Driver to Biker: Making the Switch

While the majority of us will occasionally dream about cruising around on a motorbike, when it comes down to actually choosing a method of transportation, the car makes a lot more sense. To list just a few common reasons we shy away from the idea of biking:

  • Safety concerns
  • Practicality
  • Wearing motorcycling apparel
  • Sensitivity to Weather conditions

When I was 25, I had landed my first managerial position at a large electronics retailer. I purchased my first car, a 2006 Corolla. At the time I wasn’t really interested in cars (well, those that were in my budget at least) and it was a very sensible car. The commute to work was not exactly thrilling, but a short 20minute drive each way was not exactly a big deal in my life.

However, just under a year into my job, I was relocated to another branch, and the drive would now be around an hour and some. Within months I was beginning to realize how taxing driving in the morning and driving back later in the day had become, and the commute took a big toll on my happiness and wellbeing. Of course, a lot of people make commutes which are just as long, if not longer, so it wasn’t going to be something that would make me want to quit my job altogether.

One day, I was browsing a furniture store in our retail park with a colleague of mine who was looking to buy a new bed. He was looking at the beds which were at the highest price range, and I told him, “you’d have to be mad to spend so much on a bed…” However, he turned around and said, “look, you spend around a third of your entire life on a bed, you have to be spending money where it matters!” For some reason this resonated with me, and on the drive back I began thinking about how I was spending at least 2 hours every working day sitting around driving an automatic.

I then suddenly became excited about the idea of commuting to work on a motorbike. I hadn’t actually ridden one before, but just thinking about the thrill I could enjoy for 2 hours each day seemed hundreds of times better than the dreaded drive to work. I was more than willing to sacrifice some comfort and practicality in place of an enjoyable commute every day. I didn’t know many bikers at the time, so it was difficult to find guidance, but there was plenty of discussion online. In the end I went ahead and got myself a new Yamaha FZ6R, a pretty great entry-level bike.

And since then, I haven’t looked back. I have been biking for 5 years and while a lot of things have changed in my life there is always one constant – the joy of biking to work and back doesn’t get old, and my boyish sense of excitement remains.

Damien Burton, blogger at Elswick Cycles.

Sleep like a baby when you’re pregnant!

Rarely do women experience difficulty-free sleeping while pregnant. Several bodily differences, both psychological and physical, occur during pregnancy and also make it harder to get proper rest. There are 3 essential points that impact your sleeping capability:

  • Hormones are going crazy – sending your sleep schedule into meltdown
  • Changes to your body such as a larger abdominal area and also skin irritability
  • Higher degrees of tension and also anxiety

Put together, you can end up having many sleepless nights. Nevertheless, there are numerous things you can do to guarantee that you optimize your opportunities of sleeping – without difficulty – through the night. Here they are:

  • Exercise. Although your body might be telling you exercise is the last thing it needs, your restless nights are partly down to restlessness resulting from lack of activity during the day. Not to mention, you really need to be exercising during maternity anyway, for health reasons. Also, while you’ll want the occasional nap, don’t snooze too much or you’ll be bouncing at night!
  • Do not consume a lot of liquids prior to bed. Although you intend to be effectively hydrated, you equally do not intend to really feel need to pee as you find yourself wishing for some sleep. The urge to make another loo round can be greater during pregnancy, so hold back on the drinks.
  • Prepare the bed appropriately. Feelings of frustration in bed are made worse if the sheets are folded or the duvet is so thick you’re becoming hot. Additionally, your skin is even more sensitive than usual during this period, so make certain the sheets aren’t irritable against your skin. Preparing the bed beforehand should be done so these things don’t wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • Get a pregnancy pillow. These are unusually shaped pillows that are specifically designed to make you feel more comfortable in bed while you have a baby inside your bump.
  • Have a warmer bath before bed. A nice, relaxing bath can help unwind you, and also as your body cools you will certainly start to feel a little drowsy, making sleep come naturally.
  • If you can’t sleep and find yourself tossing and turning in bed, attempting to force yourself to rest could have the other impact. You must instead awaken and walk a little, maybe doing some house jobs that do not call for way too much initiative for a few mins. This could help take your mind off things and bring an end to the circle of frustration you find yourself in when you can’t drop off to sleep.
  • Avoid those bright screens on all electronics as you’re tucking yourself into bed. These displays inhibit a key sleep inducing hormone making it harder for you to go to sleep.
  • Stay clear of carbohydrate heavy foods right before going to bed. Snacking prior to bed might seem irresistible while pregnant, yet it has to be resisted. Not only can it make rest harder, it boosts the opportunities of experiencing heartburn or heartburn throughout the evening.

There are also plenty of resources around online for dealing with pregnancy, for example and sleeping tips for pregnant women.