There’s nothing like a newly activated driver’s license in the family to ramp up my interest in cycling. And the more I ride to actually get somewhere — rather than just for fun and fitness – the more motivated I get to increase my speed.
On Wednesday Ben and Colleen were going to spend a couple of hours working on a project for a relative, and they wanted me to help them get started. I helped them devise a strategy, then left the car keys with Ben and rode the 11 miles home.
Because I wanted to make sure I got home before they did, I rode the 7 miles between Markle and Murray at 14-18 mph, which is pretty fast for me. I stopped to guzzle a bottle of water – H20 had never tasted so good – then rode the 4 miles home from there at a much more typical 10-12 mph.
It was an exhilarating, satisfying ride, and I loved the fact that my workout was so in sync with the day and what else was going on with my family. As I rode, I kept thinking of more ways that riding could fit into my schedule.
Those Sunday evenings at my folks’ house when I always want to take off before the kids do, given that I’ve got an early morning ahead? Instead of facing that constant frustration, I could just leave the car with Ben and take off for home on my bike. And if I can ride those 16 miles in an hour or less, that makes it all the more appealing. (I should note that I’ll be checking out Fit Recovery’s numerous posts on how to increase cycling speed, which have always sounded doable if you’re willing to put in the work.)
It also occurred to me that if I want to gradually lengthen how much of my work commute I ride – without fretting over finding new places to leave the car – I bet I could talk our new driver into getting up before dawn to drop me off at a good starting point if that meant he could have the car. (For now, I might have him also pick me up halfway home.)