If you would ride every second day, rain or shine, starting our easy going but over the months cranking up the intensity, your life will change more than through any other intervention out there. Depression, anxiety, obesity, binge dieting and a host of other aliments are positively affected by cycling, or with any other anaerobic exercise, with none of the negative side affects of drugs, surgery or pharmaceutical straightjackets.
At the age of thirty three, I was up to two hundred and sixty five pounds, and after a personal crisis was read the riot act by a very wise doctor. He said that I needed a litany of blood thinners, high blood pressure medication and even surgery soon if I didn’t change my lifestyle. So he gave me a choice, the list of meds ending with a scalpel or a prescription for a bike. I had knee and back issues so running was not an option. So I got a bike and began down a path that has influenced my work as a counsellor and help me lose the weight, lets me eat what I need to eat, has taken me around the world and most importantly helped me deal with serious physiological issues that had pushed me around up to that point. Now I push back!
How to get started is the real question? Buying a good bike may cost you a thousand dollars and if you buy a crappy one, you will find out the difference between a cheap part and expensive one quickly or if you buy a used one, discover why the guy who owned that bike got rid of it. My advice is to rent a bike or better yet get a season’s pass. I may be a little biased as the owner of a new bicycle rental business called Fraser River Bike Tours & Rentals but I have watched hundreds of friends, clients, at risk youth and people who have battled with their weight and dieting change their lives for the better through cycling. By renting or getting a season’s pass you can discover for yourself if you are really going to do this and by the time you have ridden for a season have the knowledge of what bike you will finally settle on. Knowledge is power.
Finding a good route or two is also essential. You need a circuit to workout on; one that brings you back to where you started. You need a course that you can memorize so that you can focus on your ride. A route with no surprises because if you are ridding as hard as you will need to, it’s those surprised that can cause an accident. Anaerobic exercise is best described as exercising at the level where you cannot carry on a conversation because you need the breath for the workout. It may take a while to get their, getting used to the bike, getting used to your body and learning your circuit but some results are immediate. Most of my friends that don’t ride are dead, so we know where that path leads.
From our shop we have three excellent circuits. You can start with the Queensborough loop, an easy but fun ride, and then move to a harder one with a really nice hill in it like the BC Parkway up to Central Park. But for your first season the Queensborough circuit is the perfect route. Learning to spin and understanding how to use your momentum are far easier on a flat course with minor hills. The only hills on this route is the slight incline up to the Queensborough Bridge and the bridge itself and these are perfect to learn on. Keeping your cadence at 85 revolutions per minute no matter what the terrain is learned far easier on a route like the Queensborough Loop. It just so happens that you also get great river views, wildlife, spots to stop and hydrate that can take your breath away from the beauty, all thrown in for free.
The City of New Westminster has invested in developing these routes and others in and around the city and once you are a cyclist you can take advantage of Metro Vancouver’s extensive bike routes and trails. SkyTrain and most buses are now bike friendly expanding your access until you get your cycling legs fully under you.
So get started now. If you want to try out a bike come down and rent one and if you like it I will take that rental off of the price of your season’s pass. We will help you choose a route to begin with and teach you the basics of how to ride safely so that you can bypass the injuries and move right into the healthful aspects of cycling.
We have the bikes, the city has laid out amazing bike trail and routes and you have the will power. Remember the old joke, “How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb. Only one but the light bulb has to want to change.”
Next week, June 25th is our grand opening and we are offering a special deal to get you started (free if you have your own bike and want to learn the route), a guided ride of the Queensborough Loop between 1pm and 3pm. This includes the bike, a helmet and a guide for only $10.00, even rain gear if needed ($30 value). We also have a free half hour ride that will focus on kids starting at 10am. Reservations for both are required.
Call 604-521-4669 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.