Friday, August 1, 2008

Cycling in the City

The most common reaction I get when I tell people that I cycle in Manhattan is "Are you crazy?" to which my reply is "No, I just hate going to the gym and cycling is the only form of exercise that gives me any enjoyment." Trust me, I have tried everything: Yoga, Pilates, Hip Hop, Ballet, Tai Chi, Karate, Running on the treadmill. I even have all the outfits to prove it. Duncan still laughs at me because I feel like I should keep my Karate Gee "just in case". The "just in case" in this instance should be interpreted as: Just in case I decide to be Ralph Macchio, of Karate Kid fame, for Halloween, because we all know I'm never doing Karate again.

I decided the best way for me to exercise and stick with it would be to multi-task my exercise. I use biking as my (greenest) means of transportation and can usually ride about 15-20 miles a day, 3 days a week. I started cycling in late May and took a break to watch the Tour de France in July (because if you watch cycling on TV you can't also cycle?!?! I dunno, it made sense to me at the time). I started up again this week and I am dedicated to riding 3 times a week (don't worry, I wear a helmet and I am very careful). Depending on the level of effort, you can burn anywhere from 500-800 calories an hour biking!

There is something about riding my bike around the city that rules. It is faster than the subway, I never have to deal with stinky armpits in my face or people falling asleep on my shoulder (I swear this has happened to me), and mostly the best part is, I am in total control of my journey. I ride along the Hudson River and it is completely peaceful. I get to work, energized (and kinda sweaty) and ready to take on the day. I love it.

Duncan and I are even contemplating doing a 100 mile ride in September with Transportation Alternatives to raise awareness for cycling in the city. We will ride with the purpose of raising money for 2 charities: The Chrons and Colitis Foundation of America and Captain Charles Moore from The Algalita Marine Research Foundation the scientist who discovered the Plastic Ocean.
I will be in touch with further details in case you want to donate money. Both organizations are non-profit so you will be able to get a tax deduction.

Here's a picture of my sweet, sweet ride: