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fitness competition
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lance armstrong
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cyclists
Invest In A Bike, Good For The Body, Balm For The Soul
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Invest In A Bike, Good for the Body, Balm for the Soul

One of the things I like about cycling is the equitable character of the activity. Huge disparities of wealth are less obvious amongst cyclists than in many other walks of life. Of course a serious cyclist may well ride a machine many others couldn’t afford but unless he operates as an elite racer, chances are he will perform no better than many other cyclists riding machines which cost a fraction of the price. You see, unlike other walks of life where a gap exist between people, in cycling the measurements are less superficial than, “just how much did your bike cost.”

Once astride your machine the gap between you and another cyclist, who in his other life may receive a banker’s bonus each year, is marginal and for the most part irrelevant. How and why you each ride will most likely have a common thread whether it’s for fitness, competition or just the sheer pleasure of near silent and efficient movement. The exception to this may be someone who has to travel by bicycle because he cannot afford a car, or doesn’t drive but all cyclists realise or are at least aware, that by riding a bike they are stating that they can travel without leaving a noticeable carbon footprint.

Okay, we’ve decided that cycling is good for the planet, good for personal fitness as well as balm for the soul. But if you’re not super young, super fit and super competitive, how do you maintain the pleasure and avoid the boredom that can come with any repetitive activity? For me variety is the key. Depending on my mood, my bike can be a means to explore suburban streets in a little known area of my home city, or where I can imagine I am Lance Armstrong, maybe even my heroic fellow Scots the unrelated Millars, Robert and David, and adopt a posture that implies I can keep my place in any peleton and pump my legs in a steady cadence for a couple of hours along a relatively flat area of the country. Alternatively, I’ll indulge myself from time to time, stick my bike in the car and head off to another part of the country to then explore on two wheels. I know this is contradictory to my earlier statements about my carbon footprint but if it encourages me to keep biking as opposed to becoming bored and reverting to the internal combustion engine all the time, then it seems a not unreasonable trade off.

If you don’t have one already, go invest in a bicycle and feel good about yourself. Use eBay or if you prefer a conventional retailer who may offer you valuable advice when making your selection. But whether you pay $80 or $3,500 for your machine, you are only as good as the motivation that takes you off the sofa and into the saddle.


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