Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with a cylist - Matthew from San Antonio

This weeks interview is with Matthew from Bike4Heck.com. Matthew and his wife Tina are both school teachers in San Antonio, Texas.

Tell us about your favorite bike. What do you like the most about it and why is it special to you? 

I would have to say that out of all my bicycles (I’ve got 5 I ride regularly) I would have to say that my Yuba Mundo Cargo bicycle is my favorite bicycle. I really wouldn’t have expected that when I was looking into buying the Yuba, but it just so much fun to ride. The worst part about the Yuba is parking it as it’s just huge and sometimes it can be hard to maneuver around in the garage. But it rides like a dream and it’s more useful than duct-tape! I now find myself riding the Yuba most of the time. It’s just fun to ride.  

How has cycling changed your life? 

Well, cycling as a sport was a daily thing in my life for many years especially in high school and my first few years of college. Then life got it the way. I got busy with college and student teaching (I’m an elementary teacher). I also got married and my wife, Tina, wasn’t a cyclist at the time I met her and she didn’t share my interest in cycling so there was a good number of years I spent off the bicycle. Then after relocating to San Antonio, Texas we needed to do something to get back in shape and we turned to cycling an avenue to regaining our health. Last summer was the first summer we really started cycling and we did shed some pounds. We started out our cycling again or our “re-cycling” last summer by cycling for leisure but soon started to view it as a tool for transportation when we started riding to the grocery store on our 3 speed beach cruisers. At first the trips to get groceries was quite an adventure but soon it became routine and now we do a bicycle grocery run once a week. So cycling has changed my views of my city. I now can see that a bicycle is a tool for transportation not just a recreational piece of exercise equipment. I’ve become enthralled with the idea of carrying stuff on my bicycle and replacing short car trips by riding the bicycle. It helps me stay healthy and helps me do my part for the environment. 

I do most of my bicycle maintenance in my kitchen (with my limited skills), where's the oddest place you've ever done bicycle maintenance or mechanics?

Oddly, enough my kitchen is my workroom too. I completely rebuilt an old bicycle in my kitchen last summer. Now I mostly do repairs in my garage and have set it up nicely for bicycle repairs with a Park tool stand and plenty of tools. I’ve not done repairs in strange odd places other than helping friends with small repairs before heading out on rides.

I rely heavily on the advice of more experienced riders, what would be your first piece of advice for someone hoping to start cycling?

I would say start small. I was a daily cyclist in my younger years after a long break and many pounds of weight added on I had to start with baby steps. No more long 40 mile rides like when I was younger. Also I would say start with a comfy bicycle. When getting back in cycling, my wife and I purchased a pair of Sun Bicycle’s Cruz 3 speeds beach style bicycles. We liked the fat comfy seat for our rears to sit on and we loved the upright position. I remember our first time on a hilly trail by our house we rode less than a mile and we were worn out but we didn’t give up… we kept at it and now those little things that were once hard are now easy and then things we encounter that we find difficult now we know in six months will not be a big deal anymore. I would also add that if you are fluffy like me don’t get intimidated by those skinny spandex cyclists and those bicycle stores that cater to the want-to-be Lance Armstrong. If I can ride, anyone can.

Do you have any cycling goals or aspirations for the coming year?

In the coming year I’d like to start commuting to my job 5 miles away. It will be a challenge because there are some major hills to tackle and I might need a better bicycle to do it because the Yuba is kind of heavy for a commuter bicycle and my other bicycles are single speeds or only have three gears. If I accomplish that goal I would be really excited about it.

Where can we hear more about your journey?

You can hear more about our journey at our blogsite Bike4heck.com.


  1. NIce! I checked his site too (no email subscription or RSS feed I could find :( ),lots of cool info and sharing there,I never woulda known about it,thanks,Lindsay! :)

    The Disabled Cyclist

  2. 4 the Disabled Cyclist... I just migrated to Wordpress about a month or so ago... I'll look into the RSS issue. I'll have to talk with my Webguy but he is getting married this weekend so it might be a while. Until then bookmark my site: www.bike4heck.com


  3. Love the interview! Cycling changed my life when I started having time to do everything that I always planned!!

  4. Matthew was instrumental in my decision to get a cargo bike. We spent a lot of time talking about bikes just when I was getting my interest back. I ended up buying a Sun Atlas and have been fetching the groceries as well as firewood. Nice interview with Matt.

    Steve W8WFO


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