My husband is an avid biker. He has all the gear, a nice bike, and can ride for tens of miles at a time…fast. For years he has tried to get me to ride a bike but I did not want to do it out in public!
I am a couch potato.
“What if I fall? Right in the middle of an intersection surrounded by traffic”? Last time I rode a bike, I keeled over in the grassy area by the sidewalk while going up a long hill as traffic passed by. I’m sure glad I wasn’t in dire need of assistance because no one was stopping!
“If I break a bone I will be out of a job for several weeks”.
“My bike is too clunky and heavy”.
“You go too fast and I will never keep up so what is the point?” were my responses too many times.
The real excuse was I just don’t like to exercise and I don’t like the feeling of my heart pounding out of my chest, face, and fingers when I exert myself.
The real reason was fear.
I wasn’t actually looking, I mean, that definitely wasn’t a priority, but this summer I happened upon a bike for sale on the local Facebook marketplace. I knew enough about bikes to know it was a good brand and a little research online found the exact same bike for $350, new. It was selling for $25. Too good to be true? I went to look at it and although it had obviously been in an accident as it had numerous scratches, the tires were almost new. It also had some rust on the handlebars. I took pictures and sent them to my husband to look over and he thought it looked like it needed very little work to get it in good shape so I bought it. I couldn’t believe that I was excited!
I found a neat little trick to get rid of the rust using vinegar and aluminum foil.
The vinegar prepares the rust for easy removal and the wet aluminum foil is balled up and used to rub the rust off with very little effort. It took about 10 minutes and looked great as I finished the job with a little bit of car wax for protection.
Marty had to replace a brake cable and do a tune up, and after I bought a good helmet and a pair of cargo shorts to hold my phone so I could use an app to map and track my miles, I was ready to go.
It’s funny how motivated and prepared you are when the time is right and you actually want to do something. Sometimes everything just seems to fall together to make the wheels turn.
I’ve been riding two or three times a week now, by myself, for two months and can honestly say I enjoy it. Not only do I get some good cardio but it is easy to see my progress, not like walking or running on the treadmill where I never go anywhere.
When you ride a bike you notice things you might not when you are in a car or walking because any little thing on the road or around you can potentially become a hazard; sticks, rocks, cut grass, leaves, animals, holes in the road, cracks in the pavement, and distracted drivers all could cause an accident if I am not paying attention to my surroundings, and because of this hyper-vigilance, I get to see the world from a different perspective.
Flowers, trees, other riders and walkers, fresh air, smoky air, children playing, homeless on the street corner, dogs running and barking, Prairie Dogs along the trail, snakes on the sidewalk, neighborhoods I’ve never been in before, birds singing, and sunshine on my shoulders. And the wind. Sometimes it’s for me and sometimes it’s working against me, but it’s all good for a better workout and an enjoyable experience that takes my mind off my fear of getting hurt because I’m proactively preventing it.
There’s something cathartic about a physical purge through strenuous activity. It cleanses the mind and body and even the spirit when I use that time to commune with the Lord while I’m riding. I listen to Christian music from my phone and can praise God the whole time. I pray. I love it.
Recently I read that exercise can help to prevent Alzheimers which my Mother suffered and died from last November. God certainly does work in mysterious ways. I love Him.
May I always listen.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.