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CYCLING: Falling in love with your bike is a great thing.

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

Bike! My first thought is a scene from the iconic movie, The Goonies. (Yes, I was an 80's kid.) I am immediately transported back to the bike scene, where the Goonies head out on their tattered bikes, careening through majestic Ecola State Park coastline roadway only to be interrupted by the picturesque Cannon Beach Rocks, which invariably take them to their next adventurous treasure map location and the infinite possibilities that lay before them with that discovery. Of course, none of this would have happened without their bikes.



I love my bike. I love cycling. I enjoy swimming and running, also. But cycling and I have our own thing. (Please don't tell swimming and running about it.) As a kid of the 80s, my bike time was never a scheduled event. My bike was my life. An escape. Independent mobility. It took me to undiscovered locations and great times with fellow travelers.


So why do I love cycling? Unlike running and swimming. I get to be a kid. I get to pop wheelies, jump mounds of dirt, get muddy, go fast, and go ridiculously fast downhill. The ridiculously fast maybe even more exhilarating as an adult than it was when I was a kid because now I am supposed to be responsible.


Don't get me wrong. I like swimming and running, and they do have their kid moments. But I haven't found too many adults that are willing to play freeze tag, dodge ball, or sharks and minnows lately. Maybe I am just hanging out with the wrong crowd, but mostly I don't want to either. There are great running groups and social events for running and I do enjoy these very much, but there's still an element of structure to it all. But what about trail running, hiking, and adventure runs, you say? I agree, there is some kid stuff going on there, but I will save that topic for another day.


My bike still takes me far away to new and exciting places. Sometimes my rides are solitary and introspective, and at other times they are fantastic assemblages of friendship and joy. Either way, I am a kid at play.


As an adult, many of our activities become structured and merely get placed into a long list of to-dos and must do's. We categorize our lives into work activity, fundraiser activity, exercise, carpooling, shopping, and so on. As children we never exercised, we played. Yes, our to-do lists were smaller then, but we have also forgotten, or forget to play. Purpose-driven lives, gone awry. We forget to play, which often created the drudgery of exercise.


As a lifelong swimmer, bike riding, running around kid, I never thought riding my bike would be something that would need to be scheduled into a day planner. Sadly, after 16 and a driver's license, I left my two-wheeled friend to whither and rust in my parent's garage. After the three C's (college, career, children) I was reintroduced to my bike, by a 60-year-old kid. The reunion has manifested into housing six bikes because there are so many more places and ways to ride a bike now. More than I could have ever dreamed of as a kid.


Even if the idea of riding a bike doesn't grab you the way it has me, remember to allow yourself to go out and play daily. Make it an exercise in disguised exercising.


Here are some great ways to go play on your bike:

  • Commute Cycling

  • Rail Trail Rides

  • Road Cycling

  • BMX

  • Mountain/ Trail Cycling

  • Cyclocross

  • Downhill

  • Fat Tire snow bikes

  • ...and whatever you come up with

If you are an avid cyclist and bike rider, I say, "keep on ridin' kid!" But if you're not, and are interested, there are so many resources in your area. Start by utilizing the resources listed above.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Steve Grant is the owner and founder of Rum Doodle Racing. He is a trained cardiovascular perfusionist and level II certified Master's swim instructor.

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