Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shape Up!

I've been riding more in the last two months than I have for about two years. Since I work at home, I don't ride to commute, and errands to the store or post office are usually short and not at all physically demanding. However, for the last couple of months, I've been making a regular four mile mini-commute once a week to volunteer at my local historical society, and I've been trying to do a Sunday ride even if I don't get on the Down Townies morning rides. Being in San Diego, all of this involves a certain proportion of hills, or at least inclines.

Now (indulge me a moment), I've been wanting to get myself in better shape ahead of a rather significant birthday milestone, but riding my bike hasn't necessarily been a part of that, it's just been my way of getting around. However, I made the happy discovery the other day that I've lost seven pounds. I've never needed to lose weight, really, and I think seven pounds is about all I would like to lose (in fact, I'd like to gain a couple back), but I attribute it all to my riding, even just the relatively small amount I do each week.

The point (which isn't just pure narcissism, I swear), is that the health benefits of riding a bicycle accrue even if you're only huffing around on an old three-speed bike a few miles a week. Indeed, pedaling forty pounds of British steel (or American, Canadian, etc.) around is a sure way to firm up those thighs. So, don't let anyone tell you that you need a fancy new bike to get the exercise benefits of riding a bicycle, or that you have to launch yourself on epic treks in stretchy shorts. Any amount of riding, on any bicycle, in any clothing will make you healthier. Ride more, feel better, get healthy, ride more. It's a sweet cycle.

SOURCE: old Sturmey-Archer advert here.


  1. I'll say "Amen" to that--especially since I'm in the choir. Well said, Sir.

  2. Yep. My older bikes weigh 51, 41 and 27 pounds. I could get lighter bikes but then I wouldn't get as much exercise.

  3. The main thing is to just get out there. Good Job!

  4. Dunno if I would let the secret out of the bag...I want to make people think I pained for the gain ;-)