Monday, 21 August 2017

How buying a bike might have just changed my life for the better.

Bettie @ The Quayside
Have you ever bought something and thought this is going to change my life. Well let's say I didn't think that when I bought my bike, I knew it would make my life a little bit easier but I didn't think it was going to change my life this much. I bought my bike (which I've called Bettie) around about 2 months ago from Halfords in Team Valley and I went with a Carrera Subway 1 Women Hybrid Bike and with my British Cycling Membership card I got an extra 10% of the price. I'm super happy with it and I'm starting to fall more and more in love with cycling. 

I've listed 6 ways that buying a bike has changed my life and some of these are things I wouldn't have expected to happen. Some of these reasons are practical and some of them are more personal but all positive. 

1. INCREASING MY FITNESS

Before I bought my bike around 2 months ago, I would say that I wasn't at my fittest at all. I had lost interest in the gym and wasn't running because my knee couldn't handle the impact. When I got my new job I started cycling and I'm sure I hated most of it and was telling myself I hated it and that it wasn't helping my knee at all. That changed after I eventually bought my bike, after about a month I started to really see a difference in my fitness and in my knee. I wasn't just using my bike for my led bike rides but I was using it to commute to and from work and to meeting. I actually started to notice a different in my knee and my cardio fitness has improved massively, I went from doing less than 3 mile runs to do up to 50 miles on my bike.

2. SPENDING TIME OUTSIDE AND SEEING THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY

Everyone told me seeing the world on your bike was one of the best way to see the world and I have to say that seeing Newcastle on my bike has made me fall in love with Newcastle more. I've always been a lover of my home city but going to places like Tyneside Country Park and Wylam on my bike has made me fall in love even more. 

The best part of owning my bike is that I get to see more of Newcastle. I set a challenge on my personal Instagram (here) to take a picture of my bike in a different location every month but I really got into taking picture of my bike in different locations that I started an Instagram just for my bike. If you fancy checking it out and given it a follow I would be extremely grateful (https://www.instagram.com/melissasbikejourney/)


Bettie Down Ouseburn near The Tyne Bar

3. SAVING THE PENNIES

When I bought my bike I knew I wanted to try and save some money and I knew I could do this through commuting to work on my bike instead of on the bus. For the first couple of weeks I really struggled, I'm not the best morning person and being organised in the morning remembering everything for my bike wasn't working but I'm starting to be more organised the night before and commuting atlas 3 days out of 5. 

Since the beginning of August I've most likely saved around £48 in around 3 week which for me is great as I'm shocking at saving so I'm hoping this is will help me save more.

4. MEETING NEW PEOPLE + CONNECTING WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE

Leading around 4 bike rides it kind of guarantees that I'm going to meet new people but I didn't think I would meet so many great people. I work with people of all ages and abilities and I love seeing them achieve the distance we do on the ride and even progressing from our absolute beginners rides to our social rides. 


Bettie @ The Cycle Hub

5. GIVING MYSELF SOME ME TIME

What I've learnt the most from having a bike is that, when you ride a bike you do a lot of thinking on your own. My favourite time on my bike is when I commute, its the time I'm all alone with my headphones in and its the 20 or 40 minute ride home or to work where the world just passes by and I am alone in my own world (but obviously watching the traffic). On the way to work it's time for me to plan what I need to do when I get in the office and on the way home its time for me to just relax and pace myself. 

6. GIVING ME SOME GOALS TO HIT + IMPRESSING MYSELF EVERY TIME

I stopped setting goals for myself while I was running because I was failing a lot but when I started cycling I didn't set specific goals but I was using the app Strava to track my milage. When I first started cycling on my own bike I would do on average around 25 miles a week but now I'm can cycle anywhere between 55 miles to 90 miles a week. I don't specific goals but I might set a goal of commute more then 3 days a week or reach 60 miles over the week or even I want to reach over 200 miles in 1 month. 

I never used Strava til I got my bike so had no idea how it worked but I think what I've loved the most is the trophy section and finishing a route and seeing if I've got a new personal record or maybe I've moved up a leader board. At the moment I'm number 1 for females this year on the leaderboard for the section 'Scotswood Road Track - Westward'. I've learnt that its more about impressing myself with what I do rather then setting goals and failing all the time. 


As you can see there many things that I'm extremely thankful for when it comes to my bike. I've started to enjoy exercising again and I've fallen back in love with Instagram again. I'm going to be putting a review of my bike up on my blog soon so keep you eyes open for that. 

Do you have anywhere you think I should head in the North East with my bike? If you have any advice for a new cyclist please leave a comment below as I love hearing from you guys. 




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