I have changed up my workout routine, at least temporarily, and I have my husband to thank for it. He decided to fix up our old bikes, which we hadn’t ridden in years, and wanted to take them with us on our beach vacation.
I’m so glad he did that.When we stayed at Ocean Isle Beach, we rode every morning. It made me remember how much I’d always enjoyed bike riding in the past.
But the main reason I’m happy about this is because I’m having plantar fasciitis issues with my feet again, and I really need to give them a break from the treadmill and the road so they can heal. 20+ miles a week for over six years has taken a toll.
So I thought I’d replace that time with cycling and see how it goes. I’m so glad I did! I’ve really enjoyed it, and also the change in workout routine is refreshing as well.
Here are a few things I’ve discovered after my first week of biking.
It’s harder. According to the calorie tracker I use, cycling burns at least 25% fewer calories than the same amount of time on the treadmill, but to me it feels like a much harder workout. On a bike you feel every degree of an incline or decline, much more so than when running or walking — at least that is my experience. Where I live is hilly, and it’s a challenge. Also, with cycling I’m getting sweatier with this workout than with anything else I’ve done. It’s also working my core, which is a plus.
Bugs. I found that with cycling, you really don’t want to be a mouth breather.
Great music. I realized I have so much great music on my iPhone…most of which I’d never even listened to before because I was too focused on only my well-known favorites. Having my phone less accessible because it’s on my armband, and keeping it on automatic shuffle, has been a treat.
I love starting the day outdoors. To fit my workout in before work, and to beat the heat, I ride at sunrise. This combined with beautiful country scenery and fresh air is a wonderful way to start the day. I’ve even seen wildlife, including a brown fox, deer, bunnies, a turtle, wild turkey, frogs, cattle and horses in fields, and of course birds.
Cars, dogs and safety. I’m concerned about cars and making sure they see me while I’m cycling. I purchased and always use a helmet, and bright LED lights for the front and rear of my bike, even in daylight. I’m also careful to stay as close to the far right of the road as I can. Unfortunately, most of the roads in my area do not have shoulders.
Running a close second in my safety concerns is a dog coming after me, and that happened twice this week. Fortunately, they didn’t catch up to me and they didn’t get hit by a car when they ran into the road. Now I keep pepper spray on my bike in case an animal threatens.
Feeling of accomplishment. According to MapMyRide, I did almost 60 miles my first week of biking at home and averaged 10 mph. I’m very happy with that, and I’m doing better and getting stronger every ride.
Being a newbie, I still have much to learn about cycling. I also need a better bike. Mine is old, it’s heavy, and only one gear is working properly. If you have any cycling tips, or have suggestions for helpful websites or gear, please let me know in the comments!