on a Bike

last I spent any time on a
bicycle was for transportation only

I’ve always loved riding my bike, even though I literally hung-up that form of transportation in my parents garage decades ago–I had a fresh drivers license.

My competitive nature has kept me fit my entire life–but it has come with a price. Over the last few years, joint issues have kicked-my-ass, making it clear that I’ve got to make some wholesale changes–the pounding, wear and tear I’ve inflicted has caused me to throttled back the effort to an unfulfilling point both mentally and physically. I still do a bit of lifting and resistance training as I need to maintain strength and balance, but I also need something easier on the joints that provides both aerobic as anaerobic benefit as well–swimming! NOPE, did I mention I have to like it too? Re-enter the bicycle (pictured).

“the machine itself is so simple in design, but such a mechanical marvel…

To athletes there is “good-pain” and “bad-pain.” The situational irony is most people interpret pain to be primarily bad–not so. Yes, my joint issues are obviously bad pain–but so is recreational level activity to me. I prefer an “all-in” attitude as well as effort, that absolves me of any excuses–good-pain. As a result, I naturally gravitate towards activity that rewards you commensurately with effort–a damn near perfect fit for cycling.

Cyclist, particularly those who race, refer to hard training efforts as being in the hurt locker or pain-cave. One very famous cyclist went so far as to say getting faster was not about increasing speed but rather the ability to endure more pain. As a neophyte, I’m quickly learning that the training efforts required to “get good” are more aggressive than I imagined. Suffice it to say that proper training for bodybuilding is vastly different than proper training on a bike, but I like to think I’m a quick study.

Regardless, the machine itself is so simple in design but such a mechanical marvel. Like cars, they possess this certain aesthetic. Unlike cars they can cause you extreme self-induced physical pain. As a friend likes to remind me… name me another activity where “the passenger is also the engine.”