The right tool can make all the difference

Last week, my husband surprised me with a new bicycle for my birthday gift. He was starting to get into cycling again and wanted me to join him. I also love cycling and was involved in it heavily when he and I first met.

But after marriage, our rides became less and less frequent. We lived on a busy road that didn’t have much of a shoulder let alone a bike path. As a result, our bikes began to collect dust.

Then we moved and had a much better road in our new neighborhood, which led to an even better area that was primarily rural. Large farms are literally less than a mile from where we live. Suddenly we were able to ride on roads that receive very little traffic.

My old bike was a Giant Yukon mountain bike. I bought it in 2002, an upgrade from my ancient Univega mountain bike. At the time, I was thrilled with it. Big knobby tires, front tire shock absorbers… it was my pride and joy as my husband and I would set off on rides.

However, I didn’t realize why it wasn’t the best choice for riding on the road.

A Change In Perception

When I was a young girl, I was a bit of a tomboy. I loved being outdoors, either riding my bike or skating on my skateboard. I liked playing basketball or softball with the neighborhood boys. When I first bought the Univega mountain bike back in the 80’s, it fit the perception I had of me: rugged, sporty, outdoorsy.

But life changes. As the years passed by, I realized I really wasn’t riding a bike through rough terrain. I rode my bike on paved roads. And the mountain bike was holding me back.

A Better Bike

My husband bought for me a Fuji Absolute LE, which is a Performance Bikes exclusive. Simply put, the wheels are made for road cycling. Not only that, the wheels were larger than my Giant, which means it went farther with each rotation of the pedal. Plus, the bike was lighter – 22 lbs. compared to the 35 lb. Giant.

What. A. Difference.

The first time out on my new bike, I literally felt as though I was flying. I couldn’t believe the difference in the ride (I’ve since christened my new bike, “Silver Cloud”). Instead of feeling as though I was fighting the bike while riding, my bike was now a friend.

I was able to ride longer with less stress. And that was the point. If I wanted to work up to longer rides, I needed a bike that could keep up and wouldn’t wear me out.

Are You Working With an “Old Bike?”

Sometimes you may not realize how getting the right tools for your business will make a difference.

Years ago, I was trying to use Microsoft Word for desktop publishing (I know… crazy, right?). My husband introduced me to Serif PagePlus, which made creating graphics and documents a breeze.

A much more affordable alternative to Adobe’s products, Serif’s PagePlus provides a wide selection of features that allowed me to create brochures, logos, and web banners. What a joy it was to create publications instead of fighting with MS Word! (Try Serif’s products for free and then if interested, you can buy the newest version at the upgrade price.)

Treat Yourself to a New Tool

Are you struggling with keeping track of your accounting through an Excel spreadsheet? Why not look into an online solution such as Freshbooks?

Or do you email yourself documents? Switch to using an online cloud storage app such as Dropbox or Sugar Sync.

And instead of sending out emails from Outlook, why not open an account with Mailchimp and import your list?

There are many tools available for the entrepreneur. Check out some of these articles that have a good selection of them and soon you’ll find yourself “riding faster.” Good luck!

10 Must-Have Tools for Entrepreneurs
One Entrepreneur’s Favorite Start-up Tools
The 10 Best Digital Tools for Entrepreneurs

Photo credit: Yogendra174 / Foter / CC BY

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