Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back in the bike saddle

The bicycle is a curious vehicle.  Its passenger is its engine.  ~John Howard

Everything changed in the spring of 1998. A 10 year-old red Toyota Tercel came into my life. For the first time in 26 years, I owned a car. Biking, walking and public transportation were no longer the primary modes of transportation. Grocery shopping, visiting friends and getting to work was easier, faster and less sweaty.  On the flipside, I no longer benefited from the exercise of getting from one place to another. After acquiring a car, my bike was no longer a way to get around; it was an option for recreational activity.

Truth be told, I never counted walking to the store or riding my bike to work as an actual workout or worth tracking for dieting purpose since it was so effortless. I found out this weekend, that I took that day-to-day activity for granted.

I haven’t been on a bicycle since my first pregnancy four years ago. You never forget how to ride a bicycle, but I was very surprised at how difficult it was to pedal the darn thing less than a kilometer after a four-year absence.  My toddler lost his hat during a walk on Sunday and I hopped on my husband’s hybrid mountain bike to find it.

Once in the saddle, everything felt wobbly; the bike itself, my arms and legs. The back tire seemed to be melting into the road (Flat tire? No, that's me, I'm just heavy) and I was painfully aware of the diminished squeezing ability of my gluteus maximus. This little 10-minute bike ride on flat terrain induced beads of sweat on my forehead and under the helmet.

I can’t believe I allowed myself get to this point, so overweight and so out-of-shape. But, I have to look forward not back and spend more time on a bike saddle tightening my a**!

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