Dealing With a Job Change as a Bicycle Commuter
A job change can definitely shake up your world, but it could also be what enables you to become a bicycle commuter. Last July, one of my online friends switched jobs and in doing so the distance to work went from being 3 miles to 11.5. Here’s the story of how this job change, and becoming a cyclist made him a better person.
The Ever Changing Cyclist
I’ve come to the realization that biking has, and always will be, a huge part of my life. I remember when I won a bike from a local TV station and how exciting it was for me. I remember setting up jumps in the driveway, and the first time I was allowed to ride to the mall by myself. Before the age of 12, I had my first freestyle bike (with pegs!), my first mountain bike (yeah Huffy!), and my first road bike (talk about a hand me way down). Biking was how I got around, and it was great. Then I got a license, and my interests changed, but I would always ride whenever I could. 15 years later, I found myself living about 3 miles from where I worked. It made for a nice commute, but was far from challenging. I had been seeking a life change for a while, and when a marketing firm in Maine decided to hire me, I had no idea how much of a positive change it would make in my life.
Weight’s always been an issue for me, but not in the traditional sense. I played sports in high school and college, but never really felt good about my size, despite being ‘fit’. I was basically eating and drinking so much that I was working out to stay at the same size, which can get kind of depressing at times. As luck would have it, once I started my new job, my commute was roughly 11 miles.
The only thing I remember about my first commute was how happy I was that no one was there when I arrived. I was drenched in sweat and in no shape to talk to anyone, let alone my new co-workers. Thankfully there was a shower on premises. A few weeks passed by, and I started getting to work earlier and earlier. Soon I found myself wanting a newer, faster bike that would really allow me to take advantage of some of the great cycling roads in the area. I found a great local bike shop just down the street from where I live, and they were able to get me completely set up. Their help was huge in making me feel that I was doing the right thing. I might have felt stupid asking some of the questions I put out there, but they never made me feel dumb for asking them.
Winter came, and I began to feel sad, even though I was able to ride on weekends up until the beginning of December. My awesome girlfriend realized what was going on, and got me a trainer for Christmas from my local bike shop, All Speed. I’m not sure how much I used it, but it became a daily routine. I watched all of Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad, along with a few terrible action movies. By the time March rolled around I was ready to hit the road, but winters in Maine are notoriously long, and this one was no exception.
While I’ve gotten a ‘late’ start to the season, I’ve never been in better shape. I’ve dropped roughly 15 lbs. since March, and my legs feel like they have more structural integrity than many small houses. I don’t like using phrases like ‘it changed my life,’ but in this case, I can’t think of any other way to say it. I rode 114 miles last week. I realize that’s not a lot for many of you, but for me, it marked the most miles I’ve ever done in a 7-day period. I’m looking forward to hitting more goals, and my only regret is that I didn’t take a ‘before’ photo from last year. Safe riding.