This is going to be an extremely lackluster post because I had oral surgery for a bone graft to try to repair my last oral surgery that got infected and I had no earthly concept that it was going to hurt so much more than when I initially had the tooth extracted and I frankly just hurt too much to put my usual effort into this right now so it’s all going to be just writing what I know and holding off on doing any research for now. I’m going to do the best I can right now, but it’s probably safe to say it will be a better post in a couple of days when this has calmed down or the vicodin has started working and I come back to edit it. So my apologies for not delivering my usual quality, but a good number of y’all have been committed to following us and at least reading if not reading and commenting both, and we’re certainly not gonna leave you hanging with nothing, we’re committed to you too.
Anyway. Today’s popular New Year’s resolution is to do more biking. I’m assuming they mean bicycling as opposed to motorcycling, cause of the popularity thing and people having such a focus on health and fitness and being active this time of year. I totally support this resolution. Bicycling is something we all did and all loved as children, and there’s no reason it should die with adulthood. It’s a great way to stay fit, and it’s FUN. Riding bicycles has this level of freedom to it that you don’t feel many other places except maybe on a horse. Your legs have the biggest muscles in your bodies and getting them working is the best cardio you can do for yourself, short of swimming which works your whole body.
If you’ve got a bicycle, RIDE IT. If you don’t have a bicycle, GET ONE and RIDE IT. I’m in the need to get one and ride it category myself. I think I’ve always been a little afraid of tackling Colorado’s hills so I haven’t prioritized it, but I miss bike riding tremendously, and my boyfriend was given his cousin’s bike before he moved and has it sitting in the garage and keeps saying he wants to start using it, and I have been eyeing this retro style Schwinn for at least a couple of years now, because part of the fun of having a bicycle can be having one that reflects your personality. I fully expect that when I do get a bicycle I will be doing streamers in the handlebars and a bell and fun reflectors and a basket of some kind and MAYBE a card in the spokes to make fun noises. You’re allowed to be more adult about it than I am, but you’re also allowed to let your freak flag fly as high as you want to.
We don’t care how or where you get your bicycle apart from don’t steal it. Buying it new is great, buying bikes for the whole family is awesome, buying from a local bicycle shop that will help adjust everything properly to your body dimensions is fabulous, but there’s nothing wrong at all with get a used bike or a fixer-upper and saving yourself some money while helping make sure someone else doesn’t have a bike sitting in their garage going unused, or worse, ending up in a landfill. If you’re handy and up for potentially replacing tire tread or a bike chain or maybe a seat or pedals then we say a fixer upper is the way to go so you can also take pride in your finished job and that will encourage you to want to get out and use it. If you’re not so handy, that’s okay, me neither, if you go the used route just be sure to check it out thoroughly. You can check out Craigslist or Freecycle or Garage Sales or eBay or garage sales or local Facebook sales groups or even stop into that local bicycle store and see if they know anyone trying to sell a used bike, they might, and if it does need fixing up they may well have a repair center that will do that for you (at a charge.) If biking is their passion they may even have their own bike they want to sell because they’ve upgraded to a newer model.
Do consider what bicycle accessories you need and want, even if you don’t go for streamers in the handlebars. If you’re going to do any bike riding on paths or trails that are also used by pedestrians you’ll want a bell or horn (I vote bell, I think horns are obnoxious, but if you like to be a little obnoxious there are worse ways to go about it.) so you can alert them that you’re coming up behind them. Standard bicycle etiquette coming up behind pedestrians is to make noise with whatever device you have and then shout what side you’re going to be passing them on, so, if for instance I were walking down the right side of the path and you were feeling nice that day and didn’t want to mow me down you would ring your bell a couple of times and then shout “on your left!” to let me know that you’ll be passing me on my left and that if I move in that direction before you do I’m taking my life into my own hands. You may want to replace the standard seat with one that’s wider or cushier or more comfortable for you. You may want lights or even turn signals for your bike if you plan to do much evening or night time riding. If you’re going to be using your bike to go get groceries you probably want a basket. If you’re going to be using your bike while you need to bring along little ones who can’t ride a bike of their own to keep up with you then you may want to look at a child bicycle seat to mount behind you, or a bicycle trailer that they can ride in while you pedal. I’ve even seen people use these trailers for small dogs. You may want to purchase special bike riding clothes because it looks cool or because you’re training for the olympics or because you don’t have anything already suitable for bicycle riding so you may as well do it right. If you’re going to use your bicycle to commute to work you may want to buy a backpack to carry a change of clothes or lunch or whatever else you need for work. If your bicycle doesn’t come with a pre-mounted water bottle holder you may want to look at options for how to mount one. If you have sensitive hands you may wants to consider some fingerless bicycle gloves. If you haven’t ridden a bike in a long time and/or have a hilly terrain to contend with like I do you may want to get some knee and elbow pads. You probably want a bicycle helmet. I think they’re legally required most places now, and even if they’re not, it’s a good idea to be safe. I don’t love the idea myself, I have an abnormally large head and trying to find things to wear on it that fit me properly is a challenge, but they do come in different sizes, and having known someone who suffered a massive brain injury from a bicycle accident I can say it’s probably worth being safe even if you’re like me and go “but I went my entire childhood on bikes and never wore a helmet and I didn’t even use my hands when I rode!” That one accident comes up even though it never did before and everything changes. You definitely want a locking bicycle chain, even if you didn’t have one of those as a kid either. Unless you live in a tiny town where literally everyone knows everyone and no one passes through and if anyone stole your bike you’d 100% sure see them riding it and could beat the tar out of them and local authorities would call it justice served then you want a bike chain. And don’t just lock your wheels together and call it good, actually chain it to a bike rack or whatever can serve as one wherever you go. If you lock your wheels together someone will carry off your bike and just use a bolt cutter to remove the chain later. I don’t know why bicycles are such a high theft target, but they sure seem to be. You may want to get a bicycle rack for your car. Don’t get overwhelmed by the expense of all the maybes. They are maybes and most of them can be spread out and not all done at once.
Check out the bicycle laws for your state/city before heading out for your first ride. Things have changed a lot since many of us were kids and things have regulations they didn’t used to. In most cities it is illegal to ride your bicycle on the sidewalk. I do believe helmet laws are standard but am not sure. Learn the legalities of your obligation to use a bicycle lane if one is provided. Realize that riding your bicycle on the road (which you’ll have to if you’re not just sticking to trails or if you’re using it to be a little more eco friendly and commute to work or pick up groceries), while you may have more maneuverability and feel like you have greater freedom, you’re expected to follow the same traffic laws as every other vehicle. So don’t go crossing against the signal just because you physically can. In the game of chicken between a bicycle and a car the cyclist is going to lose every time. Do NOT listen to headphones/earbuds while riding. You need to be able to hear what’s going on around you so you know if there’s an impatient driver riding your ass that’s about to make a sudden attempt at a too close pass, or a train coming up on those tracks you’re fixing to cross.
Once you’ve got everything you need and know your legal requirements, do some googling and find out good places to ride in your vicinity. The neighborhood is always a fine answer, that’s where we all started off. Bicycling around the block or around several blocks may teach you more about the community you live in and you never know what neighbor you may encounter out and about that might become a friend. But look for some scenic places to consider biking too, just to keep things changed up and get the full benefit and make sure you don’t lose interest after putting in the leg work to get everything together. If you find you really love riding your bike take a look and see if there might even be some charity marathon rides you can participate in. Cycling can be an active community full of people with a shared interest so it can be a great way to socialize and make new friends while also being fit and active and healthy and doing some good for a cause you care about.
For today’s list of tasks:
Get a foot massage. If you can afford a professional foot massage or pedicure than includes massaging then fantastic, if not or if you just don’t feel like spending the money, see about trading foot massages with a friend or partner. Use some lotion or massage oil, you always should when you massage anyway, but particularly with feet, they get dry and cracked and rough and they can be very hard to work with without something to lubricate them. If you haven’t got anyone to swap massages with or are self conscious about your feet like some people I know then give yourself a foot massage. One of the awesome things about self massage is you don’t have to feel like you put more effort into someone else than they gave back, and you know what feels good and what parts are either hurting or feeling left out so you can adjust accordingly. This handy guide will walk you through giving yourself a proper foot massage.
Clean your laundry room. Or whatever your equivalent is to a laundry room. For me it’s a laundry closet. For you it may be a laundry area in a basement or if you don’t have your own washer and dryer it may be whatever closet houses your laundry supplies. As always start with the top and dust any light fixture, clean any light switchplates. Dust any shelves and organize their contents. Ironing stuff with ironing stuff, washing stuff with washing stuff, drying stuff with drying stuff, handwashing stuff with handwashing stuff, miscellaneous other storage stuff as neat and organized as possible. If you do have a washer and dryer dust them and windex them or lysol wipe them or whatever your mutlipurpose cleaner of choice is go with it. Sweep up spilled powder detergent of wipe up spilled liquid detergent. Clean out your lint trap. If you have a wastebasket empty it out. If you don’t because there’s no room like in my laundry closet, then see about putting up an adhesive hook like a command hook that you can hang a bag from. Newspaper bags are good but so are grocery bags. Just anything you can use to toss dryer lint and used dryer sheets and what not. If you’ve got a full laundry room make sure your ironing station is neatly organized… no dangling cords to accidentally pull an iron down on your foot with. Laundry baskets stowed neatly. No leaning tower of laundry. If you do have that laundry mountain to scale get to work on it now, both washing AND putting away. Once you can see your floor then sweep it and mop it and you’re done 🙂
Dance. I don’t care what kind of dance. For me it’ll be some Wii Dance Games, after a nap. But feel free to get your Hip Hop Abs going or your Dance Dance Revolution or cultural dancing or social dancing at a club or wherever, or turn on your favorite musical or music video and try to learn the choreography, or just turn on some good music and get down with your bad self in whatever way makes you happy. We’re gonna step it up to a 5 song minimum today and try to get a good sweat going, but all that really matters is you keep moving and have a good time. If you’re still having fun after 5 songs you keep right on going for as long as you feel like you want to.
Relax with a guided meditation or subliminal audio track. For the guided meditation I chose a progressive muscle relaxation which is a huge player in relieving anxiety, panic, stress, all manner of things that go wrong in both our body and mind. In regards to the subliminal track, I chose to go with an autism aid today, I’ve talked about this before but if you’re new to finding us (glad to see you!) then I do want to clarify that while I am autistic this isn’t a group geared towards only people with autism and their loved ones, we want to benefit everyone, and I personally believe that while no not “everyone is a little autistic” that yes everyone does have some degree or combination of autistic traits, and that’s not a bad thing at all, but they get stressed out just like every other part of your body and mind and they aren’t always given the special care they might need, so I think that it’s possible for everyone to gain some benefit from things designed to help autistic people. I’m still always open to feedback on that so if anyone does or doesn’t find them helpful and wants to share let us know so we know the best ways to help you all in the future, though we do try to keep it as varied as possible.
Then you’re done with everything you HAVE to do for today, but let us know about those bikes. Tell us you biking stories, share your biking pictures, if there’s any app you like to use like map my run but for bicycling let us hear about that too 🙂 We enjoy sharing experiences, and we want to know all the great things you find doing them. Since I haven’t got my own bike yet I may just have to see about convincing the boyfriend to let me borrow his till I have some money. After I’m off the vicodin anyway 😉 I will see you all on Facebook VERY shortly for the question of the day. I usually try to space it at least a couple hours after the post, but Imna be asleep by then.
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com:
MP3: Bicycle Race (Digital Remaster)
Album: The Platinum Collection: Greatest Hits I, II & III