Saturday, August 8, 2009

Safety First

Yesterday we decided to go biking to White Bear Lake to grab some lunch. It’s about a 12-mile ride there and back. I’m feeling pretty good about commuting by bike or foot when possible. I was reading in Women's Health that 84 percent of Americans typically travel by car. Nine percent travel by bike and only one percent by foot. (Not sure about the other six percent?) The Swiss travel by car only 38 percent of the time, 30 percent by foot and 10 percent by bike. This explains several things: 1) Why Europeans are typically thin; 2) Why Americans are not; 3) Why I almost got hit by a pizza delivery guy on the way back from lunch.

I’m riding along and said pizza delivery guy, a “robust” fellow, is stopped at the corner. So, I think he sees me and I keep riding – but then he hits the gas. I scream and he stops literally an inch from me. What is the lesson here? Just as the article says – we typically travel by car and unfortunately have not fully-embraced the benefits – or even the recognition - of other modes of transportation. Another lesson: Safety first! Yes, I was wearing my bike helmet. Dorky, but at least it’s hot pink!

And, the worst lesson of all - the 12 miles of biking did not cancel out the calories I ate at lunch. Sad, but true. I burned 336 calories biking. For lunch I had a lovely Bell's Oberon (which tastes much better in the sun) for 170 calories, a turkey sandwich with sprouts and guacamole spread on multigrain bread for about 350 calories and 276 calories for about 10 onion rings. Total calories: 796! The battle continues!

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