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  1. #1
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    Thank you all for changing my life!!!

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    I am a sixth grade teacher in Michigan. I started the school year with out a car as I gave my two cars to my two kids in college. I live about 12 miles from work and I decided I would bike. The summer of 2016 I got on my bike and started riding 20-40 miles a day. When school started I didn't want to stop.

    I have ridden more than 4,000 miles and I am so loving every day. I did have about 22 days where I did not ride as I never bought the tires with studs etc. I will never go back to driving a car. Each day has made me happier and happier. It is amazing all the problems of a day you can work out and all the plans for the day you can prepare for on your way. I never knew the moon was so beautiful at 5:40 A.M. and that the birds came to life almost exactly at 6:00 A.M. I have seen glorious sun rises and have had amazing encounters with wildlife.

    The folks here who advised me and encouraged me I thank you. I feel like I have had a breath of new life blown into me.

    Spring has hit here in Michigan and my bike trail is filling up with folks on bikes, walking, and jogging. I liked it better in the bitter cold where I would never see a soul. I'm learning to share the trails and enjoy seeing others out and about.

    Who would have known that a lifestyle change could bring about such peace. This years class has sooooo many challenges and children from such heartbreaking situations...however, when you get on the bike and ride....you seem to be able to peddle your way through them and by the time I get to work or home...life is a little better.

    For Christmas & birthdays many of the kids and families are buying bikes...so the positive influence has also been very cool.

    Thanks to all of you for your help and advice.

    I look forward to buying boots to ride in for the snow, and shoes for the rain. For now it has been an adventure!

  2. #2
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    I just started riding and this was an absolute joy to read
    Looking forward to riding tomorrow now!!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    JKL,

    This is my all time favorite post on this site ever.

    Your post exudes joy, and it's awesome that you found that through cycling.

    Congratulations!

    If I may suggest, take some pictures during your rides. Even just cell phone snaps. They make for great reflection later, and it makes it easier to share with your friends and family (and your extended friends here on RBR).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkl1224 View Post
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    I am a sixth grade teacher in Michigan. I started the school year with out a car as I gave my two cars to my two kids in college. I live about 12 miles from work and I decided I would bike. The summer of 2016 I got on my bike and started riding 20-40 miles a day. When school started I didn't want to stop.

    I have ridden more than 4,000 miles and I am so loving every day. I did have about 22 days where I did not ride as I never bought the tires with studs etc. I will never go back to driving a car. Each day has made me happier and happier. It is amazing all the problems of a day you can work out and all the plans for the day you can prepare for on your way. I never knew the moon was so beautiful at 5:40 A.M. and that the birds came to life almost exactly at 6:00 A.M. I have seen glorious sun rises and have had amazing encounters with wildlife.

    The folks here who advised me and encouraged me I thank you. I feel like I have had a breath of new life blown into me.

    Spring has hit here in Michigan and my bike trail is filling up with folks on bikes, walking, and jogging. I liked it better in the bitter cold where I would never see a soul. I'm learning to share the trails and enjoy seeing others out and about.

    Who would have known that a lifestyle change could bring about such peace. This years class has sooooo many challenges and children from such heartbreaking situations...however, when you get on the bike and ride....you seem to be able to peddle your way through them and by the time I get to work or home...life is a little better.

    For Christmas & birthdays many of the kids and families are buying bikes...so the positive influence has also been very cool.

    Thanks to all of you for your help and advice.

    I look forward to buying boots to ride in for the snow, and shoes for the rain. For now it has been an adventure!
    That's awesome! I used to ride to school all the time when I was younger and recently got back into it. I've ridden on local back roads but the other day I road around the town by the beach and when I was done after 10mi I wanted MORE! It was so exhilarating to say the least. Gonna start biking to work as well!


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkl1224 View Post
    I never knew the moon was so beautiful at 5:40 A.M. and that the birds came to life almost exactly at 6:00 A.M. I have seen glorious sun rises and have had amazing encounters with wildlife.
    +a billion!

    Kudos, enjoy, wow you're a great dad to giving up two cars for the kiddos! Awesome stay safe and enjoy.
    Last edited by romrah; 04-20-2017 at 06:11 AM.

  6. #6
    tlg
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    Great story. As I was reading it I was thinking I hope you share this and influence your students. Then I got to that part. Awesomeness.

    The world needs more great teachers. My kid is in collage right now working on his education degree. But he doesn't ride bikes
    Custom Di2 & Garmin/GoPro mounts 2013 SuperSix EVO Hi-MOD Team * 2004 Klein Aura V

  7. #7
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    Very nice.

    I can tell you're going to enjoy cycling for a very very long time because you like it for the reasons that last.
    If you had said you cycled 4000 miles then proceeded to talk about power meters and upgrades how you do on strava I'd say enjoy it while you can because the thrill will be gone before you know it.

    But this stuff never gets old: "moon was so beautiful at 5:40 A.M. and that the birds came to life almost exactly at 6:00 A.M. I have seen glorious sun rises and have had amazing encounters with wildlife."

  8. #8
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    +1

    Please, please teach your kids proper bike safety. I was once a student in Michigan, and was taught things like "ride on left side of the road," and "ride on the sidewalk."
    I lost my phone number. Can I have yours?

  9. #9
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    Great Post. Riding all year in MI is an accomplishment. Also pretty sure your health has improved along with your awareness of what really matters - great side benefit.

    Next you will move into a tiny house!! Keep Enjoying!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by romrah View Post
    +a billion!

    Kudos, enjoy, wow you're a great dad to giving up two cars for the kiddos! Awesome stay safe and enjoy.
    Pretty sure JKL is a she, so 'Mom'.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by romrah View Post
    +a billion!

    Kudos, enjoy, wow you're a great dad to giving up two cars for the kiddos! Awesome stay safe and enjoy.

    Thanks. Let's say I'm a "great MOM" cuz...I'm a mom. LOL

  12. #12
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    My son who lives about 3 miles off campus.. I bought him a used Specalized Mt. Bike and he rides to class every day. Snow, Sleat, floods...etc. He has changed because of mom. He does Cross Fit every day that is 27 miles away...I gave him the car. He never rode a bike last year, nor did he have a car. It all works out for the good. Good luck to your son who is going into teaching...I have loved this job like no other. However, they have turned on us teachers. I make 10,000 less than I made 10 years ago. I now tell folks to find something different. I'm at school at 6:30 A.M. and stay just as long as I can and still get home before it is too dark. I LOVE my class. I LOVE teaching. I'm happy as pie within my 4 walls. But it has changed a lot. Good luck to your son. Make sure he spends a ton of time in a classroom before he gets too far into his education and that he looks into the payscale and plans how he can bring up a family on that salary. I am a teacher as is my husband. He tutors every night until 10P.M. besides being a Football and Baseball coach. Tough to make ends meet when they change your income so drastically. However, on a positive note...lack of funds has brought me to this biking experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  13. #13
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    I sure do think about it....Tiny House would be great too. I'm learning. I can pack 50+ lbs in my back pack. I'm getting really good at what I do. I think that is what makes it so cool. How to pack my backpack so I can get to mugs of coffee to school with out them getting cold or spilling all over the clothes I have to wear. LOL. Many tales to tell.

  14. #14
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    I'm with Migen21 on this one - my favorite post yet... ever, on this forum.

    You're riding for all the the right reasons and causing cyclists like me (45 years on the bike) to rethink why I'm riding, e.g. less about "threshold power" and more about "behold that sunrise."

    Let us know when you start your blog... come on... your students will love it ;-)

  15. #15
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    I agree with the others that this is a great post. Refreshing in the sense that it's "not about the bike" or gear; it's about the experiences and mental/ physical benefits of riding.

    I do take exception that anyone changed your life. It's you who took the steps to make that happen. Still, I'm glad to have been a part of it, so... you're welcome!

  16. #16
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    Sorry I'm late to the party, but let me give my belated kudos to you, JKL! You are an inspiration to your students!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  17. #17
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    Wonderful! I don't want to take anything away from all of this.

    I just want to add:

    Work/school is 12 miles away. i am in a major sprawling city, and to afford a home in the suburbs to make my spouse and kids happy, I am 25+ miles from work. Urban traffic makes the work commute be 40 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes.

    So, if you imagine that you are someone in a major city trying to make it all work, then an HOUR commute is not such a bad thing.

    So, you do 12 MPH.

    At that rate, I think my goal would be to get the most stable, comfortable bike I could. Maybe a great mountain bike.

    Myself, I regularly ride 10 or 20 miles on a mountain bike - my terrain is totally flat, and a road bike offers no challenge at 20 miles.

    A heavier bike style - mountain bike - gives you more comfort, and the opportunity to have much wider wheels. This can make you much safer. Plus, you have great options for mounting gear.

    If you compare auto cost to bike cost, then justifying expensive bike parts (lightweight mountain bike frame, etc.) becomes easy.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    Wonderful! I don't want to take anything away from all of this.

    I just want to add:

    Work/school is 12 miles away. i am in a major sprawling city, and to afford a home in the suburbs to make my spouse and kids happy, I am 25+ miles from work. Urban traffic makes the work commute be 40 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes.

    So, if you imagine that you are someone in a major city trying to make it all work, then an HOUR commute is not such a bad thing.

    So, you do 12 MPH.

    At that rate, I think my goal would be to get the most stable, comfortable bike I could. Maybe a great mountain bike.

    Myself, I regularly ride 10 or 20 miles on a mountain bike - my terrain is totally flat, and a road bike offers no challenge at 20 miles.

    A heavier bike style - mountain bike - gives you more comfort, and the opportunity to have much wider wheels. This can make you much safer. Plus, you have great options for mounting gear.

    If you compare auto cost to bike cost, then justifying expensive bike parts (lightweight mountain bike frame, etc.) becomes easy.

    Forgive me I can't seem to follow this. The bike in the photo I bought this winter after much help and guidance from the great folks here. I ride probably about 12mph in the A.M. as I use my bike to get me to work and not looking for a work out. IDK for sure what my speed is because I'm not real interested. I can tell you from the odometer on my new bike I go between 16-19 mph on a normal day. My ride home usually is about 25-30 miles and I sometimes go 40 miles depending on how much frustration I need to work out. LOL.

    My commute to work is about 30 minutes. My ride home is however long I want it to be. I am 52 years old with kids in college so I just ride to ride. I flat out enjoy the moment and all the people watching and wildlife I encounter.

    Matter of a fact, on Tuesday I was crossing a very busy intersection and walking in my direction was an elderly man who is all hunched over. I pass him 2-3 times a week on the bike path all year long. I always try to shout out to him. Let him know I'm aware of him. However, on Tuesday I stopped and talked to him...not so smart. In the middle of the road. We both walked back to the curb and talked for about 30 minutes. He is a retired custodian. He walks 6 miles as many days as he can because he has sa medical condition. I told him how much I admired him. That I have watched the days pass, the daylight shorten up, and yet, he still was out walking. He and I...the only ones. It was a really neat moment. Those are some of the things I take away from riding a bike.

    I appreciate your advice on the mountain bike. I have an old beat up TREK that is what I started with and I tried to go back to riding it and couldn't. LOL. I just absolutely love my new bike, my new life. I wake up and can't wait to ride. School lets out and I figure how much I have to do and what time I can leave and where I can ride to.....before I go home. My life is forever changed by the advice and guidance I gained here from all the great folks willing to take time and help me find my way. I'm thankful for all the advice and kind words.

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