Thursday, June 14, 2012

My favorite things-bike edition!

Riding my bike is my new favorite thing so I decided I should give it its own favorite things blog post.

I LOVE riding my bike. I can't believe that it's been sitting in the garage for so long and I didn't know how much fun it was. Truthfully though, I think everything has a time in your life, and right now this is my time to get back in shape. Last year was a tough year for me and as much as I keep telling myself that I should have done this sooner, last year I just honestly couldn't. I had enough on my plate.

But this year I can and I am. This is my year to have fun and try new things and bike riding definitely fits the bill.

So yesterday I said that my goal was to make it to the park on my bike eventually and today I did it!! This morning I took a short ride and got close to the park and decided to turn around because my asthma was bothering me. I'm trying not to over-do it because I have to be really careful with my asthma. I have to work up to these things slowly. The more I do it the better it will get, I just have to go slow at first. But I came home and I was looking up biking apps on my iphone and found a really cool on that tracks your speed and time and mileage and a bunch of other things and once I got it installed I wanted to go try it out again so I took another ride. This time I took a different route to the park which I think is a little faster (the neighborhood streets really wind around so there are multiple ways to get there) and once I got close I decided to just go for it. I got into the park and it was like a little personal victory for me. Which is ridiculous, because it's not even a mile, but it's the farthest I've ridden my bike in years, so I was proud of myself!

I rode through the park just a short distance and decided to turn around. There is a huge loop through the park that someone told me is close to three miles, but I wasn't up for that much yet. I got home and checked the stats on my Iphone app and it said that I had gone just over two miles. Not that impressive, I realize, but I was proud of myself. It was farther than I went yesterday and tomorrow I'm going to go even father than that. In a few weeks I hope that I'm riding to the park and all the way through it with no problem. After going through a year of severe anxiety and constant health problems, the fact that I'm jumping on my bike and happily cruising through the neighborhood feels really really good. Things are so much better now. My garden is growing, my house is organized, I'm riding my bike to the park and I'm happy.

OK, so for my favorite things post, I'm going to list all the things I've bought for my bike, just in case my bike riding posts have inspired you to take up bike riding and you're a gigantic nerd like me and you want to fancy up your bike like I did. :)

I really can't have any hobby without searching the internet for little tech gadgets or accessories to make it more fun and more efficient. I LOVE gadgets! Half the fun of starting a new hobby for me is finding fun accessories to go along with it. I'm a super ultra nerd, it's true. :)

The first thing I bought for my bike was a better seat. That's not a techy gadget, but I had a fun afternoon researching bike seats, and I came up with this one:


Buy it here!
 Sunlite Cloud-9 Bicycle Suspension Cruiser Saddle, Cruiser Gel, Tri-color Black

 The seat that came with my bike is small and hard and was not making my behind happy. The new seat is bigger and more comfortable and I enjoy my bike WAY more now!

The second thing I bought was a bike computer.
Buy it here!
 Planet Bike Protege 9.0 9-Function Bike Computer with 4-Line Display and Temperature


It attaches to my handlebars and has a sensor that goes down to the wheel and tracks my speed, my distance, my time, etc. I actually just got it today and installed it this afternoon so I haven't taken a big ride with it to test it out yet, but I did test it out just a little and it seems to work perfectly! It's going to be really nice to be able to glance down and see how far I've gone. My goal is to go a little farther every day and now I'll be able to know for sure that I'm doing that, especially since I don't take the same route every day.

Along those same lines, I mentioned earlier that I bought an iPhone app that does basically the same thing. It seems redundant to have both, but it's actually not. The one on my bike will be great to see how I'm doing while I'm riding and the Iphone app will keep track of the stats over time. I obviously can't look at my phone while I'm riding, but it marks my path on a map using GPS, keeps track of how far I go each day, how fast I went and all of that and then keeps a running total for me. It also tracks calories burned, which is nice! I'll be able to look at it and see how many miles I rode over a given week or month and that kind of thing.  Because I'm a big techy nerd I find stuff like that super fun and fascinating! :) It also has the option of posting your stats on Facebook, so if you're my Facebook friend you may start seeing my daily ride stats.



The name of the app is Cyclemeter and you can buy it in the app store for $3.99. I used it this morning and it works great and was totally worth it! It also works for running and walking and any other type of distance based exercise. It's super cool!

The other thing I bought for my cycling adventure is a bag that hooks on to my bike to store my stuff. I can't ride without an asthma inhaler, and I need my phone and possibly keys or other little items and I don't really want to bike with a bunch of stuff in my pockets. The bag I bought is the perfect size to store little items like that without looking bulky on my bike.

Buy it here!
Avenir Bigmouth Velcro Seat Bag (Medium- 55/73 Cubic Inches)
And the last thing I got for my bike is something I don't have a picture of and it's something I didn't buy. This morning I was talking to my super awesome friend Karen on the phone (Hi Karen again!) and telling her all about my new cycling hobby and she's way into cycling and said that she was bringing me a present. She showed up a few minutes later with an actual gift bag, tissue paper present. I love it when I get a present and it's not my birthday! :) She brought me a SUPER cute cycling shirt, with awesome pockets in the back that can hold a water bottle or an iPod or other necessities. It's absolutely perfect and I was really touched that she thought of me. So thank you, awesome friend Karen, for being an awesome friend. :) I'm going to go out and buy some cycling pants to go with my cycling shirt and then I'll look super cool riding my bike to the park. :)

So there you go, there's my new favorite thing! Stay tuned for more favorite things to come! :)

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