This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

About fringe benefits

After a week of nearly constant rain and storms, I was feeling a little lethargic yesterday.  For most of the week I was reduced completely to utilitarian riding.  I took no side trips, nothing for recreation or just plain fun.  This weekend the weather is perfect.  Little or no wind and bright sunny skies with temps in the 70's.  After completing some paperwork, I took the Hunq out for a nice ride.  Feeling a little sluggish after days inside, I decided to just ride at a comfortable pace and not try to accomplish anything but enjoy the day.
After running by the post office, I decided to take one of my favorite pleasure rides.  I take MUP from downtown out towards the Kal-Haven trail which continues on to the Lake Michigan shore.  I had no intention to go that far but enjoyed a few miles of the trail along with other users.

Turning off the trail at a small town of Alamo I circled back on a regular road (D Ave) to ride across the north end of town.  The road brings me back to the other end of the MUP at the Kalamazoo nature center.
As I rode, I began to feel more energized and actually got out of the saddle to challenge a couple of hills.  Lethargy started to give way to interest.  Interest in the spring like weather, turtles groping their way across the road in their annual trek to lay eggs, birdsong everywhere.  It reminded me of the great fringe benefits of the sport, one of which is the mild endorphin rush one receives from regular exercise.  Physiologists and psychologists agree that regular exercise has a tremendous effect on mood and is one of the best ways to fight depression.  I wonder where I might have ended after the past 15 years without cycling and weight training.  During that time I found myself abandoning a promising corporate career when I became a full time single father.  The reduction in income, professional notoriety and social life could have been devastating had I spent my time going from couch to car to bed as normal Americans do.  Instead of slumping into therapy and depending upon pharmaceuticals, I enjoyed my daily endorphin rush and the renewed vigor that a little bit of physical challenge brings.  Now rather than struggling with deterioration as many people my age, I just see years of activity and adventures ahead.
Enough of the "Road Less Travelled" reverie, I was approaching the entrance to the MUP which provides this interesting

roller coaster ride through acres of forest back into the river valley and the city.  After a break and a cold beer at the local brew pub.  I was ready for the afternoon.
Yep, beats the crap out of prozac.

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