I bought a bicycle about two months ago. Nothing super fancy, just a CCM mountain bike I got at Canadian Tire on sale for around $270. The idea was to get something slightly better than low end but not as expensive as high end and use it to get back and forth to work. I hadn’t been on a bike in a few years so I didn’t know if I would actually use it or if I would ride the 8k to work once or twice and then give up and Uber.
As it turns out, I’m a cycling junkie.
The first time I rode to work was on the day I bought the bike. I brought it home, pumped up the tires, and took off. IT WAS THE MOST UNCOMFORTABLE RIDE OF ALL TIME. As I made my way through the streets of Mississauga, I realized I should have taken the time to actually set up the bike to fit me. The sport saddle was way too small for my sizable rear end, the handlebars were too far away to reach comfortably, and the seat was too low to pedal properly. It took me an hour and a half to get to work. Once I got home, I started looking up bike fitting and over the next couple weeks I bought a commuter seat (wider like my ass and twice as comfortable), raised the handlebars and seat, and learned how to tweak everything. Let me tell you, fitting the bike to my actual human body rather than whatever specs they use when building bikes at the store made a huge difference right off the bat. Soon, I was able to make it to work in an hour.
Over the past month, I’ve had my first crash (sudden stop on loose gravel after hitting a turn too fast), learned to replace an inner tube (rode over a nail and killed my back tire, ended up walking home) and figured out how to set up my rear derailleur and brakes. Every time something funky happens with my bike, it becomes a great opportunity to learn how to fix something new. This week, I’ve ridden back and forth to work every day. My legs and butt don’t hurt half as much as they did when I first started. I’m able to make the trip in about 45 minutes now. I LOVE cycling.
So now is the time to push myself. I’ve signed up to participate in the Great Cycling Challenge next month. My goal is to ride 300km and raise $500 for SickKids Foundation to help them fight childhood cancer. I’m planning to document the journey here and on my fundraising page as well. If anyone reading this is in a position to sponsor me during this challenge, I would be forever grateful. If you’re unable to donate, please feel free to spread the word instead. And either way, I hope you enjoy reading my updates throughout the month.