Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lubbock on a Bike June Update and an Idea for the Baddest of Cyclists

In the National Bike Challenge, Spencer kicked my butt all over the place in June. I started strong and then started working out of town and... Let's just say it wasn't pretty. Man, I want a folding bike to take with me on trips. (Stupid snagging consumerism that rises in me like a kraken or a phoenix or a helium balloon!) The red circles are the days I rode in June:

I will try for better in July!
So there I was pedaling my way to work this morning while my two cycling mantras kept cycling through my head: Don't push harder, but definitely keep pushing! and Just keep swimming swimming swimming. (I channel my inner Ellen/Dori for help on that one.) I was my riding my 25-year-old mountain bike that switches gears like a cranky old man. I was thinking of how much easier it is to ride a modern bike with modern drivetrain components. Then I started thinking about the exercise I get from riding. Unlike most workout programs, it does not get progressively harder. With small adjustments for wind and temperature, it's pretty much the same workout each day.
So I thought of what I could do when I want to take my workout up a notch. Two possibilities came to mind: pick a different route or pick a less efficient bike to ride. Then I thought of serious road bikers who often spend massive amounts of money to get lighter and easier-to-pedal bikes. I think they are doing it all wrong! If you want a better workout or to prove that you are one seriously bad mamma jamma, you need to go road riding on this:
A $79 dollar cruiser
Maybe it's time to start a new racing series. Require everyone to ride the same crappy bike with a single speed, coaster brakes, and balloon tires. We can be sympathetic to a few ergonomic changes - the seat and handlebars could be changed. We can also allow upgraded tubes for the sake of reliability. Otherwise, let's level the playing field and make it about just the rider and not about the rider's budget. We could call it Tour de Work-Your-Butt-Off and market it to those who have something to prove.
Maybe then the serious cyclists will put their high-dollar road bikes up for sale (cheap!!!) so that those of us who can barely manage a five-mile commute to work can buy used bikes that are lighter and easier to pedal.
May you definitely keep pushing and leave your car at home!