Lent 2014

I was just scrolling back through the blog since tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, because I couldn’t remember what I did for Lent last year. Not everyone partakes in giving something up or taking something on, but I tried to take it seriously the past 2 years. 2 years ago, I wrote around 40 letters. Why? Just because. Some were love notes to friends and family. Some were notes to “get things off my chest” that hadn’t been said. Some were hard to write. Some were easy. It was a really hard challenge though and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a really thoughtful activity. notebookLast year I took on house cleaning (house had to be clean each Sunday to be prepared for each Monday morning to start fresh). That brought deeper meaning and discussion between David and I about house responsibilities which was a big take-away. (note the red below for some changes). I also gave up chips which sounds trivial, but I am not a huge snacker, but when I do want a salty snack, it’s usually chips (hello mexican restaurants!). So that was pretty hard too, since mexican is our go-to for sure.homeThis year, David had the idea that we do something green for Lent. So we’ve discussed both riding our bikes to work during Lent. It’ll force us to unplug and be aware of our surroundings, it’s healthier than driving, it’s more energy efficient and cost effective, and it’s better for the environment.bikeAs of this second, I have full intentions to start that this week and I have to say, for whatever reason, I’m pretty nervous! Maybe it’s because I’m so reliant on my car, my morning NPR, my morning coffee, and my morning “time” that I will lose a bit of, but I am pretty excited to try something that makes me nervous. And y’all, the worst part. It’s like less than 4 miles. I should bike everyday. Our dog-walking loop is around 3 miles, and I do that daily walking, so I can easily bike 4 miles. It’s hilly though, and it’s new, so that’ll be a change. But maybe I’ll like it more than I am anticipating I will, so we’ll see.Β  Here is some of my current motivation.bike 2biking-and-healthSo this is it, my public declaration. I’ll do my best rain or shine (literally)–please don’t snow anymore in SC—to ride to and from work, AND to get to work in time to change clothes real quick and clean up. Here’s hoping.

Any cyclists out there reading, feel free to give me some tips for riding up giant hills, for quick changes at work, commuting tips, all-weather riding, and any other advice you feel like sharing. It’ll all be gladly appreciated!

infographic via Daily Infographic

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8 thoughts on “Lent 2014

  1. Oh man, I’ve got a lot to say here. I usually, about 75% of the week, bike (or walk) to work, and before I had a car, did it 100% of the time. Granted, work is close (less than 2 miles) so it took me about 10 minutes (7 when I had been biking steadily) and when it’s nice out, it is a really great way to wake yourself up and take in some fresh air and scenery.

    For hills: turning the handles (swaying) side to side seems to help; you gotta psyche yourself up for hills. I like to get a stand-up pedaling start to hills, then sit back. Careful; some areas you think aren’t hills, are. They are deceiving. Sometimes, if I’m lazy, I’ll take the non-hill route, which is usually longer, but, hey, you’re getting more exercise and taking in more scenery/fresh air.

    In the wind: biking against the wind is one of the things I hate most in life; I will get off and walk my bike, often….it’s not worth it to try to pedal and literally get nowhere.

    Learn the hand signals and use them. Drivers that know what they are appreciate it.

    Get night lights. Flashing red lights for your clothes or back pack, and both a front “headlight” and a back red light. Even if you’re planning to ride home before it’s night, always better to be prepared.

    When it’s still a bit chilly out, I dress in “easy to peal” layers, that I can unzip or take off while biking, because you do get hot! If it is still a bit chilly, remember gloves. I’ve had super frozen fingers after some bike rides if I forgot my gloves! I always bike in “good to bike in shoes” (boots, tennis shoes, etc.) and carried my work shoes in my backpack. Don’t bike in flip flops and always wear a helmet. Do get one of those velcro straps for your right pant leg, so your pants don’t get caught in the spokes, and so you don’t have to wear your sock over your pant leg.

    Always assume drivers don’t know how to drive around bikers and be extra cautious, even if you’re in the right of way, etc. I would also suggest not listening to music/iPod, etc., so you can be attuned to the traffic and other bikers around you.

    Good luck Bean! GREAT Lenten practice!

    • Whoah, thanks Trina! Can’t wait to get started. I actually did the route yesterday, upcoming post, to see how it was and I hit one HUGE hill where I just got out and walked. The ride takes about 20 minutes which is totally doable considering my commute via car is around 12-15. I can’t wait to get started. It’ll be a learning experience I’m sure!

      Do you not bike anymore to/from work?

    • I would second everything Tina says about night lights and always wear a helmet. I would also add get some reflective tape or a reflective vest/gear to wear when it’s dark or raining. Awesome challenge!

  2. SUCH a great way to start the day. And you’ll want to use a back pack for sure! I also found (at Walmart) a front basket that detaches so you can use it grocery shopping. HAVE FUN and always assume cars don’t see you.

    • Thanks Dot! I saw a basket at Target that I was looking at but I figured I’d start the ride first and then see what I need.

      Thanks for the advice! I’m getting excited now!

  3. Sounds like a challenge. Sure you don’t want to amend your declaration and drive on cold rainy days? I commend you both.

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