Look Who’s Loving the Bike: February 2012
Here’s a look at who’s loving the bike for February 2012. At the top of each month we like to feature the amazing stories and memories of people who are loving the bike. Please take a look at what these lovers have to say. Hey…..and we’d love to hear from you as well….feel free to submit your “Look Who’s Loving the Bike” story to us at any time.
Whitney – Akasaka, Japan
“I remember begging my dad, over the phone while he was on a business trip, to help me on the bike when he came home. We worked hard and I learned to ride without training wheels. Then I remember telling my dad over the phone, while he was on a business trip, that I had just ridden by myself without training wheels for a long stretch. Those were exciting moments and I remember them clearly. But growing up I grew fatter and was terribly out of shape in my 20S and 30s.
I moved to Tokyo, Japan in 2006 and by 2007 had purchased a Chipmunk at a discount retailer here in Tokyo. It was terrible to walk to the grocery store every day to buy my groceries and I thought a bike would be less effort and less hassle. The hills in Tokyo were difficult and I had to get off to walk my bike up very gradual slopes. But it was nicer to have a basket for my 20lbs grocery rather than carrying them.
What I didn’t expect was biking to invigorate me and drive me to lose weight. I lost 60 lbs between 2007 and 2009 and became a biking enthusiast. In 2009 I moved back to the US I bought a townie from Target and rode that on errands using the 75 miles of bike trails that crisscrossed my town. Then in 2010 I moved up to a Specialized Hybrid and rode that on 30 mile rides just for fun. I rode that bike everywhere. Trails, grass, sidewalks, roads. I realized I loved road riding and long distance rides. In 2011 I purchased a carbon fiber road bike and moved it back to Tokyo with me.
I now live in Japan again weighing 70 lbs less than I did the first time I was here. I still love biking. I use my hybrid with panniers to buy groceries and meet friends for lunch and dinner. I use my road bike to take long rides and map out the city. I have a long list of dream rides and I’m working on those. My standard ride is a 15 mile meander and I’m venturing out on the 25-40 mile river routes. I’m working up to a century this year. Another fun thing I’m working on is the hills. I’ve mapped all the ones I use to be too fat to ride. As I zoom up these hills I think of how awful it felt to be out of shape, huffing my bike up the hills and watching all the skinny Japanese ride effortlessly. I can do all the hills in the central part of Tokyo now. I haven’t met a hill and I can’t do and if I find one of those I attack it with a vengeance until it becomes my friend. I’m also working up to do the Tama Hills. A day long ride of mile after mile of gentle sloping mountains.
I’m in my 40’s now and I’m definitely LOVING THE BIKE. I feel like that kid again, calling dad, telling him how I biked up the hills and just got home from an amazing ride.”
” I love the speed, and that riding bikes made me healthy again.”
For more on Justin, check out his website: http://themannadventure.blogspot.com.