What I Learnt From : Riding A Bike

I spent a while considering the purchase of a new bike. I’ve had a bike for around 14 years and it’s seldom been ridden since I fell off and nearly died (well, fell off and my heart rate dropped over 100 beats per minute to less than 30 in under 60 seconds).

It wasn’t necessarily that the fall put me off, but rather that I just didn’t ride anymore. A bit like if you go to a shop to buy a bag and they ask you want it in a bag, I don’t see the point in having to take a bike to a mountain by car.

So having carefully considered buying a new bike, I decided instead that I’d buy two road tyres and convert my mountain bike in to one for tarmac.

I finally plucked up the courage to get on the road. I quite rapidly remembered that my saddle was hard! Even harder when 60psi tyres pick out every single imperfection in the road surface, of which there are many.

I really enjoyed my ride. One of the things I noticed, though, was that it was a lot harder once I’d actually stopped riding. While I was moving I felt like I could go on and on. Only when I stopped did I feel it in my legs.

This isn’t actually the first time I’ve noticed this – running is also harder to restart once you’ve stopped to catch your breath than carrying on. While I’m sure that there’s probably a good reason, I don’t know it, but I wonder if there’s a lesson there that reaches further than exercise.

At least starting to ride a bike again was, well, just like riding a bike.

There are nine-million bicycles in Beijing.
That’s a fact,
It’s a thing we can’t deny,
Like that fact that I will love you ’til I die.
And there are nine-million bicycles in Beijing,
And I know that I will love you ’til I die.

9 Million Bicycles by Katie Melua

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