I ENJOY SIMPLICITY. And the bicycle is the simplest of
machines, yet it provides so many benefits. For me the bike is a freedom
machine. When I get on it and ride, it might as well be a space ship going on
some new adventure. The most fun rides are those where my destination is
unknown and I have no time limits.
Of course, I also have some practical uses for the bicycle as well. I run errands on it, and it’s my main piece of health and fitness equipment. It’s important to me to get out there and crank it up; get my heart rate up, push myself past my comfort zone. That’s a big part of how I achieve fitness.
Some folks like to race. Criterium, or crit races, are run on short courses and often held on closed off city streets. They’re fast and furious and often filled with passionate younger riders—for obvious reasons. There are also road races. Road racing began as an organized sport in 1868, and has gotten quite diverse and competitive over the past 150 years. There are many levels of road races, and you’ll find competitors of all ages. And then there’s cyclocross. Cyclocross racing is wild and wacky, fun and strenuous, fast and competitive. I've never done it, but it looks like a blast!
Every cyclist has her favorite thing to do on a bike and her favorite reason for cycling. Here are just a few reasons that people of all ages like to get out and pedal:
- to free the mind and heal the psyche
- to burn calories
- to commute to work
- to tour the world
- to share quality family time
- to promote health and fitness
- to spend a week in France (or California) touring the vineyards
- to explore neighborhoods
- to spend time in the outdoors
- to get their adventure fix
- to get rid of their gas guzzler
- to discover new like-minded friends
- to ride far, as in Rando or RAAM
- and even to tow their kayak to the river
There are many ways to have fun on a bicycle, and everyone has their own favorite part of cycling. When I was first getting serious about cycling as an “older guy”, a friend of mine told me, cycling is a beautiful thing, you can make it anything you want it to be. He was right! It’s one of the most versatile sports I can think of. So grab a bike and start crankin’! And remember this: it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.