2016 Tatanka

2016 Tatanka
2016 Tatanka Startline Photo Credit: Randy Ericksen

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

A lesson on how to have a perfect day

Commute home on the Salsa Beargrease ending with a beautiful South Dakota sunset.
Many of us outdoor types consider a perfect day starting with a good cup of coffee, watching the sun rise between the trees of a rolling hill meadow, watching the wildlife slowly walking towards its next nibble of grass, smiling while greeting a friendly person in crossing paths, watching the flow of a river rushing over rocks, maybe having a moment of tranquility while listening the sounds surrounding you, or even time to think just think, enjoying a feeling of freedom, spending time outside enjoying a gentle breeze brush your face, sweating while burning some unneeded calories, or even just having the time to let it all go, feeling the stress of your day leaving your body.  All these moments during a day orchestrate what might just be something each of us would consider to be ‘perfect’.

First tracks on morning commute on freshly fallen snow.
My perfection starts and ends with the simplicity of riding my bike to and from work.  I’m a year round bike commuter.  During my daily commutes I experience many of these simple moments that when all strung together create what you might consider the perfect day.  My favorite moment is when I let go of all the things going on around me I feel the stress leaving my body and I just feel free!  Moments like this happen often so I would have to admit I’m addicted to recreating the experience.
If you commute by bike today, you know what I’m talking about but if you do not I challenge you to give it a try.  ‘Adventures by Bike’ don’t have to take you on a mountain trail but can be made up of simple rides around town or even to your place of work.

Salsa Warbird afternoon commute home lean.
Salsa Warbird morning commute stop.
A subzero commute home adding weight to the beard.
Here is a short list of the benefits of commuting by bike:
·       Exercise – I burn over 1200 calories a day commuting and get an hour and half of cardio.
·       Clearing mind – Focus on the simplicity of riding.
·       Prepping for day – This can be your time to gear up for work or to decompress from the  busy day.
·       Scenery - Enjoy being outside and all the beauty surrounding you.
·       Feeling of freedom - Let go, just ride.
·       Peaceful – Just you and your bike no other worries.
·       Reflective – This is your time to Think no interruptions.
·       Stress reduction – Just by being active you reduce stress.
·       Good for the environment – I have changed the oil in my car once in the last two years.
·       No traffic Jams – Ride around all of it or pick flexible routes that avoid the busy areas.
·       Live longer – Studies show cyclist live longer.
·       Fewer medical expenses – Fewer sick days and overall health improves just by cycling a few hours a week.

Here are some things you are going to want to know to get started:
·       Bike - Pick a bike that can handle diverse terrain like a touring bike, fat bike, cyclocross bike or mountain bike you never know what you might encounter on your route and these type of bikes allow for a lot of diversification in your daily routes.
·       Gear – Helmet, fenders, lights, backpack, tool repair kit with tube, multi tool, patch kit, tire levers and mini pump.
·       Clothing – Clothing is seasonal and this will take some practice so I would recommend over dressing to start by adding layers.  Jacket, jersey, base layer, etc., shoe covers and always carry a rain jacket just in case the forecast changes.  Pack extra’s on days with varying start and finish temps.
·       Route – Pre plan your routes to and from work.  Maybe pre ride your route on the weekend to make sure everything flows the way you intended and so you get a feel for the time needed to complete the route (you don’t want to be late to anything).  I like to have several routes laid out so I can mix things up day to day but also so I can enjoy more of the nicer days.  You also plan a training for your commute home.
·       Weather – Always look at the forecast for the day so you wear the proper clothing but also to plan your route and amount of time needed to get to and from work.
·       Storage – Make sure you have a safe secure place to store your bike at work.  If you have to leave it outside, make sure you have a nice lock to keep your bike safe.

Riding my bike to work all year round has changed my life.  I find myself searching every day for pieces of perfection.  And no matter what the day throws my way I always find perfection on my bike!

4 comments:

  1. When I commute to work by bike, I always allow myself more time than I think I really need. I never want to be late to work because I biked in, thus giving a bad impression to anyone at work.

    Another thing to think about is food - lunch specifically. If you don't plan for this you might end up spending $10 for lunch to be delivered to your place of work. Not very economical in the long run.

    If your work doesn't have showers, I have used non-scented baby wipes for a quick refresher when I get to work. Works just fine!

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  2. A co-worker asked me a while back on how do I handle the pot holes in Sioux Falls. I told him I know where they all are. I guess that is what happens when a person is on the streets 7 days a week, via a bicycle.

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  3. Amazing article.keep sharing like this.!
    imagiacian

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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