Thursday, May 17, 2012

I Love To Bike

This is to complement my I Hate Training post. Because I may hate training, but I love riding my bike.

Even when the weather's not perfect. Even when there are careless cars and homicidal taxi cabs as far as the eye can see, and the path is clogged with joggers and rollerbladers. Even when I'm tired and feeling lazy. Even when I get a flat. Even when I can't get comfortable on the seat or get my right foot to situate itself properly on the pedal (my right foot does not want to exist on a pedal, it seems), and even though I can't carry anything because of my lack of baskets. Even when there's wind, and even when there's not wind but it still feels like an effort. Even when there's no available place to lock up near my office building and I have to wander around hunting for a free spot on a bike rack. Even when my hands ache and I have to massage them at every stop light.

Even on days I don't feel like getting on a bike, I love to bike.

I love it. I love love love it and I can't imagine why anyone would prefer sitting in a car or a train when they could be zooming along on two wheels. I mean, it probably helps that I live in a very, very aesthetically pleasing city, with a decent bit of bike infrastructure. And the weather has been insanely good for months now. But that just tells me that all the people I see in cars are crazy to not enjoy the bike-friendliness that is there for the taking.

I do promise not to become some kind of bikevangelist, though. Those people are annoying as hell. No preaching from me, and if you catch me at it, you can totally slap my wrist and say Bad biker! But it's an experience not unlike drinking, say, your standard too-weak Folgers-in-a-can all your life, and then one day tasting a really fresh, perfectly brewed, wonderful coffee. I'll offer you a cup of the good stuff when you visit and be politely aghast if you don't like it (you savage), but I won't shame you for not buying pounds of the premium beans. To each his own and may you and Folgers be very happy together, but I know what I'm stocking my coffee cupboard with, okay. But enough with the coffee analogy and back to bikes.

It's odd, but I really didn't expect to like it this much. I was just okay with it at first. And riding for training didn't make me love it. It's the bike commuting that's done it, I guess. My coworker/marathon-trainer/friend Elspeth and I were talking today about how different the simulated vs the real experiences are. For her, running outside and not on a treadmill was a big revelation - suddenly when she took it outside, running didn't feel like a chore, and she loved it, and was better at it. Ironically for me, I am better on a stationary bike than a real one (performance-wise) - but I could only start really enjoying a bike when I could use it for something other than exercise/training.

That's one of the best things to come out of this experience: I've already put in more miles of riding than a casual/recreational/weekend rider would have done in a year. It's all in the miles - the more you have behind you, the more confidence you have. Everything in the learning process was sped up for me, and I went from wobbly and uncertain to smooth and controlled in just a week or two. If not for the training, I'd still be wondering if I had the rules of the road right, and be nervous of turning tight corners, and incapable of navigating tight spaces and potholed streets.

So there. I loooooooooooooooooooooooove to bike my way around. It makes me happy. And how many forms of transportation can you say that about, huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment