#19: 2013 was a year of change

La Perouse

It’s day 3 of 2014 and I sit here a bit frustrated. I have a sore throat and a flu of some nature, and that means spending four hours on my bike and breathing heavily is not really a good option, and its especially annoying that I’d planned a ride with an old mate today.

So I look at my gear that sits there waiting, I read some tweets about the cycling universe and as I stare out the window thinking that a cool summers day is a great day to ride, I reflect on what has been an interesting 12 months.

Seriously, I can’t believe the change that has come about through cycling since February 2013 and that after reviewing the stats (it’s my IT influence) I still get surprised. Since February 2013….

  • I rode 161 times, averaging 38kms (23mls) per ride of 103 minutes
  • Have ridden 5967 kms (3707 miles) in total
    That’s Sydney to Perth and 1/2 way back or New York to LA and 1/3 way back
  • My longest ride was 116kms (71 miles)
  • I reached 100km the first time after 5 months
  • My average calorie burn was 1098 cals per ride
  • and I have lost 11kg (24 lbs) in 9 months (yet I still eat some junk food)

It just astounds me that I can do this at 48 (which means basically anyone can) and comparing this year to last year, where I did nothing, sat on my ass and smoked heavily, it is a change that’s good – real good! Continue reading

#9: How to buy a bike or How I buy a bike?

Specialized Secteur

Is it a spiritual experience choosing your first bike?  Does your bike choose you?  Are you just being sold to by a fast talking sales person?  Is it a decision of price, affordability and getting the cheapest?  Is it an internet purchase after doing your research? Is it a quality decision? Or a friends recommendation?

There are so many ways to decide and every story is different.  But I chose mine with the help of a sales staff (notice the plural) who helped me interpret price, quality and what I was thinking, and to me that was what was important.

I had never bought a bike before as my parents had always bought the few bikes that I had owned, but I did know how to buy something methodically so as usual I did.

When I started looking I had a reasonable amount of money to spend on a starter bike so I had already ruled out buying the bike online, from a discount store or a department store.

I wanted to get knowledge.  I wanted interaction.  I wanted to work out exactly what I needed based on what I wanted to do, my experience and my physical fitness.  I wanted service! And thankfully, I found a business that did just that.

Near my home, there are a number of bike shops.  I had been to 3.  A very small one, a larger one that also had an online business and a concept store. Continue reading