Ever since my awesome mate Dean fixed my bike (everyone say thank you to Dean!), I have been cycling all over this gorgeous city I live in, Brisbane!
There is a fantastic feeling of freedom and independence that comes with having a bike. While it can’t carry too much (I don’t yet have a basket) my bike certainly gets me places easier and faster than walking. Since getting my gorgeous bike back (originally called ‘Audrey’, I’ve dubbed her the name ‘Blanche’ – much more appropriate with a whole lotta sass!) I have been able to see Brisbane from incredible new vantage points, get further than ever before and save money while getting plenty of exercise! On my bicycle I get to ride through bushland, parks and special bikeways, as well as the city and the riverside. I can even take it on the CityCat to explore the other side of the river.
Having a bicycle has certainly made me happier, so I thought I would take the time to share with you some tips I’ve come across along the way. They aren’t anything particularly special, but they are essential to the way I get from A to B.
My Baggu Backpack
This guy is fairly old and faded, but he certainly does the job. As a Christmas gift some three or four years ago, my backpack has served me well, but none so much as it does when I’m on two wheels. Obviously, my backpack holds my stuff, but I also hang my bike lock on the strap while I’m riding (to save both time and space) and to carry extra stuff when I go grocery shopping.
A Drink Bottle
Riding around town is thirsty work, so of course I make sure I have a source of hydration. The bottle I’m currently using is nothing fancy, in fact, I usually get strange looks and laughs but I don’t mind. For me, the reused glass Passata bottle I use as a drink bottle is big enough to carry enough water, and I know that because I reused a bottle I already had instead of buying a glass bottle specifically, my impact on the environment is lower (the resources saved by recycling glass are outweighed by the energy used in order to recycle it, so its much better to just reuse it instead).
Especially in Queensland, where its sunny 99% of the time (oh, it’s a hard life, I tell ya!), being protected from the sun is important. While UV rays do help the body produce Vitamin D and lower blood pressure by releasing nitric oxide into the blood, too much sun is a direct cause of skin cancer – scary stuff. We only need 5-15 minutes of full sun (without sunscreen) to get these beneficial effects, so after a small amount of time in the sun I absolutely slather myself with this stuff. Sarah Wilson has written a great post on the benefits of zinc oxide, the only active ingredient in this sunscreen.
If you want to ride at night you’ve gotta have a decent set of lights. Mine were $10-15 each and the front one (pictured below) fits right in with my Mum’s old bike. The rear light has a few different flashes which are fun and best of all, they make me visible at night, which makes it safer.
EcoTan Natural Deodorant and Crystal Deodorant Body Stick
I’ve found a combination of these two works best for me, but as its a natural deodorant, it never hurts to reapply, so I keep it with me, just in case.
While I have been known to cycle in heels (just don’t do it in expensive ones), usually I’m sensible in my footwear decisions, but that doesn’t mean they have to be boring. I often wear sandals from Cotton On (like these brown ones) but I’m also quite partial to my Converse All Stars (they’re my 8-year-old faithfuls), especially on the way to work. Being comfortable is important, just don’t wear thongs!
Other Handy Stuff
I’d love to hear your cycling tips and tricks, so please share them in the comments below.
Thank you so much to everyone who has voted for me on the BUPA People’s Choice Award in the Health Influencer Blog Awards!
If you haven’t yet voted, head to the BUPA website and look for Miranda’s Wellness in the Healthy Lifestyle and Fitness category, where I am one of five finalists. You can only vote once per category, but you have the chance to win a Mini iPad just by voting. Voting closes at midnight, Friday 7th November, 2014