Just a moment; I’ve got that image of Olivia Newton-John’s video in my brain.
Okay, with the recent weather knocking my commute by bike vs. car down to a 1:1 ratio, I’ve noticed on the days I’ve gotten to ride recently that I’m taking as short a route as possible and I’m feeling out of shape. I’m going to chalk some of it up to the hyperventilating I’m doing due to temperatures in the teens and the effect of my breath in the balaclava fogging up my glasses (a review is coming soon). Still, I’m loosing my edge.
Sure, people still make comments about how good of shape I must be in because of my bike commute but, truth be told, I’m starting to think it isn’t as much of a workout as we think it is.
All this to point you to a wonderful post by Treadly and Me regarding 11 ways to get cycling fit. Some very good points here which I’ll sum up – you should really go to his post and read the whole thing. Here are some of the things recommended to make the commute more of a workout:
1. Change your wheels (try a different bike once in a while)
2. Race yourself (make each day a time trial)
3. Take the long way home (in my case, I have more time in the morning so that is when I can stretch my route)
4. Change your heart rate (use a heart rate monitor)
5. Head for the hills (try mountain biking)
6. Work on your speed (there is nothing like a little friendly competition)
7. Work on your endurance (occasionally double or triple your commute distance)
8. Work on your cadence (where am I going to find a velodrome?)
9. Load-up (tow something – I prefer my oldest son’s version which involves loading up a backpack with free-weights)
10. Go nowhere (use an exercise bike or indoor trainer)
11. Cross-train (try jogging)
Again, I urge you to check the post at Treadly and Me. Now, what other things can we be doing to (occasionally) make the commute into a workout?