Louisville Bicycle Club
July-August 2007 Newsletter

PaCkMaN's Corner

by , VP Communications

Have you just driven into work and are unwinding first thing with your electronic LBC newsletter? Or have you just retrieved the mail after the drive home? Why are you driving at all?

Those who have seen my electronic missives are familiar with my screeds against automobiles. I would see a lot more of you if not for my encounter with one almost nine years ago. But I just want to extol some of the benefits I had from full-time cycling.

I have never had a driver's license. But for many years I rode the city buses. All the sitting and junk food sure put the pounds on. One day I decided I'd had enough and dieted the weight off. But I think most dieters know that is only a temporary solution. Staying fit requires a lifestyle overhaul. After being threatened by the blubber boomerang and not wishing to diet forever, I turned to cycling to soak up the excess calories.

As any exercise calorie table will show, a few miles or half an hour of cycling, while beneficial for muscle and cardiovascular fitness, uses discouragingly few actual fat grams from a full stomach. So while evening jaunts are good, more is required. Riding full-time seemed the solution. So I gave up the car-surrogate bus.

Full-time riding has many benefits over exercise time. First, you don't have to make time for it. If you work out of the home, you have travel time already in your schedule. If the distance isn't too extreme (my commute was 20 miles a day), the ride to and from work is as much as you'll get in an evening. Unlike the evening ride, you will probably push the pace more on a work trip. No car means you won't be deciding to skip the ride.

Most of you probably do the club rides. How about riding to the rides? Makes more sense than driving to ride. Commuting tends to be solo and you learn more about self-reliance and maintaining the bike yourself that way. Car trouble is just trouble. Regularity is the key to a lifestyle change that makes gains permanent.

I'll admit that never having had the driving addiction, I had a big advantage. But if you are reasonably healthy, there is no reason why you can't do it too.


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web posted: 3 Jul 2007
last updated: 4 Jul 2007