It’s Just Like Riding a Bike
October 6, 2012
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You never forget.
I’ve purchased a mountain bike to augment another hobby of mine, geocaching. The feeling of necessity with this purchase is because I have to map trails for an upcoming event and I don’t feel like walking all the trails to get the tracks in my GPS. Riding a bike would be much more expedient.
I’m no stranger to bike riding. As a kid, that’s all I would do. I had BMX bikes and road bikes. Then I started driving because it was much less expedient to go somewhere on a bike. Funny how that’s fitting together now. But anyway, when I started driving, biking became a very distant memory.
But nearly 15 years ago, I got the urge to start riding a bike again. So I went to a local bike shop or two and shopped bikes. I ended up with a nice racing road bike, about $350 worth of bike. And I’ll never forget that first ride.
It’s true, you don’t forget how to ride a bike. But you do forget what kind of effort and stamina it takes to ride a bike, especially when you’ve been driving everywhere and have a desk job. That first ride on that road bike kicked my ass. It kicked my ass to the point that I had to walk the bike back home and then spend about 20 minutes on the floor of the bathroom, balancing on the verge of puking. My riding experiences since then were a bit more subdued. Then I got into a relationship and biking because less frequent since it was a solo activity. The road bike was eventually given away.
And now, in a new, healthier, more active relationship, I buy a new bike. And on my first ride, I realize I had again forgotten the effort it took to ride a bike. This, combined with unpaved trails and slightly underinflated tires made my progress difficult. But, I did manage 3 miles as a maiden voyage and neither the bike nor my legs failed. Bravo for me.
One interesting thing I noticed on my ride is that there is no shortcut in effort expended. Although I covered a lot more ground in a lot less time on the bike, I expended as much energy as if I hiked it. I’ll be curious to see if that holds true as my leg muscles regain their mass from the good ‘ol days of my youth when I’d ride everywhere.