Category Archives: Biking is Badass (Motivation)

Long Break, Now I am Back

I apologize to the dedicated readers and subscribers to this blog.  It has now been about 6 weeks since my last post.  I decided to take this hiatus as I realized that continuing to write on this blog was just not practical with all of the upcoming time obligations I had planned.  I am happy to see that many people are still stopping by to read my older posts and I look forward to restarting from where I left off (Go to the Post Script at the bottom of this post for more details about the “future of the blog”).

I do not want to make this blog too much about me but since I have failed to maintain the blog, I might as well provide an excuse.

As it turns out, the concepts related to the Set Your Mind Free post has actually had a negative impact on this blog.  As I spend almost 2 hours per day thinking about various subjects related to all aspect of my life, it has not been surprising that I think a lot about my work as I ride.  It just so happens that my primary occupation is highly integrated with research pursuits, although this is not an obligation.

In the past year, I have drummed up a large series of research projects, most of which I have thought up and planned out while on my bike between work and home.  The best aspect of these research projects for me are dreaming up the ideas and then creating methods to either prove or disprove the theories.  The hard part about research is finding the resources to put these projects together.  Almost all of my project have basically zero financial cost.  However, they all have significant cost in terms of time.  Since I do not have the resources to pay someone for their time I end up burning what has become a more and more precious commodity: MY TIME.

What is more, these project seem to find a way to eat up my time when I least expect it, often when I am more in the blog-writing mood and not in a technical data analysis mood.  The research proposals, abstracts, presentations, and manuscripts have deadlines, while with this blog project, I set my own deadlines.  In the last 6 weeks, I have been willing to push these deadlines to write my posts back in favor of my research projects.

I am proud that this work related to these research projects is certainly paying off.  As of this writing, in the year 2015 alone, I plan to present data from 8 separate projects at 5 national and international conferences!  I think that this is a series of momentous accomplishments that will have an incredibly positive effect on my career path.  I also hope that this work will have a large impact on the respective fields that I am contributing to and will lead to significantly improved understanding of our world.

It would not be a BCBiker post if I was not able to boast the amazing life-changing benefits of biking to work.  If I was an average Denver metro person, unhappily driving my enormous metal framed, fossil fuel powered, massively depreciating machine to work, I would be too busy listening to music, mindless morning show chatter, and advertisements to have considered all of the amazing possibilities that exist in my current work to make bona-fide discoveries.  Fortunately for me, I have been practicing the BCB lifestyle and I, in many ways, take this for granted.

How can you make this a reality for your life?

I am certain that anyone, even without research opportunities associated with work, can apply this principle to one’s Business Casual Bicycle commute.  One can think about ways to work more efficiently at work, how to make one’s job more enjoyable, how to impress one’s boss, what promotions one might be eligible for, how to ask for a raise, how to better invest one’s saving, et cetera.

These considerations are important and by spending a small proportion of your bicycle commute thinking about them, you can change the trajectory of your career monumentally! By doing these things continually in your career, one can increase his or her earning power substantially: improve work performance –> earn accolades for this behavior –> earn raise –> earn promotion –> increase responsibilities –> earn additional raises.  Do not underestimate the power of these things to change your life!

I try to continually stay in this process.  As it turns out, I am currently in the process of applying for additional advanced training in my field.  (I apologize again because this application process will likely slow down my writing on this blog.)  The field is highly competitive and these research experiences are very import for being accepted into desirable positions.  I know that all of this work I am doing on these research projects will give me an enormous advantage!  Would I be in the position that I am in now if I did not ride my bike to work every day?  I can confidently say, “NOPE!”

In the comments below, tell me about how your bicycle commute is helping you get ahead at work! If you are interested in the future of the blog, please read the Post Script below.


Post Script: So I hope that all those reading this have a burning desire to know what my plans are for the blog.

I made a lot of promises related to the development of this blog early on.  My original goal was to post two times per week.  That pace was completely unsustainable as I learned how much work it takes to create posts that meet my standard.  I refuse to post anything that I feel is of minimal value and/or quality!  I feel that in all of my posts so far, I have put forth really valuable information that one cannot find anywhere else on the internet, and I plan to continue this.

In the future, I will temper my goal down to posting one post every 1-2 weeks, depending on my other activities.

My other blog related projects that I am now months behind on are 1) purchasing and implementing a new Theme, 2) building on Open Source “Things I Thought of While Biking to Work”  section and 3) publishing video of my daily ride.

1) The prospect of purchasing and building a new theme for this blog has been much more daunting than I thought.  I really want to find a theme that demonstrates the ethos of BCBiking.  I have a hard time determining what that means but everything I have looked at so far is not what I have in mind.  Most of the themes available have a very “corporate” feel to them that, in my mind, clashes very strongly with my perception of what I want this to be.  Another factor that slows this process down is that at the moment this is not a money-generating venture so I want to continue to keep my costs down until I have better developed money-making “scheme.”  At the moment I do not have any active plans in changing the theme.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know in the comments section.

2)  Just like I find coming up with interesting research projects while I am riding on my bike, I think up countless potentially profitable ventures while riding to work.  I have some really BIG ideas that I want to start with so people get excited about this concept, but I think that the smarter way to start this is to throw out my ideas as they come to me and see if anything sticks or creates excitement.  I also would like to create a platform that facilitates discussions surrounding each individual idea: perhaps a forum, although it is not immediately clear whether this would be intuitive for most people and useful for building on my ideas.

Check back in the Open Source “Things I Thought of While Biking to Work section in the coming months and I hope to have these ideas coming in on a regular basis and hopefully a lot of related conversation going on.

3) The idea of recording and publishing every daily bicycle ride was actually one of my original goals for this site.  I really want you, my readers to be able to experience what I do on a daily basis, including the good and the bad weather, the set backs, the joys.  The practicality of bringing this to you is still yet to be determined.  Despite being really tech savvy, I really don’t like the burden of technology (more on this in a future post).  I actually don’t own or carry a cell phone at the moment.  For better or for worse, this will be changing in the near future.  Once I am carrying around a cell phone, I will be able to integrate a GoPro camera into my wearable tech while biking and hopefully get some really high quality video of my daily commute! Stay tuned!


It feels really good to be writing again on this blog! I look forward to the future of this blog and I appreciate all of you who take time out of your day to read!  I plan to continue to make it worth your while!



The Pleasure of Hard Work

The past two weeks has been an unusually snowy portion of the season.  Denverites and other Coloradans have enjoyed close to 2 feet of snow from several separate storms.

Where could you find Business Casual Biker on these days?

Well, I was doing what I always do, riding to work every day without fail.  Some of these trips were more challenging than others.  On Monday morning of last week, I had an early start to my morning, needing to arrive at work at 7am.  The prior afternoon, 7-8 inches had fallen, and there was an additional 4 inches of fresh non-packed snow from overnight.

Fortunately, I was quite prepared for the situation.  I had been noticing a little extra resistance in the crank over the past week so the prior day I had pulled apart the crank and packed some fresh grease on the ball-bearings in my crank drive.  I had also readjusted my front and rear shifters (derailleurs).  Thus, my Chariot of Champions was ready to operate at maximum efficiency.

Furthermore, I knew that the extra snow on the road was going to add a little extra time to my commute.  Snowy roads generally make your maximum speed about 2/3 of normal.  Also, in these conditions, cars tend to be sliding all over the place so you have to be more careful crossing busy roads and also stop occasionally to let cars pass you by as dictated by the Golden Rule.

I set forth on my journey at about 5:40 am.  In many ways this ride was incredibly pleasurable.   The traffic was reasonably low.  The busier streets had somewhat packed tracks from car tires which helped me move with little extra resistance.  The side-streets were covered in non-packed snow which require some snow busting and thus a fair amount of additional work.  I made it to work with time to spare.

As the week moved on, I had the pleasure of attacking a multitude of adverse conditions.  All of which, I approached with prudence and vast knowledge from my years of riding in similar conditions.

Perhaps the most exciting of these conditions was on Wednesday evening when I departed from work in essentially “white-out” conditions.  Visibility was limited to 20-50 feet. I was not particularly concerned as I used my standard approach to such conditions is roughly equivalent to all scenarios: AVOID ALL SITUATIONS IN WHICH A CAR COULD POTENTIALLY HIT YOU.

After riding a couple miles on side streets and stopping at all intersections, it was quite clear to me that the car-drivers basically could not see anything and their ability to stop in a reasonable distance was completely compromised.  Several busy streets had been blocked off due to accidents and cars were at a complete standstill for miles throughout the city.  This afforded me a great opportunity to pass miles and miles of single-file cars along the shoulder.  There was minimal risk to this maneuver as the cars were not moving.  I made it home in normal time despite reports from car-drivers I know that commute times were roughly quadruple the standard times.

Some might perceive all of this adverse weather commuting as some kind of reason to loudly proclaim that year-round bicycle commuting is impossible.  This opinion would justify keeping a vehicle around for such situations, eliminating the possibility of reaping the full monetary benefits of bicycle commuting.

My experience has been that, indeed, such commutes requires a significant increase in effort and preparation.  Furthermore, having many consecutive days of dealing with these conditions left me quite tired. On the other hand, when I arrived home on Friday evening of last week, what I felt in addition to the prominent fatigue was a PROFOUND LEVEL OF SATISFACTION.  This is a satisfaction that most people who work in non-labor professions do not get to experience at the end of a week of work.

“I feel tired as hell, but look what I accomplished.”

I imagine this is what people who build homes or dig ditches or farm fields feel when they have finished their weeks or months of toil with sweat and dirt on their brow and look back at their work at the end of the day.  It is a moment to oneself to fully appreciate how amazing and worthwhile all of the work was.

This is a feeling that middle aged professionals seek out in the form of marathon running or mountain climbing or gym-ratting.  These folks spend tons of time, money and energy when what they are desiring can easily be delivered by simply riding one’s bicycle year round.

Tell us about your feeling of satisfaction after a difficult bike commute or how you overcome adversity in snowy weather by commenting below.

The weather in Denver has now turned around and we are looking forward to a sunny weekend with 60 degree weather. I hope you enjoy your weekend wherever you are in the world!

I want to take this opportunity to wish my wife, Mrs. BCB, a fabulous Birthday today! Happy Birthday! I Love You!