Two posts ago (if you are new to this blog) is about lessons learned from Bicycling.
I could think of a long list of lessons from riding bicycles but I want to bring it out in a shorter post so my dear readers won’t feel like they’re riding uphill trying to read a very long article.
To make it more enjoyable and feels like riding in a slow but good pace, I separated the lessons into several parts. This is the second one and I hope to write at least three more.
One day too long ago I decided to join a group ride to gauge my fitness against other riders. I don’t know exactly who joins these rides but I know that most of them are pretty fast. About seven miles into the ride I was surprised I can still keep up with them.
I used a long downhill to overtake most of the riders in the front of the peloton. My secret? I weigh more than most of the people riding so my weight carried me down fast.
Three more miles down the road there was another downhill so I was still keeping up and still surprised about my fitness. Then they suddenly turned on the afterburners, and guess what? They quickly distanced me in an unfamiliar area of town.
I decided to go back the way I came from, but for some reason I got confused and kept on riding back and forth and keep on ending up in the same place. I didn’t know that my blood sugar is now low and I could not think straight.
I didn’t know it then but I was suffering from the “bonk”.
In cycling, a “bonk” when a rider forget to eat after more than an hour of intense riding, the body runs out of fuel and the rider feels unable to produce energy and sometimes even disoriented.
Lesson: Always have water when riding especially when it is a hot day. Make sure you have small snacks that can consistently fuel your body for the energy required for the ride.
The Right Stuff
Riding is oftentimes a pleasurable activity – until you have a mechanical breakdown. I have never experienced a mechanical breakdown except flat tires – which are relatively easy to fix with practice.
Apart from divine protection, I credit it also to my equipment. I only buy mid to top of the line bicycle frame and parts and maintain it regularly. I also have a professional bike shop do a full tune up about once a year.
If a bike is more expensive, does that mean it’s more reliable? Not necessarily. I did a lot of research – hundreds of hours before I settle on what bicycle to buy.
Lesson: Go for reliability and durability first over trendy designs. Maintain and clean bicycle often. Make sure the bicycle fits you properly.
Are you wondering what happened to me in the bonk story? I found a vending machine – drank Coke, and my blood sugar level increased temporarily. My mind cleared enough that I was able to hail a taxi and went home – my bike happily resting in the trunk.