Tag Archives: cycling

Keeping the Truck, but Keeping Track

This week, I decided to keep my truck and not sell it for now. It is simply too convenient. While I would love to have the challenge of being forced to bicycle everywhere, it doesn’t work with reality. So the compromise: new goal is to put more miles on my bike than on my truck. The challenge starts when I returned to Ohio. At that time, my truck had 81,566 miles on it. I track all my bike rides on Strava and my all-time miles were at 1,107 when I returned. My miles are at 82,097 and 1,470 currently. So, driving is ahead of biking 531 miles to 363 miles.

Moonlight Bike Ride

Day 69 Without a Job

In the last 100 years, we have added extreme convenience to our lives. Cars drive us to just a few feet from every destination we can think of. We are climate-controlled the whole way. When we arrive we have climate control. People have actually come to believe that they need it. Do we need it? Is it really even better? No! We are missing out!

I’m not saying I want to go back to the stone age, but don’t be afraid to add some difficulty to your life! We’re designed for it! It makes us better! I haven’t had my truck (or any vehicle) with me for about a week. It’s been great. I feel great! I’m in better shape, and I get to eat twice as much food. I rode home from downtown Friday night 1AM. My headlight broke, but fortunately there was a full moon overhead to light the way. I’d have missed this with my truck to make the trip easy.

Link to the ride on Strava.

Ostrander to downtown for free outdoor ballet.

The Ultimate Commuter Bike

Bike to work, because driving cars everywhere makes us soft and weak.

This is the Ultimate Commuter Bike. The bike and accessories are tried and true by me for over 1400 miles and counting. Build one with the links in this post.

In order to set yourself up for commuter success, the right accessories are the key. Flat tires, you can’t have them. Theft, it might happen, but it can’t break the bank if it does. The sun is down half the time. You are going to have to ride in the dark.

It is simple and reliable. The bike is a single speed. The single speed chain never comes off and rarely needs adjusted. The bike itself, the Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno costs $399.

The “egg beater” pedal clips are great for beginners. They are designed for mountain biking, making them easy to get in and out of and impervious to dirt.

I have never had a single flat on the tires. The bike pump is portable and effective for keeping those tires hard and ready to ride.

Inexpensive: A simple, lightweight cable that you can wrap around the frame prevents crimes of opportunity, but short of carrying a U-Lock everywhere, theft can happen. $400 for the bike is the least you will pay for a legitimate bike. If it does get stolen–like mine did in 2012–hopefully you’ve gotten a few hundred miles out of it first.

Versatile: the cyclocross bike is good on the road, and still able to go off road when necessary unlike sissy pure road bikes with tiny tires.

Day and night: with the bright rechargeable AA battery powered headlight and AAA battery powered tail light, day and night riding is safe. With the single speed bike, you won’t go too fast for your light at night.

Other items that make your ride more enjoyable on the good days and bearable on the bad are a good pair of gloves. A good bike tool that is light and versatile is useful for on-the-road and at-home repair. Back sweat from a back pack is no fun, a good messenger bag eliminates this and gives you lots of compartments for little items you want for every ride. A water bottle with a removable bottom makes cleaning easy.

None of these accessories will make the ride easy. It will still be cold, dark, wet, and scary on your ride at times. Your success will always depend on your own fortitude, but these will remove any excuses you might have. I personally own and use each of these accessories and each is worth every penny I paid after hundreds of miles. The total accessories I purchased cost about $400.

Biking makes us lean and strong.