Saturday, January 30

Resolutions Doomed to Failure

Car Parking Lot at 24 Hour Fitness in Bedford, TX in late January
Look at the photo above. This was the parking lot of my gym at a little after 10AM on Saturday morning in late January. Lots of people drove to the gym to implement their new memberships and to get fitter or whatever in the New Year. I think this is pretty typical of gyms this time of year.

Now look at the photo below. This is the equivalent crowd at the bike rack at the gym. Same time, sime day - it's just the camera swung around 180 degrees. Admittedly, Saturday had a fairly low score on the MM, but I'm surprised it didn't occur to ANY of the people, lined up to ride the stationary bikes, that they might reduce their total time investment by actually riding a REAL bike to get to the gym. If you were going to work out for an hour, you could cut that in half by riding instead of driving. Instead, they'll go less and less, until the parking lot gets back to normal. I guess people really don't ride their bikes, even when it saves them time. Personally, I wish they had those cool tropical drinks available for those of us lounging in the sauna.

Myself, I get to park right next to the front door, and the trainers quickly get to know any customer that bicycles in with a squeaky frog on his bike. My only time handicap is that if it's cold like today, I lose some of my time savings putting my "Randy in Christmas Story" layers on than if I did a simple "dash out to the car and shiver a bit until the heater kicks in."

NOW, there's a Tracy Wilkins twist to THIS post as well (that's two in one day). Last time, we cured him of groundless guilt for not riding to work on the one day the weather forecasters got it wrong. NOW we're going to cure him of the fixation he has to ride 20 miles whenever he gets on his bike. What he needs is a dividing line. The gym is just a bit over three miles from my house. Since I usually stop at Starbucks after going there, the total trip is about 6.5 miles. This is FAR LESS than the Tracy threshold. It is also far less than my own threshold for a bike ride, which is a similar distance. I figure if my bike commute is 20 miles, nothing less than that qualifies as actually going FOR a ride. However, I have no compunction at all hopping on Frankenbike since I DIDN'T ACTUALLY GO FOR A BIKE RIDE, I WENT TO THE GYM. Sometimes I vary this routine, and GO TO THE STORE. The secret is you really AREN'T going on a bike ride, you just don't want to be bothered to drag the car out of the garage. I help this artificial divide between "just going somewhere" and "riding" by only using cycling shoes an actual "ride." If I'm going to put on cycling shoes, I'm going to ride 20 miles or more.

Frankenbike, on the other hand, does fine with toe clips and whatever shoes I happen to have tossed onto my feet. I'm just going somewhere. While Andy Cline's "One Mile Solution" doesn't work very well in my neighborhood, I've adapted it to local conditions and just multiplied his number a bit. In case you hadn't guessed, I kinda like riding my bike - and also just using it to "go somewhere."

Bike Parking Lot at 24 Hour Fitness in Bedford, TX in late January
That Hedge is Even Closer to the Bike Rack than it Looks


Chandra said...

Great idea to ride to the gym, instead of driving! I personally like it. Coincidentally, I had an open invitation from my friend to ride to the Gym near my home and workout there. He has a buddy pass (not to be confused with your "Buddy"). I rode to the Bicycles Plus to have order some Kool Stop Salmon colored brake pads. They were out of it but they did order some for me.

Like how you saw so many cars at the gym, I did see some people bring their bicycles to the shop in their truck/car. I suppose if you lived real far away, driving to the bike store with your bike in the car/truck, might make sense to some. But not to me!

So, I am with ya Steve! Nice post!!

Peace :)

Keri said...

Looks like another expertly-placed wave rack. We have lots of those around here.

My favorite YMCA (there are 2 others closer to home, but I like its pool best) has indoor bike parking in the lobby. There are usually at least 1/2 dozen bikes in there.

Steve A said...

Indoor bike parking. Cool! Chandra. If you drop your bike off, how do you get home afterwards unless you drive or somebody picks you up? Of course, that's different than if you are getting parts. I typically get those via a detour on the way home from work.

Chandra said...

I DO see you point! BTW, I can't wait to see how these salmonella brake pads work :)

Tracy W said...

Hey Steve!

Glad to see that I'm providing you a lot of blog fodder!

We'll see what I can dig up for you next week!


Doohickie said...

I'm guessing that actually several people rode their bikes to the gym that day, but frankly were afraid to lock their Cervelos up next to Frankenbike....

Steve A said...

Doohickie, I can't respond - I'm laughing too hard!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Justin said...

I love the little neighborhood ride. If I need to get milk (or far more likely, wine) I hop on my Schwinn and run to the grocery store. I even use my bike to go to Home Depot for small stuff.

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