After years and years of perfect neglect, I finally got my bike out of storage a week ago and filled the tires. Realizing the seat needed adjusting and the steering thingy pointed a little to the left, I decided not to give a damn and hopped on and rode off into the sunset. And it was lovely - the unexpected pain in the thighs when riding uphill, the sudden exhilarating freedom from it when the ground leveled, and the fear of losing control when accelerating downhill. (I hit the breaks. Yes, I'm a wuss.)
Since then, two things have happened: my muscles have conformed to the pain, and I've had to get onto my bike almost daily.
I used to be a walker. I even talked about my excessive walking last fall in another WIP article. Now it seems that biking is taking over. Biking seems somehow lighter an exercise than walking - although a quick Internet search has just told me that biking requires over twice more energy.
Here are some benefits of biking:
- It feels light - so light in fact that taking detours and seeing your neighborhood and beyond feels like having fun.
- You get from A to B faster.
- You get fresh air.
- You get a nice exercise.
- You move at a slightly elevated altitude, so you see new things.
- Even a moderate speed allows you to get refreshing wind on your face.
- You'll create no carbon emissions by riding a bike.
- If you can't move around in public transport at the moment (or any moment), a bike will get you far enough.
- If you can't see your friends at the moment, your bike will be your friend.
So biking is great, but the question remains: how much biking is healthy? Is there a physical limit?
And perhaps more importantly, if you feel like you have to ride your bike every day, what makes a healthy hobby different from an unhealthy obsession?