Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bike Month: Some of our favorite cycling related posts

With May being Bike Month and this week, in particular, being Bike to Work Week, I thought I would take a moment to reflect upon some of our favorite cycling related posts from the past couple of years.

To start, I want to go back to one of our earliest posts and one of only bike reviews at the moment. West Brother had just acquired a brand new K2 Astral 1.0, an uncomplicated and yet quite capable hybrid bike that would replace a wrongly size Walmart special. Since that review, the K2 has not seen a ton of usage, but recently, West Brother has acquired from me my old Ascent Fluid trainer, which he has been diligently using to get into shape for what should hopefully be a fruitful riding season.

One of my personal favorite pieces and one that was popular with our regular follower was when I talked about how riding a motorcycle actually helped to make me a better cyclist. It is funny that I first took up cycling in large part because I wanted to be in better shape to ride a motorcycle, figuring the similar posture of riding a road bike would help me cope with long hours in the seat of a motorcycle. Of course, the unexpected, but delightfully pleasant, consequence was that once I spent more time on the motorcycle, it also improved my cycling as well since there are many translatable skills that apply to all modes of two-wheeled transportation.

A more recent post detailed the trip that my wife and I took with some friends to the city of Montreal in Quebec, Canada. They French speaking city offered quite the experience and was one of the most bike friendly places I had ever visited with an extensive network of protected bike lanes that allowed one to get just about anywhere in the city on two wheels. Add to that the presence of the ubiquitous Bixi bike share and even as visitors, we were able to trek all over Montreal relying on nothing but two-wheels. Best of all, it gave us a chance to work off those calories from all of the poutine we were eating.

Finally, during our cross country road trip last summer, my wife and I had brought our bikes along to ride in the cities we visited as a way to avoid using the car more than necessary. However, when we got to Moab, Utah, we took the opportunity to put the road bikes away for the day and rented a pair of serious mountain bikes to ride the trails near beautiful Arches National Park. This was the first time that either of us had done any mountain biking and we instantly fell in love with it. The skill required to stay upright through the technical terrain and the rush from bounding down a rocky slope are things that are unique to this kind of riding, but carry with it learned skills that will help me in all of my two-wheeled adventures. It was so much fun, we have decided to commit to acquiring our own mountain bikes in the future so that we can go biking in some of the amazing trails around Southern California.

We hope everyone will take the opportunity this week to bike to work at least one time to experience the freedom that comes with getting away from the car sitting in traffic. Also, do not forget to follow me on Strava to keep tabs on my progress as I try to reach me goal of hitting 2,000 miles ridden before the end of the year. Only a few weeks in and I am already past the 10% mark.

Happy Bike Month!