Sometimes it all just comes together and you’re at one with the bike. This Saturday was one of those times. It is when you feel “at one” with the bike – no longer sitting on a collection of odd man made components connected by metal tubes and cables. No, instead it is almost an extension of you and it is working with you, not against you. This then has to be my latest Rule of Saturday Cycling – to be at one with your bike, man.
Here’s a few more thoughts on this:
- As I’m also a runner I know very well the feeling when everything comes together. It’s when you run that extra bit faster, pushing yourself further but not too far. You handle the rough ground, the hills and the distance with a bit more ease. Each step feels well balanced, well placed and you’re aware of your body and what it’s doing. It’s almost a deeper understanding of how your body is designed and made and how it all fits together
- For a cyclist, the first step in being “at one” is to make sure your bike fits you well. A poorly fitting bike will not bring out the best in you, you will instead feel awkward on the bike and can lead to being uncomfortable or even strains or injuries. Owning nicely fitting bike is a wonderful thing and sometimes takes a while to get it just right. It becomes an efficient machine, using the energy you give it into moving forward and having the right “feel” as it handles the speed really well.
- You listen to the rhythm of your breathing, particularly when going up a hill. It’s a good constant pace and not gasping at all. You can feel your heart rate is rising and blood being pumped around through every tiny blood vessel. You’re feeling in good shape.
- You look at your shadow as you cycle along, you are living and working with the bike. You can see your arms and shoulders pulling on the handlebars, you feel those upper body muscles working nicely, each playing its part. You get reminded how so many muscles are involved in cycling, not just your upper leg muscles. This is another example of it “all coming together”
- The hill gets steeper and the top is in reach. You have a decision, a choice of changing into a lower gear or standing on the pedals instead. Standing wins and the bike sways a little from side to side in a different rhythm. Each downward push on the pedals directly pushes the bike forwards and then you’re at the top. What a feeling!
So there you are, another great ride on a Saturday. So far each of my Saturday rides has been so different and this little series is nearly complete; I have no idea what will happen next Saturday but I can tell you these different “rules” is a reminder for me on the wonderful benefits of riding a bike.