You already know exercise is good for you, but how do you make it part of your life?
Mandy and Steve Booker found biking to their Rollins College jobs from their Oviedo home every day doesn’t take much more time, is much more fun than traffic driving, feels great, saves money and reduces their carbon footprint.
Monday mornings, Steve and Mandy drive their van to Winter Park, packed with their clothes and accessories (yes, of course one must always accessorize) for the week, along with their tandem bike. After work, they mount the bike, heading home along back roads to the Cady Way Trail and onto the Cross Seminole Trail, a 12-mile ride that takes less than an hour. The rest of the week, they ride to Rollins each morning, pick up their clothes from the van, head to the gym for a quick shower and change into work clothes (with those accessories too) and ride home in the evenings.
Mandy said, “What we enjoy most about this schedule is that we are able to get our exercise while enjoying the benefits of helping the environment and saving money on gas and wear and tear on the van. Plus, we avoid the stress of traffic and get to work within 15 minutes of the time it would have taken us to drive.”
The Bookers enjoy big benefits and savings. Riding 12 miles each way adds up to about 100 miles a week, over 4,000 miles a year. They each burn 600-800 calories per day, 2,500 each week, 10,000 a month. They feel strong and have plenty of energy.
By biking, they save about $700 a year just in gas. Calculated with the federal estimated cost of driving a car, 55 cents per mile, their bike mileage saves them more than $2,000 a year. That’s enough to buy some great bikes.
Using the calculator at http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx, their riding saves 2.57 metric tons of CO2 each year.
What about the rain? Getting rained on while heading to where you have dry clothes isn’t bad. Lightning is the scary element, but that is pretty rare at prime commute times. By watching the weather reports, they are able to time their ride and haven’t had to ride in lightning in their year of riding to and from work.
Ready to try it yourself? Steve and Mandy advise you to start small and build up your riding. They started by just biking to run errands. Then they tried biking to work a couple of days before doing it most days. Our local bike riding couple offers a few suggestions to help you make biking part of your life:
• Be smart/safe: Wear a helmet. It can save your life. Use lots of flashing lights and wear bright clothing so others can see you easily. Do not trust that people see you. Go behind cars instead of in front of them.
• Have a good bike and keep it in good repair. Carry a small tool kit with you for repairs on the road.
• Remember that you are on a bike before running errands and discover the limits of what you can carry on the bike. Mandy once bought a flowerpot before she realized the challenge of carrying it home on the bike.
Make it fun, enjoy the breeze and feel great. We appreciate the great trails in our community and what a difference they make in our lives! Walk, bike, swim or do some sort of exercise several times a week. It will make a huge difference in your health, your stress level and your life.