I live in a town full of bicyclists and today, a beautiful sunny day, I decided I should become one of them.
I shook the dust off my bike pants (yes, I do own a pair), adjusted my zippy yellow helmet, polished up the sunglasses, slipped on my bike gloves and rolled my trusty, but hardly used bike out of the garage.
My goal, 40 minutes of hard core peddling. I set the timer on my I-phone and rolled on out choosing a hill free road for the first leg of my ride. Wrong. Turns out there are no hills when driving in my car, but on my trusty bike it was one long incline up.
No problem. I’ve been TRX’ing (suspension training) for over a year and surely by now, every muscle in my body is toned and ready to go. Wrong again. There are 656 to 850 muscles in our bodies and 10 minutes into my ride, I’m feeling at least a half dozen of them. Fighting the wind – gale forces I’m sure, I made it to the top of the hill and decided that biking wasn’t for me. I hung a right and headed into the woods back towards my home, now moving downhill.
Ah ha. I’m getting it. Bicycles go up – hard work. Bicycles go down – easy. I’m beginning to feel a bit better about this biking experience when I hear another bike quickly coming up from behind. A man, early seventies, in his flip-flops, flies by me like I’m standing still. Thankfully he yelled “hello”, instead of “eat my dust”. At this point I realize that biking pants do not make a bicyclist.
I picked up my speed, rounded another corner before trading the gravel road in for a dirt path through the forest and the final leg home. As I value my body, I dismounted and pushed my bike up the very steep trailhead, then swung my leg over (forgetting that I have a girl bike) mounted and headed down the trail only to encounter roots. Years ago I loved mountain biking so I mustered up bravery and road right over those roots. Now I’m having fun. Over roots, rocks and through the puddles I flew (ok, flew slowly), suddenly I’m back at my house, but feeling good so I kept on going, fulfilling my original goal of 40 minutes of rolling!
What does biking have to do with health? Aside from catching a few bugs in my open mouth (protein), health is so much more than the food we eat. Health means fitness, a variety of activities. Health means humor – what else could I do but laugh when the older and much more fit man flew (and I mean flew) by me? Health means getting out there and trying new things whether it’s a new healthy food, or a new form of exercise.
What’s next for me? I think I’ll try horse back riding. That looks easy enough.