Author Topic: Need some guidance - Ottawa, ON bicyclists chime in please!  (Read 626 times)

kdms

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Need some guidance - Ottawa, ON bicyclists chime in please!
« on: February 17, 2016, 03:47:48 PM »
It's been a long time since I've posted anything (as my now 2yo has been sucking the life out of me for about that long) and we've made a lot of changes since I first ventured into MMM territory a few years back.

I'm not a biker. I enjoy it...kind of...on a casual, let's go around the block to keep the kids happy sort of way. Now that we live on a 14 acre farm and around the block means 20km of dust, even less cycling happens. I don't even remember the last time I actually got on my bike to ride anywhere.

However, I'm currently in a logistical transportation situation that has me paying $240 a month in parking in downtown Ottawa (proximity to my office is crucial if I'm to avoid late after-school pickup fees without chewing into my leave bank) and it sucks. I'm not interested in paying that out any more when there are so many other things I could be doing with it (like paying down debt.)

My question: I have a hybrid bike in decent shape and my kids school is 4.5km from my office. Google has it pegged at a reasonable grade (ie mostly flat) and there's two convenient pedestrian bridges to cross both the river and the canal. I'd like to start riding my bike, but I'm not sure how to start....besides the obvious 'put your hands on the bars and swing your leg over'.

I'm wondering what gear, tips, tricks, you regular riders have learned or acquired that make your commutes as effortless as possible. Remember, I'm not in love with biking....yet. I'll be doing this to save money, but it'd be nice to enjoy the ride, too. I ride a motorcycle, which is enough to tell me cars are bloody inconsiderate, so I'm nervous about city streets already. I'm out of cardiac shape (nothing wrong with muscle strength - carrying two kids around and farming for another few hours after office hours keeps that up, although I know they're not the same muscles) and I don't want to arrive at the office desperately needing a shower. How do I build up for this sort of activity?

cheers
karen