Why Aren’t You Riding Your Bike?

By on 13 September, 2017 in City Living, Kate and Stephen, Outdoors with 0 Comments
  1. I don’t have a bike.

Not a bad point. You should acquire a bike. In many cities, some our size, health insurance companies (and other companies) sponsor racks of bikes all over cities. Check out this program in Chicago https://member.divvybikes.com/stations

Here are 119 cities. https://ggwash.org/view/62137/all-119-us-bikeshare-systems-ranked-by-size

  1. It’s too hot.

Not anymore. It has cooled off a lot. Take some water with you. You’ll be fine.

  1. Montgomery Multisport

    My bike has a flat tire.

Mine did too. Then I went to Montgomery Multisport. http://montgomerymultisport.com/ I know, I know. It’s waaaaay out there on the other side of town. There may be more reasonably-located bike shops. If so, let us know about them.

It turned out, I probably should not have been using the same pump I use to inflate basketballs to inflate my bike tires. It’s helpful to know the PSI of your bike tires, and keep them at a certain level. But once you get a bike tire pump, it’s a pretty easy situation to deal with.

  1. But I don’t want to start being one of those people who buys a bunch of bike crap.

Look, you can’t be deterred by the fact that some people are going to be more obsessive about it than you are. You’re not trying to be Miguel Induráin here. You don’t need to get all the crap. Just a bike and a pump, maybe a helmet if you’re feeling attached to your brain. There’s a lot of room in this world for people who are very, very casual about riding a bicycle. You don’t need to wear a jersey and have clips on your shoes.

  1. But there’s nowhere to go.

The city is working on that. The Montgomery Metro Planning Organization is working on more bike lanes and pedestrian routes. Nobody wants to ride out on the Boulevard and get creamed by some idiot who is texting. But there are still plenty of places to go, and we’re lucky in this city that pretty much everything is flat. We may not have many bike lanes, but we also don’t have many hills. You can do this. Go visit a friend or get a cup of coffee or something. Or put your bike on a bike rack and go somewhere even more awesome.

  1. I don’t have a bike rack on my car.

This may be an issue, especially if you need to take your bike to the shop to get a flat fixed or your gears less mangled or whatever. I know I just said that you don’t need to buy a bunch of crap, but you may want to buy a bike rack. They’re cheap and they will allow you to take your bike to the mountains or the beach or the swamp or wherever you feel like riding (pro tip: Don’t go to the swamp).

If you’ve read this post this far, I’ll reward you with the humiliating anecdote that I recently spent more than an hour trying to affix my bike rack to my car, getting more and more frustrated until I finally figured out that it was upside down. Don’t do that. Affix your bike rack properly.

If you only need to take your bike to the bike shop and back home again, you may be able to borrow a friend’s pickup truck. But just suck it up and buy a rack for your car. You’ll be amazed all of the places that you can bike when you drive the first part of the trip.

  1. I’m too out of shape to bike.

It’s a process. Riding a stationary bike is terrible and boring. First just go around your block. Get the wind blowing through your hair a little bit. You’ll work up to something more substantial if you just stay after it. I know it’s not in line with our instant gratification culture, but you’ll be impressed as you make progress, and you’ll be happy you turned off your computer and TV for a few minutes.

That’s it! Those are all of your possible excuses! Montgomery is your playground. You’re already a better person than Lance Armstrong, so now you just need to develop some recreational bicycling habits to compliment your basic levels of moral virtue. Send us some photos of the places that you bike, and please do watch out for cars. People are really bad at driving.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with one cat, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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