Maintain your machine
It’s always important to keep your bike in clean, working order. Lubrication, good tires and routine adjustments will keep it rolling along for years. But the real machine is you. Cycling goes a long way toward maintaining your body, the real engine that puts power to the pedals. It will help you eat better, sleep well, and stay fit. Riding a bike will help you keep your blood pressure in range, and stay youthful and energized.
We all need endurance to keep going everyday. Most of us have numerous activities and chores that must be completed on schedule. Couch potatoes are typically fatigued and lethargic. They have no energy. Cyclists, on the other hand, are full of vim and vigor. Why? Because they regularly hit the road or trail to get their heart pumping, make their lungs work and keep their muscles toned. Build your endurance one day at a time. If you’re a healthy person, try pushing your limits a little everyday. Your endurance will increase and so will your energy.
Clear your mind
Riding a bike does something interesting to your head. It makes you forget about your troubles. It has a marvelous way of erasing worry and tension. Time slips by effortlessly. Cycling can turn a garbled, dark, bad mood into clear, creative thinking in just a few minutes of pedaling. Go ahead! Just try keeping the day’s frustrations in mind while you crank out ten miles.
Of course you’ll breathe. But try mindful breathing. While you’re pedaling through the neighborhood, take in purposeful, deep, lung-filling breaths. Then, blow the air out slowly. Repeat this 2 or 3 times every 15-minutes or so. You’ll be amazed at how refreshed it makes you feel.
Slow down often
The life-lessons derived from a great bike ride most often occur at a slower place. Slow down and “smell the roses” as the saying goes. If you’re not actually smelling roses maybe you’re enjoying the breeze and salt air off the ocean, or admiring that historic home in a neighboring community, or enjoying the shade and smooth pavement under a long tunnel of trees.
Learn to enjoy every minute on your bike. Take care of your head, and your heart, and your body. Look for life’s unexpected joys. Keep the faith. Hold onto hope, and open yourself up to all the lessons that riding a bike can teach you.
What interesting lessons have you learned while riding your bike?