Monthly Archives: February 2012

Day 3

Holy saddle sore!  My body feels fine except my butt bones. I was dreading getting back on my bike today, and I had a few more miles to cover.

I wake up and it’s raining out.  The rain wasn’t deterring me from wanting to get on my bike, but the fact that I don’t own a single water resistent thing did damper my mood a bit.  I kept my inspiration to ride with the movie “Flashdance” with Jennifer Beals in mind.  I love the scene of her riding in the rain.  Oh to be a welder by day and stripper by night. Haha I’m clearly kidding.

My bike ride into the office, which is about 5 or 6 miles went quick and was rain-free at 45 degrees, so not bad at all.  The whole ride, I once again kept having self-defeating thoughts.  “If it snows, I’m giving up.  There’s no way I can go without a car.”

I have to say that I like how I look after a ride.  My face is all flushed with healthy color and I just feel like I look healthier.

My ride to the gym to teach yoga was short and sweet.  The weather was in the 50s and misty, very refreshing.  I preferred to imagine that it was sea mist.  After my class it was time to head downtown for a class that I attend myself.  It’s raining out, but not a downpour or anything, so I set out with my construction vest on, looking oh-so-cool.

The most memorable part of my ride was picking up speed down a steep hill and realizing that the sidewalk is turning abruptly at about a 45 degree angle and then straightens immediately back out, sort of resembling a lightning bolt shape.  I start thinking of the best way to handle this.  There is just no way with my speed and the rain that I can slow down enough to take this turn.  So, I then think that I will just ride off the sidewalk through what used to be a parking lot, well it no longer is.  As I get about a foot or two from the turn, I realize that it’s a fairly big drop into a mud pit.  I hit my brakes and skid sideways.  My bike manages to stop and my feet slide into the mud pit.  Things could have ended much worse.  I realized that it would have been funnier if if my bike hadn’t been able to make the stop and I fly face first into the giant pit of mud.  Luckily though, the comedic ending to the story didn’t play out.

As I approached downtown the sky started a pretty impressive lightning show.  One thing you have to know about me is I am afraid of almost all weather. It’s not funny. It’s quite sad.  I am convinced that I will be struck by lightning.  So, for me to be in the rain riding on a few rods of metal in a lightning storm is not a happy place for me.  I actually started singing loudly to keep myself from freaking out.  If anyone happened to be outside as I went by, I’m sure they would have thought I had escaped the mental ward.  But alas, I made it safe and sound, lightning strike-free.

Arriving for class, I was soaked through both layers of my clothes, regardless I felt good about the ride.  My mind taking me back to “Flashdance” thinking I look like this:

          But  in reality I think that I looked slightly more like this:               

Class went great and we could hear the lightning striking and the rain really picking up.  Fortunately for me a fellow student had just put a bike rack on his car the day before and offered me a ride home.  I am so grateful for that.

Day 3 down and next for Day 4, taking on the incredible wind force of Nebraska’s plains.

Day 1-2

Day 1: was the easiest, because I was just chauffeured around by my better half picking up supplies for my rides.  I bought a ridiculous construction vest for my night rides along with front and back lights for my bike.  I spent the day prepping my bike, oiling and putting air in my completely flat tires.  I  feel ready to hit the road.

Day 1 down and done.

Day 2:  I taught a class at 6:00 a.m., so I arose at 5:00 to hit the road.  I wore the brightest colored clothes I can comfortably ride in, because I fear getting hit more than anything.  I look like I am heading up a gay pride parade with my rainbow colored leg warmers, red capri pants and rainbow colored scarf.  It was about 17degrees Farenheit out, but didn’t feel to cold really, and it was a short ride, only two miles. After class, when the sun had risen, it felt so cold out.   I hit the road to trek the four miles to my office.  The ride in the sun felt brutal compared to in the dark of morning.  My fingers went numb and all day my forearms and hands just ached.  I felt like I had been in a thumb war competition.

The best part though, was it only took me 15 minutes to get to the office so I went across the street to a local bakery for a major carb. breakfast and coffee. When I left the bakery I decided to nix the cross walk and break for the median to get across the street.  I bike to the median and realize it’s pretty tall, like the Great Wall of medians.  I unwittingly slow down and in slow motion hit the median and fall sideways onto the median leaving my bike lying in the road.  The way I fell, I think it looked similar to a cow-tipping.  I barely hit that median but I just toppled right on over.  I had a good laugh after that to hide my utter embarrassment and off I went to the office still laughing.

During the early morning at the office I was so energized, it was like I had chugged a whole pot of coffee.  I was so mentally alert and hyped up. My energy levels were great all day, and my hunger levels were pretty much nonexistent.  I could get used to that natural energy for sure.

After the office I bicycled to the gym to teach another class.  Luckily for me it’s only a mile out.  I arrived and found that there was no bike rack anywhere near the building, so I have to drag my bike to the side of the building in an unlit area. This spot looks to be a place where I’m just asking to get attacked, so I mentally prepare myself to act like a badass when it’s time to leave, summoning my memories of Karate Kid.  Wax on, wax off.

After class I hit the road for about a four mile ride home and it went perfect, no falling, no frozen fingers. All day I thought, “You can’t do this.  You can totally do this.  It will become easy by the end of the month.”  My mind has been fighting this whole idea from the beginning.  My dualistic mind battling it out while my body just keeps pushing on.  I kept reminding myself that in a few days I am taking a trip to Chicago, so I won’t have to sit on a bike seat and feel like my butt has been punched over and over by a professional boxer.  At the end of the day I felt exhausted body wise, but mentally I was wired.  So much for falling right into bed.

Little did I know that Day 3 it would be raining.

Introductions

"How I Feel on my Bike"

Before I introduce myself I want to explain the purpose of this blog.

I am on a 30 day challenge to live without my car.  I have parked it away and locked the key away for the next 30 days.  My primary means of transportation is my bicycle, but I also accept rides from my significant other, family, and friends.

I started this challenge when I realized that auto loan plus insurance and fuel is costing me an average of $400.00/month.  I want to see if it is possible and worth my while to live without my own car.

Now for introductions, my name is Alicia and I am 28 years old.  I live in Lincoln, Nebraska.  I am a paralegal/yoga teacher.  I have a ridiculous work schedule and am pretty much always on the go.  Going into this I think that my schedule will be my greatest challenge, because I have limited time to get where I need to be.  I am in fairly good shape, but I’m no picture of health.  I eat fast food more often than I would like to admit.  I feel as though I am in good enough shape to take this on, but because I work so much I may just collapse into bed by the end of the day and not want to crawl out of it in the morning.

I know this experience will be an eye opener to how dependent I am on my car and hopefully I feel healthier and more likely to commute by bike from here on out.

If you decide to follow me on my journey I hope that I can entertain and inform you about how realistic it is to live a greener life without the use of a personal vehicle.