Introducing the Get Back on Your Bike Project

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A nice stock image of someone biking with their child. Most definitely not me. Maybe one day.

Welcome to the Get Back on Your Bike Project.

I’m Emma, the writer of this blog on frugal living and life hacking one’s way to financial freedom.

I used to be an avid cyclist. When we lived in Sydney I biked from home in Bondi to work in the CBD every day.

If you know Sydney, you’ll know there are hills, lots of hills. I was in the best shape of my life during my Sydney cycling days.

Then I had kids, and got tired (still am), moved back to NZ and reverted to the car – for everything (even though I now live in Christchurch – probably the world’s flattest city).

As my business grew, so did my waistline. I got fatter and fatter.

I’d drive to school, drop the kids off then head home to sit at my desk working furiously until 2.54pm when I’d jump back in the car again for pickup.

At the same time, petrol prices here in New Zealand have hit very high levels. We will soon be paying $2.50 per litre for petrol.

Filling up my economical Toyota cost nearly $100 last week. Enough is enough.

We are a one-car family. My husband cycles to work every day in all weather. My aim with this project is to save money, lose weight and get us to the stage where the car is simply a vehicle for weekend trips and extreme weather events.

I’m doing this publicly to keep myself accountable.

There will be no before and after shots, or Instagram stuff. I can’t be bothered with all that.

I will share the numbers (as a percentage – I ain’t putting my weight on the internet) weekly and update you on how many trips I’ve taken by bike and anything I learn along the way.

Here we go:

Today is Monday, the 15th of October, 2018.

I aimed to start this post with a clever little anecdote about cycling and productivity. I’d planned to bike to my local cafe (I usually drive) and drink a skinny flat white while ruminating about the fabulosity of cycling.

Instead, I slammed full force into the grass verge approximately 150m from my home. I am fine. The grass was wet so my clothes are a bit damp, and my chain came off but I was able to get it back on. I proceeded to the cafe.

The tires of my hybrid are not made for the crevasses left by mountain bikers on the river trail by my home. The road it is.

Around a month ago I started to bike to school with the kids.

Another preschool mum recommended a toddler bike seat (it’s a Doolittle that would allow the two-year-old to sit between me and the handlebars. My toddler loves it.

My 6yo has been on bikes since he was two, firstly on a balance bike, then moving to a small pedal bike at 4 (sans training wheels – thanks to the balance bike) so he was happy to ride his bike to school. He wants to help mummy ‘get strong’.

We have nicely paved off-road paths we can take to school and preschool. The only thing stopping us, until now, has been my lack of energy.

I’m hoping that getting back on my bike will change that.

Are you a cycling parent? Or want to be? Do you have any tips to share?



Hi, I'm Emma. I set about gaining financial freedom back in 2012 when my son was born. I've been hustling to pay down debt, save money and build online and passive income streams ever since. You can find out more here.

2 thoughts on “Introducing the Get Back on Your Bike Project”

  1. Go Emma. This is great. I’m not a cyclist, but I scooter to school with my son. We have so much fun together. I love it as I’m not an exercise for exercise’s sake person, but this way I do get plenty of regular exercise. I missed it over the holidays.

    • Thanks Amy. I too, dislike exercise for exercise’s sake. But active transport satisfies my need to optimise my life and it saves money etc. Winning all round! I love that you scooter. I will probably try that when my youngest starts school as I really hope to make this life change a longterm thing.

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