One of the great joys of cycling is being free to roam the open roads if one so chooses and this is something that we should never take for granted in this City or for that matter Australia. We are truly a blessed City and Nation to be able to experience such freedom. Another aspect of the joys of cycling is other people of like mindedness that you can meet on the road any where at anytime. Everyone is a great achiever because they have made the step of “having a go” a great Aussie tradition and legacy of our fore fathers.
When coming across what is evident of a rider that is new to the experience when you come up beside them the conversations usually go something like this . The shocked rider who has slowed down might well be thinking and hoping that you will keep going and not spoil the moment of courage it may well have taken to be sharing the road with other vehicles, After assuring that you are happy to ride at their pace for a while and have no motive but to share a moment in time. The speed might pick up again but not to the point where conversation is not undertaken with ease. “G’day how are you going?” response “Oh hec where did you come from?” “I am not as good or fit as you must be” which now opens up a wider conversation to address their perception.
Fitness is all a matter of perception for the person seeking to make a comparison. What is the measure of fitness? It is like the preverbal piece of string and how long is it. For most there are set targets of speed distance time and ability to recover. No matter how fit we might think we are there will be that humbling moment when someone will pass us as if we are standing still. Even those at elite level and extremely fit will have others that on the day are just that much fitter or suited to that days ride.
At the other end of the spectrum it could be as simple as I am doing something I have never done before and I am prepared to increase this slowly until I find a level of confidence and sustained enjoyment. The very fact of getting out and having a go is an increase in fitness of the mind body and soul. Anything that is a change or improvement is increasing our fitness and for some this will be baby steps and for others it can be quantum leaps. Which one is fitter? The person who is taking baby steps may just as well be exerting as much energy and anguish as the quantum leaper who can be a judge of this?
Next time you have a weird grey headed wacko come up beside you on the road please don’t be in a state of fear, it could well be me just wanting to applaud your efforts of increasing your level of fitness. The age of the bike the shape and size of the motor and the outer clothing has nothing to be concerned about if you are enjoying the moment and contributing to your longevity of health and well being.
In the great words of Lance Armstrong’s first book title after his battle with cancer, “It is not about the bike” anything that increases our cardiovascular anaerobic and aerobic capacity and make an improvement to our health is to be applauded and encouraged. While this can be achieved many ways cycling is a great low impact way that you can cover a reasonable distance and go and see places and meet people.
See you on the road soon God willing