Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

22 April 2014


We've all taken one of those rides in which we can feel our whole bodies loosening up and everything within us opening and expanding.  At least, I hope you've taken at least one such ride in your life.

I did, yesterday.  It was one of those clear, breezy and mild spring days that so many of us dream about during the short days and long months of winter.  And, naturally, I took another ride to Point Lookout.

It seemed as if the sea and sky were stretching even further than I ever imagined they could.  But something else happened that I don't recall having experienced before


i could almost feel my bike--Arielle--stretching her wings, as it were, and taking in the air and light.  The day seemed to liberate her as much as it did me.

It used to be (and perhaps it still is) that the highest compliment someone could pay a bike is that it felt like an extension of his or her body while riding it.  I felt something even better:  Arielle was an extension of me and seemed to be experiencing the same sensations I had.

And, as always, she looked great.

By the way, I want to make another plug for Ely Rodriguez's Ruth Works bags.  I think the Brevet bag you see on the handlebar is becoming my favorite bag of all time.

21 April 2014

Out Of Shape

Be careful of whose bike you fix...

All right.  So nobody told me that when I was working in bike shops.  But I could have said something like that yesterday.

You see, I went for a ride with the friend on whose Brompton I worked.  Of course, he rode said Brompton and showed me that while my mechanic's skills are still mostly intact, I am really out of shape.

My excuse is, of course, that I did so little riding this winter because of all of the ice we've had on the streets.  I suppose I could have gotten myself a trainer or rollers or something.  I actually used to ride rollers during the winter.  But I found that it's harder to keep myself motivated while riding indoors than it is when I'm in the open air.

Still, even with how few kilometers or miles or whatever I've ridden this year, it's still a shock to me that my condition is as it is.  I guess one reason why I didn't realize it until yesterday is that all--i.e., what little--riding I've done this year has been solo.  This is the first ride I've taken with anyone else.  

We weren't in Kansas. From 21 Bikes.

 The thing that really shocked me, though, is that he was riding faster than I was--and he smokes.   Mind you, he's not a chain-smoker.  But we did stop once so he could light up.  Of course, there was a time when racing cyclists were advised to smoke, as it supposedly "opened up the lungs". But I don't think anyone has made that argument during my lifetime. 

And, to top everything off, I deviated from my new eating habits when we stopped at a Korean barbecue restaurant.  I mean, the food was good.  And I tell myself that yesterday was a holiday, which is a time to let loose, at least a little.  Still...

Oh well. At least we rode--about 65 kilometers, after Easter service at the church where we met.