Wednesday, June 1, 2022

So you want to be a pedaling pastor, but don't have a bike (yet)...

On March 15th, Church on the Move: A Practical Guide for Ministry in the Community was released by Judson Press.  Since then the book has sold about 900 copies.  Since then I have done a few podcast interviews, couple of radio interviews, a Q&A with pastors, a webinar, and adapted some portions of the book for journal and online publications.  

The most often asked question is what kind of bike do I recommend or how do I get started?

First off you do not need a "special bike" any bike will do AND you do not need any "special clothing" your regular clothes will do just fine (you've got a few months before you start thinking about winter biking necessities).  

Second, don't buy a bike; well, don't buy a bike just yet. 

I recommend these five steps.

1. Watch this YouTube video from Shifter.

2. Listen to this podcast series: The Plain Bicycle Project.

3.  If your city has a bikeshare program, check it out.  More than likely they will also have e-bikes to try out.  I would do this for a week at least.  Why?  You'll get a feel for the kind of riding you will be doing for work.  You'll get to see a wide variety of bikes and styles out there.  And you'll get to talk with other people about their bikes: upright, cargo, e-bikes, all-road, & etc.

4. Find a popular bicycling area near where you live and plop down for an hour.  Go there one Friday morning with a camp chair and a cup of coffee and a notebook.  See what kind of bikes pass by.  What bikes do you like?  Who is dressed like you will be dressed for work?  What kind of bike are they riding?  

5.  Go to several bike shops and try out all kinds of bikes.  Don't worry about the price, there are creative finance options I'll talk about next post.  

Take your time.  Give yourself a month.  Most people get in a hurry and buy the wrong kind of bike.  You want to love your bike, you want to have trouble sleeping because you are so excited to ride it the next day to work, to the park, on the trail for a long ride, & etc.  

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