How To: Get on Your Bike (More Often)

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Hi, this is Maria, the owner of One Hour Craft.  I understand that this is not a typical One Hour Craft post, but it is a passion that I want to share on this blog.  Basically Bike riding is my way of staying sane.  It gives me a feeling of freedom like sailing or skiing.  It makes me stop and take time to look at my surroundings, to notice trees, houses, animals, people.  It is also an incredibly sociable thing to do (particularly in Australia where people are friendly anyway).  This and my walks on the beach are my ways of keeping it all together.

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There are so many reasons to cycle.  It is good for your health, good for the environment, makes you happier and is enjoyable.  Here are my tips for getting on a bike more often:

  • Get a bike you are in love with.  When I saw Ruby it was love and first sight.  She is a Schwinn and just makes me happy when I ride her.
  • Try to negotiate a deal to have your bike serviced at the store you bought it.  My store has a lifetime free service for all the bikes they sell.  This meant that I was happier to pay extra and not have to worry about servicing her myself.
  • Make friends with your bike store guys.  Mine are excellent.  I’ve been known to ride in just to ask them questions about Ruby and about cycling in general.
  • Schedule a 25 minute daily ride into your routine that is not-negotiable.  Let the husband and kids know that this will be happening.  If it’s the same time each day they will get more used to it.
  • Start cycling in a place where you feel comfortable.  When you get back on a bike after many years it can be a little daunting.  Find a cycle path to start with.  We are really lucky in Perth to have extensive cycle paths around the city, beaches and river.
  • Involve family and friends in your cycling trips.  Saturday and Sunday afternoons are a great time for us to cycle down to the beach with my sister and her family.
  • Plan a cycling holiday.  When we go away I always like to go to places where I can ride a bike.  It makes me so much happier.
  • Commit to doing all your close-to-home errands on a bike.  I’ve found it is just as quick for me to pop on my bike to go to the shops as it is for me to go in the car.  When I get there I don’t have to worry about parking.
  • Start small, think big.  Start on your first day by riding around the block.  Stop as soon as you feel tired.  My thinking big is that one day soon, most of my travel will be done on a bike and that there will be very little need to use my car.
  • Get on your bike even in winter.  In Amsterdam and Copenhagen, many people ride their bikes all winter and even in the snow.  Living in a really hot climate it is really nice to ride in winter.  You may need a beanie, scarf and gloves.
  • Find out what the laws are surrounding bike riding in your state or city.  In WA it is compulsory to wear a bike helmet, so we do.  There are many lovely helmets available now.
  • Go lightly. Bike riding forces you to travel lightly, to pair down your essentials to a small bag, backpack or to fit into your basket.
  • Ride anywhere and everywhere.  I love to ride out at night for a date night with my partner or to friends’ places for bbqs.
  • Wear whatever you like.  Sometimes I ride in heels as it is just as easy.  I ride in normal clothes a lot.  But I must admit I prefer to ride in sneakers or my desert boots for grip on the pedal.
  • Make sure you have the right gear.  To travel at night you need a light on the front and on the back of your bike.  Make sure it is recharged completely as it is really scary to be caught at night if it goes off.  You are immediately invisible to any cars on the road.
  • Dare to commute to work.  Plan out your route and practice it on a weekend morning.

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Why not get on your bike today? And commit to riding as much as you can.  In the not-too-distant future, we will be making some tutorials for making cycling accessories. For now, if you like this please Pin it and if you like us, like us on Facebook.

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