The Love/Hate Diaries: Biking to Work

I’ve been sans car in Los Angeles for just about 7 months now; a feat often spoken of as insane, impractical and impossible.

Well, I’m here today to tell you that it is very possible, usually practical, but yes, completely insane.

The list of positive reasons for biking is overwhelmingly long…

I save a lot of money. I get in cardio everyday, whether I like it or not. I get natural vitamin D everyday, whether I like it or not. I save a lot of money.

Did I mention I save a lot of money?

While that’s great and all, you can see where the negative begins to creep in….

namely: whether I like it or not.

Yes, I used to LOVE biking. The freedom. The wind in my hair. Pushing my way up a steep ass hill. But much like how I lost my fervor for reading when all my AP classes demanded hours of “required reading,” I often dread getting on my bike in the morning. Where some people wake up, breathe in the sunshine through their windows and think “hey, what a lovely morning; I should bike to work today!,” I roll out of bed, sunny or not (stupid rain) and grudgingly hop on the bike. I mean, really though, even if it is sunny, biking to work in 98 degree heat is just stupid.

I also blame drivers. I use hand signals, I stop for stop signs, brake for red lights, check both ways, and hug the side of the road when no bike lane is available; still, L.A. road rage gets me constantly honked at, yelled at, and nearly killed on a pretty regular basis. Share the road, bitches!

I’ve also just moved into a new apartment MUCH farther away from my daily activities (work, gym, park for bootcamp, the boy’s house)… 6 miles from my new part time job to be exact. Honestly, the biking 6 miles home isn’t a big deal. However, even biking the 4 miles there NOW turns me into a gross, sweaty, red beast that I don’t think customers are going to want to interact with. I think I’m going to be riding the buses here a bit…

I’d also like to state, for the record, that all this touting that you’ll be in perfect shape by biking all the time is bullshit. I still huff and puff. And my thighs are GIGANTIC. Granted, a lot is muscle, but biking has not turned me into a lean mean fat burning machine like everyone seems to claim. I blame this more on my eating habits than the bike, but I don’t want people who eat shit to be discouraged if they start biking and don’t see those kinds of results. 90% of that is your diet!

So do I recommend being a biking commuter in a city like L.A.? Sure. Just plan ahead. Figure out your routes. Know where your bike lanes are. Figure out the public transit system. Carry a loaded metro card on you… this is big. This is particularly important if you find yourself zooming 4 miles completely downhill to your destination, thinking how easy this is…. until you realize that means you would have to bike 4 miles back completely UPHILL in rush hour traffic. Thanks Highland.

Now, I’m sure a lot of my complaints could be remedied by an electric upgrade, or even transitioning from my mountain bike to a hybrid. Hell, at this point, I’m sure a simple tune up would make a world of difference. But did I mention I’m needing to save a lot of money?

Yes, biking is cheaper, but you still have to put money into it (as it goes with everything in this life), so be prepared for that as well.

I also need to add that I am incredibly accident prone and hurt myself a lot; the bike doesn’t help. I don’t even mean falling off of it (though I have done this drunkenly a couple times now…). I’ve punctured holes in my knee with my rusty gears fighting to get my bike lock undone, scraped my shin open on the pedal when the gears stick and won’t shift, and often end up with a variety of unexplained injuries on my ankles and calves.

In short: I’m a hot mess.

To summarize, be eco-friendly, get a bike, and spend less time in the car. You’ll be improving physical and mental health, reducing your carbon footprint and saving money.

And please stop honking at me. I see you, and I hear you.

Want more? Found this list of reasons to not ride your bike to work and thought it was quite entertaining 🙂

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9 thoughts on “The Love/Hate Diaries: Biking to Work

  1. I totally hear ya on all of this! It’s how I (and many others) roll here in Portland. It’s the worst in the winter … our rainy season. Loading up in rain gear to get to work, school, wherever and getting there both soaked and sweaty is not fun. It’s not so bad when you’re just going home, but when when you’re going somewhere and want to look decent, it’s kinda hopeless! A big money savings though, yes … as long as you’re a careful rider 😉

    A road bike or hybrid would make a big difference for you, by the way!

    • sexyflexi says:

      it’s funny; all I could think while I was visiting Portland was how cyclist friendly it seemed… now looking back, I realize that still doesn’t mean I’d like to have to bike everywhere everyday! haha

      yeah, definitely looking into upgrading my ride a bit… but this one was free after my last bike was stolen, so beggars can’t be choosers!

  2. I think it’s awesome that you CAN bike to work.. I work 17 miles away, and while it is a do-able distance, after 2 miles into my ride, the rest is straight up ‘hood riding. Like it’s “lock your car door” kinda driving, so even though physically I could probably do it, there is no way I’d ride my bike to work.. 🙂

    But I can see how it could become a pain after awhile.. but hey, you’re saving money, right?! 😉

    Also, when did you change your blog header? Got a lot of stuff going on up there! 🙂

  3. sexyflexi says:

    haha got a little bored at work and decided to play around with some clip art; I’ll actually sketch my own out one of these days…

    • thesexyflexi says:

      it’s usually not too bad; unless you get crazy people that decide to honk for no reason, or older women telling you that you “really need to be wearing a helmet.”
      Who are you; my mom?

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