Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bike to Work Week (May 11th-15th)

I'm not perfect, either. I've made tons of stupid mistakes, and later I regretted them. And I've done it over and over again, thousands of times; a cycle of hollow joy and vicious self-hatred. But even so, every time I learned something about myself.
-Misato Katsuragi, Neon Genesis Evangelion

     In celebration of "Bike to Work Week" I figured I would write a little bit of something to maybe inspire others to make this life choice. It is something that has changed me in such a profound way. Around this time last year I wrote the "about" section of this blog. You can read it here. Click me!! It essentially portrays my story, the fight with alcohol abuse, an announcement of pursuing my dreams to build an adventurer's hostel** and how Ghost in the Spoke has grown into something much more than it's origins. Everything in my life changed in a great new direction with one single choice on how it was traversed.  Cycling to commute to work and everywhere else that I go was something that saved my heart and soul.
( I still enjoy a beer or two when I am out with friends but excess is still a temptation. It took a long time find a proper balance, just the same as every trackstand on the lights I cannot pass.)

     When you are having a rough time in your life and it feels like the everything is going wrong, the best thing that you can truly do is become physically active. There is no prescription or supplement that can even come close to the positive effect of movement, all without negative symptoms from other choices.

 Cycling is a good choice because it is low-impact and takes a high caloric use from your body. If you get your heart pumping as you are traveling to where you want to go that engorged heart will radiate to those all around you when you get there! I can't say that it will turn you into a super model but within two or three months you will defiinitely see some physical improvement. You will feel better because you are indeed becoming better in many different aspects.  

Commuting on bicycles will make you see the world in a different light.

     The time lapse above is one of my routes for recreational cycling but a portion of it is actually what I take to get to my day job. IT'S AN AWESOME WAY TO START YOUR DAY! I often plan my day with eating at a park to enjoy nature since I am already right in the thick of it. When I used to drive a vehicle I never really took time out of my day to enjoy simple things. I was like a machine. Statistically the average person spends 30,000+ hours in a lifetime driving. Why not use some of that time on a bicycle and enjoy yourself a little bit more? Sure it will take you longer but you will have more fun!! In a car it takes me 15 minutes to get to work, if I push hard on a bike it takes me around 20 minutes. It can take longer for others but if you live in an area that is highly populated there is a high chance that you can get to your destination faster than being in a vehicle.

There is not enough time in our lifespan to choose anything that does not ultimately make us happy. Even through the rain, cold, heat and pain there have been only a few times that I have not had a smile on my face when riding a bicycle.

There are only a handful of other things that can do the same for me in this life, and that is something to really think about.

Cycling is something that everyone can do at almost any age. There is a bike that is available for everyone's specific needs and there is nothing besides time left on this planet that will keep you from participating in such a healthy activity. Even when you are old and grey there is a bicycle to add color into your life.

(This is a bicycle that I built up for Mrs.Hogan. She is one of our customers at my day job. She told me that I had inspired her to ride when she saw me cycling everyday to work.)

On your travels you are sure to meet some very interesting people.

     The video above is from our new "Home Movies" series which is a small peek into the massive cycling universe that we have all around us. I decided to start this series so that others can see all of the different types of cycling everyone can get into (There will be more in the future). For me, it was originally just commuting alone, it moved into community rides, then bike polo, now photography and producing all sorts of cycling content.

     What I am getting at is that there is something for everyone. Your first push out into the open road can lead you to places/people that you would not have ever known existed before. The friends that I have made on my commutes are some of the most loyal, interesting and genuine people that I have ever met. Cycling has given me memories with these people that I now cherish over most things in this world.
Bike kids are just cool, super nice too!

Cycling changes the way you think.

The example above is my "Not Brass Knuckles" multi-tool / pedal wrench that I developed.  You can find full details of our tools here! CLICK ME!   

     They say that it takes 10,000+ hours of doing one specific thing before you become an expert at it. I am far from an expert but I will say that since I have been commuting by bike my method of thought has completely changed. I route my day like I route my bike rides, I now prepare for the worst and I even pack for others. I even invented an emergency multi-tool so everyone can be prepared for the most life threatening situations possible. Cycling forces you to make rational decisions so you do not end up stranded in the middle of nowhere. This mentality naturally transfers over to your daily life and the skills can be applied everywhere.

Commuting on bicycle conditions both your mind and body. It is something that consistently helps you deal with fear and how to make it alive to see another day. When you take the road there are giant metal behemoths that travel at speeds that can instantly kill you. This is a healthy fear to be afraid of and once you learn to overcome it you will grow into a much stronger person. You will learn to trust yourself because sometimes there is no one there to guide you. It is during these times that you are able to sprout new ideas of your own.
Oh and the best part about riding bikes is that you will save money! 
Then you can buy more bikes!

Riding bicycles will make you want to ride more bicycles.

     Believe it or not, one of my favorite bikes that I own is actually not the fastest and not the most practical. It is however, THE MOST FUN!!! I love my Respect Cycles Mini-velo!!
Cycling is so great for you specifically because it reminds you to have fun. That is something that most of us forget to do as we grow older. 
If you take anything from this article please let it be this: 
     Regardless of whether we are on our feet, in a car or on a bicycle, we are all traveling to the same destination. In the end we are all eventually going to travel to our graves. The best part is that it's not about the final destination. It's about how we got there and how good we felt along the way. 

     I guarantee that if you put more miles on a bicycle starting at this very moment the enrichment to your lives will be so much better. It changed my life more than I could ever imagine and now I'm pursuing my dreams because of it. All because I sat down one day and thought about where I want to be at my own life's finish line, it was on a bike.

If you enjoyed this article then please do me a favor and share it to all your loved ones and people that you feel would be inspired to hop on their bicycle. 

Thank you for reading.


        My dream to make an adventurer's hostel is getting closer every day, I am pushing for 6 months before completion but realistically this could take a year.  I have a couple more things that I have to do to make it come together.  

I know that I need to find a more cost effective way to produce my tools so it's retail price is in a price bracket that more cyclists can afford, all while keeping them in the same heirloom quality bracket. I was thinking of investment casting from Reliance Foundry.Then I can sell all my tools and make fundings needed for my adventurer's hostel. I hope to put more people on bikes and spread as much love as I can along the way. This is a hard push but every hill can be climbed and enjoyed going down on the other side. I refuse to be defeated and I promise to keep you all updated.

The good news is that we are growing.
10,600 followers of our content
162,100 total "likes" in our photography received
And, a whole lot of love from everyone.

Honorable mentions for my inspiration to write this article and everything I do on my daily grind:
      My supportive girlfriend Mandi , family and friends that have seen this whole adventure of my life while cycling.

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