Springtime Cycling

So, this is my first spring with a bicycle. So far it’s been an interesting experience.

Pro’s:

  • Can ride to my new job less than 1.5 miles away very easily. I can even come home at lunch!
  • It’s spring so I don’t get sweaty.
  • Can take long bike rides with Kris. We rode 15 miles around the Gettysburg Battlefield this weekend!

I tried to find one from my fist trip to Gettysburg, but this one, taken only a month later, will suffice. It was hard back then to walk around at the car stops, let alone bike 75% of the route! Side note: we went to Gettysburg that first time on the 4th of July and Kris wore an ENGLAND shirt. My parents bought him a shirt with a picture of the US as an American flag as a present afterwards.

  • Can get in exercise despite my crazy overtime schedule.
  • Will hopefully be able to up my cycling endurance by starting out earlier in the year.

Con’s:

  • Other people. Ok, maybe I should be more specific…
  • Cars are still overly confused. Today a guy trying to pull out of a parking space would have hit me had I continued down the road like normal. Then, still unaware that I existed, the man stopped in the middle of the one-way street. I’m not sure why he even got out of the parking space, to be honest. I had to dismount and carry my bike around him. He finally noticed and got out of the car to apologize! This is just the weirdest story – people aren’t used to bikes right now so they are driving super unpredictably and dangerously around me compared to usual.
  • It’s “amateur” season. All the people who don’t normally go out in the park for recreation are out there. They are unaware that being hit by a bicycle is unpleasant and that standing 5 people wide in order to take up a whole path is rude. At least this problem disappears, unlike the previous problem, which only decreases slightly, once it actually gets hot out.
  • In general, there are just more people outside. They try to talk to me. Some guy may have scammed me out of $5 today…or he may have really had a flat tire. Some guy last week may have just been helpfully telling me that the air in my rear tire was low (I was already aware)…or he may have been strangely cat-calling me. The point is that the nice thing about cars is that you can roll up the windows and avoid contact with the outside world.
  • Oh, that reminds me of a pro. When I first moved here, I walked to work. Now that I bike, I can at least get away from the people faster!

 

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Adjusting

I knew switching to a full-time office job would be a big adjustment, but holy cow! The transition, especially with the lovely addition of mandatory 45 hour weeks, has been more difficult than I expected. When we first moved here I had an office job and I don’t remember it being so difficult. Then again, I wasn’t trying to make healthy meals or get in much exercise (to be fair, I did walk 2 miles a day because I was too poor to drive to work).

While I was in grad school, I was busy ALL THE TIME. However, my schedule was fairly flexible – I could get up at 6, work for a while, go for a run at 9, work for awhile, go run some errands, then work for awhile again. Now I have to put all the work between 8-5 and fit everything else in between 5 and 10-11ish. I know that is like 6 hours so it’s probably more actual time but it’s still not what I’m used to.

It’s also been hard to adjust to a different dynamic between Kris and I. When I was home from grad school, except for brief periods (in the fall of 2012 I took a whole semester off when he had surgery, and my recent experience this winter), I didn’t have a job, so I had more of a house-wifey role. It turns out I’m not very good at being a housewife – I’m too extraverted so I spend all my time either going to stores and spending money because I’m stir crazy OR bugging Kris non-stop when he gets home from work and accusing him of literally being Don Draper if he wants to play video games and drink beer for an hour.

However, I’ve become very much accustomed to working at most part-time when I’m home and it’s hard for me to accept that I can’t just spend all day planning grocery menus and cleaning the house – I have to give up some of my control. Yes, that’s right – my problem isn’t that my husband won’t help me with the chores, it’s that I’m afraid he can’t follow a recipe so I won’t let him in the kitchen! I also feel surprisingly guilty about inconveniencing him by having a job. Like, I feel upset that I can’t just drop everything and drive him around anymore, which is ridiculous because while I know he likes me to help out he certainly doesn’t expect it of me. It’s still difficult for me, though 😦

The good news: I think I’m starting to adjust. I actually went to the gym to run after work today (I’ve failed at going to the gym three times for various small reasons); I plan to get up super early and work out before work tomorrow; and I’ve found a route to and from work that is so easy to bike that I can bike home during lunch! I’ll also get the luxury of being off all weekend, which I haven’t actually had yet – I was either working at the pizza place or visiting family.

I also did pretty well at sticking to my March goals – except for when I went home to see my grandpa who had been in the hospital, I got in my 5 workouts a week; I’d say I followed my 80/20 rule 80% of the time (I should just make that a second part of the rule); and I did super well following the alcohol rule (it helped that we bought super fancy beer that I wanted to savor). My other goals were very much related to my pizza place job, but I will say that while I was working there I did well with them – I don’t think I ate something completely unnecessary off the pizza buffet once! Now, that isn’t saying I didn’t eat any cinnastix – it is just saying I didn’t eat them just because they were free.