Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Basket Case

So I'm working at DreamWorks Animation again and I decided that there wasn't much point to getting up early to run then drive to work so I'm combining exercise and commuting by biking to work. Last time I did it the backpack was rather uncomfortable and I wanted to figure out how to get that weight off my back. Out of all of the racks, panniers, saddle bags, etc. I decided to get a big front basket. Big enough to give rides to my dog--though I didn't take my dog to work! Oh, and I normally ride with a helmet so the photo isn't exactly what I look like riding my bike.

I'm starting out by riding just a few days per week, though I didn't get as tired as I thought I would. It only takes about 1 hour 8 minutes to make the trip. That's not bad considering that driving to work takes 45 minutes and if I add the morning run it's about 1 1/2 hours. The ride home takes the same amount of time on the bike but I've got to deal with the traffic driving home so it often takes me over an hour to get home by car. I have to admit it was fun zipping by the traffic jamed up at the Hollywood Bowl.

I've been debating wearing my Polar heart rate monitor and even getting a GPS unit so I could track my workouts better, but that might turn a pleasureable bike ride into an exhausting workout. I also thought about getting an electric assist for the hills, but that would mean that I'd be exercising less. I even thought about getting another bicycle, either a recumbent or a light weight triathalon model but I'm doing fine with what I've got for now.

Integrating exercise with commuting seems like a good idea. I'm not sure if I'll get involved with the racewalking or running groups on the weekend because at least for now I'm getting plenty of exercise just commuting to work and around town.

Let's see what exercise and a good diet does for my cholesterol. I was able to get it down quite a bit just by being a bit more careful in what I eat, doing some moderate exercise and reducing whatever stress I could out my life.
                             January    June

Total Cholesterol 289 215
LDL Cholesterol 214 121
HDL Cholesterol 48 56