Biking – a way of life!

The day has been a satisfactory one, barring the extreme heat. Maybe 35 degrees on the Celsius scale is not ‘hot’ by Canberra standards but it most certainly is scorching by Auckland standards. Spring is almost out and summer is about to rear its ugly head. I am not one for extremities, be it of the emotional kind or the climate kind. Moderate is my thing, which explains why I like melons (honeydew, rockmelon, watermelon) they’re mild flavours. None of that sour pineapple for me!
Ive started biking to work again. For those of you who missed me bragging about my new bike earlier this year – well the picture is worth a thousand words. Avanti Blade Sport Fitness Bike y’all!
Cycling, apart from its obvious physical benefits (overall fitness, nice legs for summer shorts yada ya) teaches one a lot about life.
For eg. imagine you are cycling in peak hour (ok peak hour rush has a whole different meaning in Canberra, you could wait for 15 mins and the roads will be deserted again!, but for argument’s sake let’s assume that you have to bike in that 15 min interval when the human being + car count on the road is more than the fingers and toes!), cycling is very popular in Canberra, roads even have cycle lanes. You’re on the pavement, weaving your way through people and prams when suddenly there is another cyclist coming towards you, narrow pavement and you are the indecisive sort. You move right, he moves right then u change your mind – Crash!
I am the indecisive sort. And a very nervous rider. My $80 dollar second hand bike sufficed a year ago when I lived a stone’s throw from the university. However, living farther now, I bought a new bike ten times the price and to the say the least it took some effort to become moderately competent with it.
Cycling teaches you about decision making. It also teaches you patience. The first day cycling to work was all excitement. New bike, new helmet – by the time I got to work even though I didnt have an ounce of energy left I felt content! Second day – not so great. The initial excitement had been replaced by muscle fatigue and the old injured knee wasnt too pleased either. Even so, for the money spent, if not anything else I biked to work. Cycling teaches you about perseverence It is not enjoyable for a while but becomes easier with time. Much like life and this PhD!
Overcoming the pain barrier comes next. The cycle seat ain’t exactly a leather couch and so after you get past the awkward questions of ‘Why are you walking funny?’ you have to use every bit of resolve you have to ride back home! This too comes to pass in due time.
To those who will learn, it can also teach you not to procrastinate. The ride to work will take you a half hour no matter how fast you go (you can only go so fast without causing damage!) hence time management in the morning.
Last but in no way the least there’s that wonderful feeling of the wind in your hair (ok in your helmet!) and a sense of freedom, not to mention that you will be much fitter than your counterparts at 55!
I advocate cycling completely now. Thank you to my friend who took me, in spite of resistance, to buy my first bike. I owe you one!


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