history. HALLELUJAH!
If you are unsure about committing to a bicycle and you want to “try it before you buy it”, I suggest renting a bicycle through Kansas City’s Bike Sharing program (kansascity.bcycle.com). If you would like a riding buddy, please don’t hesitate to ask! It wouldn’t be the first (or the last time) I offer my time to show someone the ropes of inner city street cycling. And please feel free to ask me any questions you may have! Stay tuned for advice, motivating stories, and photos.