Sunday, April 6, 2008
Every Long Trip Starts With the First Step.
Is there a more sedentary pursuit than motorcycle touring? There is opportunity for occasional rushes of adrenaline, and you may feel a lot of aches and pains the next day, but let's face it, you are not getting any exercise on a bike. Think about how very still you are on a bike? And we do this for 6-8-10-12 hours at a stretch, nary moving a muscle. A couple of seasons ago, I took to stretching more at gas breaks, rather than setting Indy records for quickest fill up and take off. This helped somewhat with sore achy knees, back and neck. The better shape you are in off the bike, the more comfortable those long days in the saddle are going to be.
This is my 10th season of riding, I've logged over 100,000 miles in that time. That is a lot of sitting around, compounded by a 40/hr a week sitting around job, along with 2 hours a day commuting...the only thing I'm in shape to do is mouse on the computer.
Thankfully I've not let myself go completely, but I'm beginning to get bothered by the 40 something aging thing, and my sedate lifestyle does not feel healthy. When I scored a job close by my home, I knew I wanted to ride my bicycle to work. Oh, I don't have a bicycle. Nor have I ridden a bike in 15 years. But I do remember fondly my younger years of bicycle enthusiasm. Never a competitive thing, just a get out of the house and tool around town thing.
Some times the Nike commercials are right you've got to just DO IT. I went to the bicycle shop last weekend. I had a nice salesman who listened to my requirements and hooked me up with a fairly entry level hybrid Trek bike. We brought it home this week , and I've been out on it a couple of times. I'd guess I'm a month of practice away from riding it to work. But I know the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Maybe I could only do two laps around the condo complex first time out. That's ok, the first time I rode my motorcycle, I went to the end of the cul-de-sac and dropped it! Where you start is not important. What is important is that if you want to accomplish something is that you do start, set some goals for yourself, and remember that you've overcome challenges before. I've ridden thousands of miles around this country, surely I can pedal 7 miles to work.