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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Commuting and all the excuses

   Last night I went to a meeting of our local bike club and there was one incident of note.  During our self introductions one of the members introduced himself as the ride captain for the 12-14mph group and said that he had been at the Wednesday ride for weeks and found nobody to ride with.  I told them all that I would now start coming since I knew there was somebody I could draft.  That brought an hilarious burst of laughter from the  group.  I really wasn't kidding that much.  I can ride faster, even reasonably fast...when I want, the wind is right and it's all down hill that is.   
   The situation is a reoccurring theme at club rides and made me wonder about the preoccupation club riders have with going fast.  Most ride once or twice a week for both the social value and fitness, that's good.  Very few club riders actually ride on a daily basis,that's bad.  Few commute, and even fewer use their bike for other utilitarian needs.  I've learned to ride a slower cadence from years of riding in traffic and touring.   I may ride slower than the spandex hamsters but only because I have learned to ride all day, day after day.   The typical club member blasts his arteries to bits for an hour and a half once, maybe a couple times a week, and calls that exercise.  Most don't commute and there is a list of excuses.   The common is that they really don't "get into junk mileage,"they have no place to store their bike,  their bike is too expensive, the tires aren't suitable, and my all time favorite...there are no showers at work.
    The simple and somewhat narrow minded preoccupation with speed keeps a lot of people from reaching their fitness goals.   All the trainers and professional athletes I have dealt with agree that a little daily work is more productive than a lot once or twice a week.  That makes the "junk miles," as many refer to them, more productive than the sprints and adrenaline rush they get on their weekly jaunts.
    Nobody in their right mind would ride a $4599 carbon fiber crotch rocket in daily traffic, let alone lock it to the gas pipe outside the building. 

 If you can afford that, doesn't it make sense to spend $1000 on a bike suitable and comfortable to ride in traffic,

 a bike that will actually pay for itself by replacing some of the auto use?   
Wouldn't it be nice if more people commuted and you could meet new people and converse at stop lights and intersection rather than being locked up in a steel cocoon all the way?
These people seem to think so...

and somehow I doubt that all their employers have showers at work.  I've commuted to work for years and worked in the management of several industries, both with the public and not.  I've never needed any  more than a small bottle of deodorant talc to freshen up when I arrive and usually not that.
   On hot summer mornings, I might work up a sweat and need to carry a fresh shirt to change but an used spice bottle filled with talc came in handy and was all I really needed.
       You really don't have to make your blood boil to enjoy the sport.  In fact, I looked one time and none of the owners manuals for any bike I owned said anything about minimum cadence, heart rate, wattage or calories.   It can just be fun.


  1. Today, I was forced to fire up the car for the first time in 16 days. I have no idea how much money I save in fuel costs. I don't know why but is very easy to get sucked into the need for speed.

  2. That's interesting, earlier this summer I came out of my condo to find a note on the windshield asking if the car could be driven at all. Apparantly the neighbors thought I had occupied the "prime" parking spot so long they thought the car was broken. I actually didn't drive for nearly a month. They were shocked that I just moved it to a more distant spot for their convenience.