The first day, it took me 1 hour 45 minutes total time (1:30 moving time) to get to work. Here is the activity: https://www.strava.com/activities/242743074
The next day, I rode my bike to work to prove to everyone the first day was not a fluke. And again, the next day. The first week, I rode my bike to work every day for a total of 100 miles.
The next Monday, I couldn’t be the guy who rode his bike to work one week. So, I got up and rode my bike to work. By the end of the second week, I’d cut my moving time to 1 hour 19 minutes (with a total time of 1:29).
Since my first ride to work, I’ve ridden 4254 miles (6,847 km). Most of them are commuting miles.
Here is my weekly distance over the past year — notice the lack of motivation in March / April 2014:
The first time I rode to work, I didn’t ride to get in better shape. I rode to try something different. But, after my first ride, I already felt physically better. Here is my weight loss graph since my first ride:
After my first week of riding, I gained 5 lbs (2 kg). It took me about 2 weeks to shed that initial weight gain. The inches came off quicker than the weight came off, and I'm down a few waist sizes.
Since riding, I've:
- run 4 olympic distance triathlons
- run 2 half-marathon trail runs
- played more — yesterday, I played soccer, ultimate frisbee, cricket, and went on a bike ride with the kids. I’m amazingly sore today and looking forward to doing nothing :)
- had more energy with the kids and family with wrestling and fun
- had a more productive year with work.
Generally, I've felt better about life.
Health detrimentsI’ve had 3 meetings with asphalt — 2 minor and 1 serious.
- I was turning into a driveway that had a lip on it. I turned too thinly and the lip caught my tire, and smack. It was a slow speed smack with resulted in scraps on right hand and right hip.
- A car right hooked me. She didn’t have her blinker on, didn’t check her mirrors, and turned right. I was off her back quarter panel where I could see her face in her mirror. But, when she turned, I was traveling too fast to stop completely. I slammed on the brakes, then smacked against her car as she turned. Fortunately, I was heading to the pool to try on my wet suit which was in my backpack. I landed softly on this pad, and popped up. The driver was more shaken than I was.
- The race crash. By July, I was putting some miles down on the road. And, I thought “Let me race.” So, I entered a criterium. My race ended with with 4 transverse processes snapped off my back. That put me out for 2 weeks. It was the worst pain I’ve felt for a while, and I was very fortunate it was not worse. My wife was awesome at taking care of me!
- After returning from my race crash, my back muscles were still sore, but good enough to ride. I took the flat route to work. With a sore back, my back muscles weren’t strong enough to hold my torso, so I leaned on my hands more. Turns out, putting too much weight on your hands continuously while riding will cause “cycling palsy”. It is a temporary swelling of the nerves in the hand, which makes your hand not as responsive as usual. I couldn’t put my fingers together; the best I could do was the Star Trek greeting sign.
Now for year 2 of cyclingSince I started riding, I’ve acquired a nicer bike (Madone 5.2) and I own lycra clothes (turns out it matters for speed and comfort). I’ve not shaved my legs — but I’m tempted because I would gain about 8% more speed.
I’m mostly riding as a commuter. I’m planning on racing again soon, but I won’t be as aggressive–I’m going to chill in the back and learn the ropes.
My goal is to ride 6,000 miles this year.