Ever had an idea in the back of your head, maybe one for a post. You kinda know what you want to say, but it just isn’t coming together well enough. Then, when you least expect it, something “clicks” and you know what it is.
That happened to me about 30 minutes ago when I got home from having dinner and playing cribbage with the Manchild.
I checked the mail and found this:
Now I don’t have the stinkinest clue what the hell Olive and Cocoa is. That’s not the point at all. What I am looking at is the cover. Look what the lady is doing. Yep, effortlessly, in pumps and a skirt no less, riding a bike! Pedaling away while looking good, effortlessly gliding to the next store!
Folks, a bike is the one great equalizer when it comes to getting active. ANYONE can ride one. I watch little kids on the Burke-Gilman trail on push bikes, bikes with training wheels, tricycles or ride along trailers. I see people well into their 70s and 80s on the same trail also riding bikes, or trikes, feeling the wind in their faces, staying fit, and reliving memories of childhood (at least in my mind they are, cuz I do all the time!) Men and women, boys and girls, all races, religions, and political affiliations are out pedaling along.
While bike commuting, I see spandex clad speed demons, and jeans clad mountain bike riders, all traveling on the same path, saving gas and getting healthy. I see toned athletes with muscles I could only dream of and I see people heavy enough you can see the bike straining. Both groups, and everything in between are out there improving themselves, and enjoying life, hearing the birds, smiling at each other feeling good.
What other activity can you think of that a person can do from the earliest years of childhood until you have one foot (or hell an entire leg) in the grave. If you can walk, you can ride. I plan to be the oldest person to complete the Chilly Hilly someday. 135 years old, uglier than sin, yelling at kids to get off my yard, and still riding like the wind!
Plus, unlike other activities there is a niche for everyone. Me, I am a bike alone, slow and steady how far can I go kinda guy. This is the first year ever I have signed up for 5 century rides. Why, because I can and I enjoy them. The best part is 4 out of 5 are brand new to me. That means new sights, sounds, and experiences. If I had the time, money and I thought the legs could do it, I’d do even more.
That’s me though, others are different. My two friends Auburn Liz and Mighty Manda share a goal of the Seattle to Portland this year. Afterwards, though, they have different goals. Both started riding this year and both love it. Auburn Liz is looking for bigger and harder challenges, hell she has even mentioned racing. She would be the competitive one. Mighty Manda is talking about becoming a ride leader at Cascade Bike club for beginner riders. Those who average 10 – 12 mph wold benefit from someone like her showing them the ropes and enjoying their time together. Both are excellent goals. I am very proud of my ladies. They can be role models for all new riders!
My gorgeous wife is yet another type of biker. Aside from being my coach, my support crew, my cheerleader and ass kicker, my transportation and photographer, my biggest fan and love of my life, she is also an around the neighborhood rider. We got her a very cute bike at REI, complete with wide tires, a bell, but we need to find a basket. I love my rides with her. She prefers warm weather and sunny days, and we cruise along the roads and talk, look for bunnies and run errands (I also check out her butt, but don’t tell her!) It’s another way for us to be together.
I feel I am rambling some here, so let me try to tie it all together. To me it doesn’t matter what kind of shape you are in, everyone can benefit from riding a bike. Whether you tool around with your kidlets, ride the local bike paths, mountain bike a single track, or ride across America, every crank of your pedals makes you that much healthier. The healthier you are the happier you are.
So if you have a bike gathering dust in the shed or garage, pump up the tires and ride around the block this weekend. If not, start perusing craigslist or garage sales. Once you get started you won’t regret it, and it beats the HELL out of jogging or Zumba!