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Yesterday I spent a few hours “pimping” my bike (a la the show “Pimp my Ride”). A couple weeks ago I spent a few hours figuring out how to put a new lock on my bike. Yesterday I attached a rear rack, then attached panniers to that, and then topped it all off by adding halogen head and taillights (which flash 4 different ways!). This took me hours because not only have I never done anything to my bike on my own before, I also lack some basic tools, so I had to ride the bike over to Canadian Tire (big hardware type place) to find a wrench. The wrench section is so huge and complicated that it took me awhile to settle on what I was going to get.
It can be so frustrating trying to follow instructions for installing a rear rack when all they say is pretty much “attach rack to bike with nuts and bolts”, but it is also very satisfying to work through all the stuff and actually come out with everything attached correctly! I like feeling handy. Relative to my friends, I am very handy and I seem to be able to deal with lots of little things in the house that need fixing. However, compared to my dad (and most men I know), I am not. Hopefully by the time I own my own home (not for a LONG time with my upcoming huge debt load!), I will be even handier!
Part of the reason I have been working on my bike so much is because it is becoming an increasingly important fixture in my life. In 2005 I think I rode my bike once. That was when I lived in the middle of the city and had a car. Now, I am riding my bike nearly every day, mostly for transportation since it takes me so much longer to get anywhere now that I don’t have a car. Did you know that you can travel 4 times faster by bike than walking?
Another fantastic benefit for me is that biking is a great counter-exercise to running. I’ve blogged in the past about how much I love to run and also my knee issues. In order to be able to run as much as I want to, I have to be quite vigilant in weight training certain muscles (to keep my body balanced) and make sure that I do run regularly. Last week I took the week off from the gym and just biked and did yoga instead. Today I went for a run and it was really great! I definitely think that the biking is working to balance the running. And finally, biking is so much fun in itself – it makes me feel like I did when I was a kid (when I pretty much lived on my bike) and I would coast down hills grinning ear to ear…
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