Bike Goals for 2015

I’ve briefly mentioned a few times before how I’m from the middle of nowhere. Anything we ever wanted or had to do was done by car and took at least twenty minutes to get to which since I grew up with that didn’t seem like a big deal. Now that I’m living in the city I’m constantly in awe of the fact that anything I could ever want to do is just a short distance away. (Getting used to not leaving for things so early is HARD. I am always early!) It also means I’m a lot less dependent on my car.

Getting a bike changed my life. It pushed me out of my shell, and has taken me on many adventures. Lets not forget how it’s changed the way I view my body. I am strong, and powerful! I want to continue this. I want to continue to do things that are out of my comfort zone, and that are just totally different than what I’m used to. I thought it would be kind of fun to make a list of a few bike related goals. These are just things that have been floating around in my mind these last few weeks as I’m getting back into the groove of biking again after a winter spent missing it. I might even think of a few more things to add throughout the summer.

In 2015 I want to…
Get groceries on my bike. I live around a mile and a half away from the grocery store and I’m just about the same distance away from the Westside Market. There’s no reason to use my car, especially as someone who shops often for small amounts per trip.

Bike over 1000 miles total. This is one of my big goals for 2015. Like I said in my new year’s goals post, I’d love to smash 1000 but we’ll see!

Bike to a concert. My whole life I’ve lived at least an hour away from all concert venues. Now that I live a hop, skip, and a jump away I’d just get a kick out of biking to one. I guess this goal being met all depends on which, if any, of my favorite bands come to Cleveland this summer.

Tackle the roads that scare me. There are a few places that I don’t like to bike alone. Actually the two places I’m thinking of while typing this are both busy intersections. I just hate getting stopped at them, it stresses me out. When it comes right down to it, they aren’t a huge deal. I can do it. I want to conquer this city on my bike. I don’t want there to be anywhere I don’t feel like I can confidently bike by myself.

Bike most, if not every, Critical Mass. I know I’ve blogged in the past about how much I love Critical Mass so obviously I want to bike as many of them as I can this year. I’ve even talked my mom and dad into joining me one month this summer!

Give biking in a dress a real try. I’m not sold on biking in dresses. I don’t like getting sweaty in dresses, and something about the aggressive position I’m in on my bike just doesn’t fit how I like to feel in a dress. The thing is I’ve never actually tried to ride in one so I’m gonna give it an honest try once it warms up.

Practice endurance. I have pretty poor endurance when I bike alone. I’m able to go a lot further between stops when I bike with friends because I feel dumb being like “Uh, can we stop again?” I’d like to work on not letting myself stop as often (unless it’s for photos or something like that!)  

Use legs, not brakes. When I first started riding I used my legs to stop a lot more often than my brake. Somewhere along the line I got lazy and started braking. Getting back to doing that will not only make my legs much stronger but it’ll help keep my front wheel cleaner since right now it’s nearly black with brake dust.

Bike to the beach. I don’t live far from the beach, it’s a 1.5 mile ride which is cake but for some reason I can’t quite figure out it seems intimidating so I’m putting it on this list! Honestly, thinking about it now it actually seems like way more work to drive to the beach than bike.

20 miles per day for one week. This is probably the most difficult goal on the list. Not because 20 miles is hard for me but because I feel like doing it seven days in a row will be challenging time and weather wise. A few weeks ago we did 20 miles a day three days in a row (not on purpose, just happened) and I have never felt better.

Go places I’ve never been. My favorite way to explore the city is on bike. I want to check out all the little neighborhoods, side streets, and alleys! No need to bike the same route all the time.

I know I talk about my bike all the time. Some of you probably get it and are like “yeahhh! bikes!!!” and then the rest are probably thinking something more along the lines of “okay… cool” but I encourage you to give biking a serious try, especially if you haven’t been on one in a while. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but I really think as adults people forget how much fun riding a bike is. It is honestly hard to be sad on a bike. It just makes you feel darn good.

Still not convinced? Last summer I posted 3 reasons I love to bike, check it out.


Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I always bike in skirts or dresses and I absolutely love it. I just feel like I can't move right in shorts or pants. The only problem I ever has is that longer skirts get caught in my gears, so I'm going to get some light yoga shorts for underneath so my skirts can get a bit shorter. Maybe check out thrift stores for some dresses you wouldn't mind getting sweaty and dirty in.

  • I'm not sure if biking in a dress would be more difficult with the straight top bar vs. one that's slanted but biking in a dress has never been too bad for me. I would suggest wearing some sort of bloomers or shorts underneath, and make sure when you sit, the back of your skirt doesn't go over the back seat so it doesn't catch on the back wheel. Plus with a dress you won't have so many seams touching you so it's less painful

    • I don't think the type of handle bar really makes all that much of a difference. It's the seat position that makes me doubt I'll like it. If I were on a cruiser I might feel differently.

    • It looks like your stem is the shorter side – you could theoretically get a taller stem, which would bring your stance on the bike up a bit and perhaps would feel less aggressive overall (not so slanted downwards). You should try picking at the different parts at your bike (change seat position, seat post, or seat overall or buy a new pair of handlebars and see if you like flat bars vs. bullhorns vs. risers, etc.) and see how you feel! It's always fun to see how your bike can feel overall with some minor adjustments. Oh, and be careful with stopping with your legs – you can do some major damage to your knees (speaking from experience).

      These are some great goals! I love to see lady cyclists really get out there and hold their own!

    • I think that's what I was trying to say, cruisers have a differently shaped…frame? (Maybe that's the better word) so there's more room for fabric to hang around than on your style bike. I never realized how hard it is to describe parts on a bike ;D I think we're thinking of the same issue though

    • Leah, I like the aggressive stance though. That's what is comfortable for me to ride. It's not worth it at all to change that just because I might like to bike in a dress every once in a while.

    • I hear ya! I ride with drop bars myself and love how it gives different positioning, depending on where and what terrain and how I feel like riding. Good luck with your goals!

  • It's funny, because biking in europe is so normal. I bike every day, whether it rains or storms. I had to bike daily through this winter. I don't have a car, so I move to places where I can get anyplace with a bike, or at least to a train/bus stop. I'm glad, that through your blog many people may find the joy of biking!

    • Oh man, I'd loooove to come bike over there. Biking here is still fairly uncommon for everyday transportation. Drivers most of the time have no idea how to "deal" with us on the road and shoot, even some cyclists have no idea what they're doing. I'd love to see it become more normal over here.

  • These seem like great goals. I had somehow missed that you were an avid cyclist. I'm more of a weekend rider training for triathlons. I want a purefixie for Mother's Day. I'm actually working on a post about things us female cyclists should know about our bikes.

    Anyway, great post!

    • Girl, go buy a pump now, especially if that's all that's stopping you!!!

      I want to learn to longboard. It looks fun. Shoot, I just want to learn to do everything! 😛

  • a friend is transitioning from man to woman and bikes all the time as a main mode of transportation. she only wears skirts or dresses and biked all winter (tights are a beautiful thing!). anyhow, she swears that biking in a dress is great.
    i'm with you, though…sweaty in a dress isn't comfortable.

  • I got a bike last year with goals of riding it into the city, but then I would only ride it around my neighborhood. I'm so terrified of sharing the road with cars or getting harassed by kids (I live in Baltimore). Also, I need some sort of lock(s) for when I want to go on errands or school. What kind of lock(s) do you use for your bike?

    • Aw! I totally get that. You should look into bicycle groups in the city. Riding with experienced riders should boost your confidence!

      I use this lock.

      It's kind of expensive, I guess? But it's a small price to pay for piece of mind. Whatever you do, don't use a cable lock. 🙂

    • Yea, I know I wanted to get a u-lock because cable locks can be easily cut because apparently people walk around with bolt cutters in their pockets. Apparently seat theft is a big thing here, too. So it looks like I need to get skewers for those, too? My bike was pretty expensive, so the cost for locks and whatnot doesn't matter. Would rather pay 100+ dollars than buy a new bike.

      There is a mass ride here once a month, but I'm scared I wouldn't be able to keep up. Plus I don't have a good way to get there since I don't have a bike rack for my car. I don't think I would be able to ride there, do the ride, and back since I live so far out of the city. It just makes me so anxious, but I want to do it so bad.

    • Critical Mass? There is seriously such a HUGE amount of diversity at Critical Mass. There are people of all abilities. People who look like they ride every day and people who probably haven't been on a bike in years. If you look like you're struggling, I'm willing to bet someone would fall back with you and make sure you're doing okay. People at mass rides are seriously the nicest people you will ever meet!

      Lots of people drive in for our mass rides! They just park near where the meet is, and then bike over that way there's no worrying about being tired after biking the long distance there.

      You know what? I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit, you can do this! 🙂

    • Yea, Its like Critical Mass, but they call it Baltimore Bike Party where they ride and then have a party at the end. It the last Friday of every month. I think I will give it a go this month. I got a whole month to prep for it just about. Thanks for the encouragement, Kaylah. 😀

  • I think she means a step through (women's) frame vs. a straight (male/unisex) frame. Biking in a skirt/dress is totally fine either way, just wear shorts or boycut underwear. Or don't and just roll with it, that's what I generally do. Shorter skirts are better because they're less likely to get caught in your wheels/chain. Also, be careful skipping the hand brakes. Braking with your legs is REALLY rough on the knees and can totally destroy them over time.

  • bicycling is so freeing. in the victorian era bikes were kind of a major part of women demanding the right to vote–they'd been excluded from bicycling by men but once they started doing it, realized their power and began applying that to other things. pretty cool. i ride in skirts and dresses and it's all about wearing the right style, there are some that are just way more awkward than others. good luck!

  • I am, as I mentioned before, also from the middle of nowhere. I know all too well the very real truth of a twenty minute ride to anything. It used to be worse though, I lived on a farm, 15 minutes from main town and 40 minutes from the smallest big city. Anyway, when I moved into town I was shocked. It seemed like everything was an easy task… then I lost my car. I pouted. I won't lie. With three kids I NEED a car, but I let being down about it really put me in a slump. THEN, I decided "well, I can still walk". I started walking to the library, the grocery, the coffee shop, the thrift. Anywhere and everywhere in ANY kind of weather. I had always loved to walk but using it as a practical application really opened my world up. I recently conquered crossing some of my own "tough" intersections. It's so liberating. I think I was just worried about looking stupid, not crossing fast enough and holding up traffic, or who knows what. It was silly. NOW I'm ready for a bike though. Still without a car I have learned to be resourceful, but I could literally do so much more with a bike… and a cute little grocery basket in front? I mean COME ON! You've really inspired me to get over my fear of biking. xo

    • We are too much alike. Not wanting to hold people up, and things like that are exactly why I waited so long to get my license. It's the same reason why now those two intersections intimidate me. The thing is no one has any more of a right to be on the road than anyone else. Me taking an extra second to cross/turn/whatever when I feel safe is worth it and if it means that someone else can't get to where ever they're going one millisecond sooner then oh well.

      I hope you get yourself a pretty little bike with a basket! <3

  • This inspires me to back into bike riding! I got my bike a couple years ago and rode it like crazy, but then somehow got out of the habit. I like biking in dresses and skirts, but only when I'm going for a casual ride. If I'm gonna do some hardcore biking then I much prefer shorts and a tank top or something like that!

    • That's how I kind of think I'll end up feeling and that actually makes sense because I feel like 98% of the time my rides aren't very casual, hence why I don't want to wear a dress or skirt. Even times when I'm like "yeah, I'm just gonna take it easy" I end up not doing that at all.

  • You always make me miss biking. I loved it in Philly and they made so many special biking lanes after I left too! I hate biking in the burbs as drivers don't know what they are suppose to do. It makes me really uneasy and makes more even MORE afraid biking in the burbs than biking during rush hour in crowded one-way city streets!

    BUT I thought I would give some advice for trying to bike longer on your own. I know that HIIT & tabata training has helped with endurance with my running. The concept is basic, going all out for 20-30 seconds, rest for 10-15 seconds, and repeat for a minute. I know this is something people do with stationary bikes at the gym as well. So if you find yourself at a fairly empty stretch of road you might try peddling hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10, and repeating. The idea can be done at home without a bike and would still help (like burpees/jumping jacks/mountain climbers for 20 seconds, rest 10) but I am sure you would rather bike. ; )