Month: June 2015

Bicycling Lessons II

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.

The Bonk

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.


Wedding Bliss

I have stated before that a wedding is one of two top events ever in a person’s life. Two weeks ago, my only daughter was married to a nice gentleman in the best wedding ceremony and celebration ever. First, Congratulations are in order. Thank you, Thank you very much (spoken like a true Elvis impersonator).

That day was the happiest experience for us. Families and friends flew from all over the world and the United States and whoa – it was hard to describe the feeling!

Weddings are truly special – did you know that the New Testament starts with a wedding  (where Jesus did His first miracle of turning water into wine) and ends with a wedding? Yup – it’s that special.

The planning started 18 months ago. I was thinking why take all this time?! Believe me that’s just perfect time to prepare a well thought out wedding. The bride and groom worked together to produce the event of a lifetime but the bride has a heavier workload: wedding dresses takes months to be made and fitted properly, too many choices in flowers and color of attires for the bridesmaid, etc.

The last few weeks were intense, and the last few days was hectic and intense. The experience was like a maiden giving birth: All the pain and suffering quickly forgotten when the baby was born. When the ceremony started, all the pain was gone!

The ceremony itself was the best I’ve seen. Am I biased? No – I’ve never seen a better pair of wedding vows anywhere else and I was in quite a few weddings.

Personally I was very stressed out because I have three things to do: Walking with the bride, a short speech and a dance with the bride. I prepared heavily for the speech but not much for the other two. Tip to future father of the brides: Prepare for all three.

Now that it is over, the memories are still vivid. We have been to a few places and experienced a few events but this one top it all because of the presence of many friends and families. I think the memories will linger for the rest of our lives. Did you notice that as you grow older most of the things you remember are the happy ones? If you still remember unpleasant memories, take it out of your system by replacing it with the best ones. You will be happier.

Yes, weddings are in the top two of the happiest events in our lives, probably topped only by the birth of a child.

I was so happy my wife and I even danced on the dance floor and in the limo bus on the way home from the ceremony. We haven’t danced in decades!

Yup, it’s that special!