Tuesday, January 5, 2010

100% Participation

When I was in college I vividly remember one of my freshman year professors saying the following "Since today is the first day of the course, everyone in this room as an A+. All you need to do for the rest of the semester is maintain that grade.".

This came to mind as I was riding to work this morning. It's the second day of work for the new year, and I currently have ridden my bicycle to work both days, giving me an A+. Now all I need to do is maintain that grade!

Bicycling to work every day can be a challenge, especially in a snowy state. While Denver pales in comparison to places like Buffalo NY or St. Paul MN we do get a decent amount of snow that turns into slick, lumpy and downright annoying ice. Here are a few tips that keep me riding on the icky days and enjoying it!

1. "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". As annoying as this adage is, it's true. I suggest dressing for temps about 10 degrees warmer than the temperature outside. Otherwise you'll get sweaty! Good gloves, warm shoes, and a cozy scarf also help tremendously.

2. Take it slow. Don't expect to make record time on your way to work on snowy or icy days.

3. Take it easy. Plan your turns, stops etc nice and early. Any last second maneuvers can cause you to loose control on slick roads.

4. Wear your helmet. Even a slow speed crash on ice could really mess you up! Plus, you don't have to worry about your head getting hot. I wear an Ibex brand wool knit cap under my helmet which keeps me toasty.

5. Light up like a Christmas tree. One of the most unfortunate side effects of cold weather is a significant lack of daylight. Red in the rear, white up front. Plus, in most places it's the law.

6. Have fun. We use the buddy system on my block. My neighbor has trouble making it to work on time and I get wimpy when it gets cold. We meet up in the morning and heckle each other if either of us flake. A little friendly competition keeps us going...

Oh and think warm thoughts. Knowing there is a hot cup of coffee at my office when I arrive is a nice carrot on a string!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year Bike Resolutions

If you've picked up a newspaper, watched a tv program, or talked to another living breathing human being in the last few days you've heard someone talking about New Year Resolutions. Well, according to USA.gov the 12 most popular resolutions are as follows (yes, I too am left wondering why the government is tracking this).

# Lose Weight
# Manage Debt
# Save Money
# Get a Better Job
# Get Fit
# Get a Better Education
# Drink Less Alcohol
# Quit Smoking Now
# Reduce Stress Overall
# Reduce Stress at Work
# Take a Trip
# Volunteer to Help Others

Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure that if you hop on a bike a few times a week you could accomplish at least 7 out of these 12! Forget fad diets, coupon clipping, expensive yoga classes, and discount Caribbean cruises; just convert to the Church of the Rotating Mass!

So, to help you get started on your 7-in-one resolution here are some great links to some inspirational stories of people who have embraced bicycling as a way of life.

Scott Cutshall- A father and jazz musician who lost 331 pounds by radically changing his life to include bicycling.

The Metal Cowboy
- Whether you're looking for a solo adventure or a wild time with your family Joe Krumaskie's books will inspire you to go out and make some memories on two wheels.

Car Light Family Minneapolis
- Follow a families journey to relying less on the car and enjoying life on a bike while saving money.

Totcycle- Fellow Globe blogger, pediatrician, and father of some freaking cute kids give you real life pointers on how he and his family get around by bike. Love your blog Julian!!

As for me, I've got a few standing resolutions that include visiting a new state and country (looking like Belgium this year!) and hope to include a few new things this year. Continuing to run three days a week, spending more time with my Grandfather, and listening to my heart a little more than my head are all on the list.

Hope you and yours have the best year yet!!