So biking’s now my thing and I feel so cool just ‘coz I enter a bike shop and I immediately know what I want.
I need new LED headlights, gimme some of that reflectors, have to buy that bottle holder, need to check that gel pad for the bike chair, have to grab a pair of gloves, must see the rash-guard shirts, Shimano gears I heart you. Yeah I know my thing. I know what I want. I put the pedal to the metal of my bike.
But whenever I pass by the lobby and see myself looking like this:
I can’t help but feel like a sportier more realistic version of this:
Also, cyclists are supposed to be on their bikes all chill and super in control.
I, on the other hand, choose to chill on my bike differently.
|Step 1 – Find shade.
Step 2 – Find a bench.
Step 3 – Put feet on bike.
Step 4 – Chill.
Anyway, coolness is in the eye of the beholder. You, on the other hand, are more than welcome to disagree.
I get stares when I wait by the traffic lights. I have this vision of being all suave while dismounting my bike like I do it even in my sleep. Though I do have a feeling that if thought bubbles visibly hover overhead, I’m guessing the people who look at me actually think, “Does she have her fridge packed inside that backpack?”
So why do I keep doing this thing? Truth be told, I can’t really say it’s my sport. I only bike for leisure. If I say it’s my sport I can’t help but think that I should otherwise look like this:
I choose to be true and not be a poser. Weirdo, I am. Pro, in eating can be. Settled, it is.
But I have lots of other reasons to bike. Let me break it down for you in numbers, shall I?
1. Taipei just screams for it–get on a bike and explore me! – Taipei is a very conducive environment for biking. Bike paths, check. Very big sidewalks for pedestrians and bikers, check. Ooh lala views, check. Four seasons, check. Smog levels acceptable (maybe none?), check.
2. It makes me exercise without me knowing it – Well, actually I do know the health benefits. But the thing is, I decided to get myself a bike because I miss biking. I hop on a bike and just go to the nearest bike path or explore a potentially new bike path without even thinking about the calories I burn. I only have one rule for myself: Thou shall not bike beyond 4 hours unless it’s a weekend and can ride an MRT with my bike.
3. I feel infinite – If Sam’s thing is to listen to the tunnel song while spreading her arms ala Rose on the Titanic by the car’s sun roof, my thing is to curse WTF, anak ng katol, and all those other things that make the TV guards go bleep-bleeping footages. I can’t help but do this when I discover new paths and new scenes to behold. I do this with mouth hanging open. How to do both things at the same time is also unknown to me. All I can remember is that feeling of being free and like you were meant to be at that moment. Uplifting stuff that cannot be taken from you ever. Mind tattoo. No, maybe even soul tattoo. Was it utopia? You bet.
4. Release of natural endorphins – This post may seem like I’m currently snacking on sugar packs but actually, I think what you’re reading is still a product of my happy hormones. This is what I absolutely love about exercise. I’ll tell you a secret–living solo is fun but it can be lonely. Also, living abroad can be dangerously sad especially if you suddenly miss home or your friends or generally the life that you used to have. In a nutshell, I may look like I breeze through each day like a boss but I don’t. So the fact that I can and know how to keep myself happy naturally is a very smart thing to do. It also teaches me this very important life philosophy–only you can create your own happiness, not someone, not a thing. It’s in you. Find a way to let it run through your veins, out into the open.
5. It gives me something to look forward to – The daily grind of an eight (or more) hour job can be very boring. But biking makes every day tolerable because it means there’s somewhere to go to. Aside from the places I get to visit, biking itself makes me happy. I enjoy learning how to shift gears and how the pedal feels so smooth when you ride on 3rd gear plus the left-hand gear on the middle section. I enjoy learning about stuff that I can buy to pimp my bike for practical purposes. I love the feel of being in control when I’m on a bike and trying to balance between pedestrians (kids don’t try this on your own) and trying to get through small spaces. I can find an adventure anywhere I want.
6. It inspires me to have a balanced diet – Here’s the thing: exercise without a balanced diet for a healthier you is like biking without wheels. You won’t get anywhere. You need to have them twogether. Back when I was still jogging, I find that I only eat right before and after I jog. The meals I have in between are sometimes still the same old fatso faves. But now that I am biking, I have become more consistent naturally. Why? Because I always worry about being too heavy to bike freely. I don’t want my weight to be a hindrance to how I bike. How can I go uphill or bike fast if I’m too heavy? Ergo, veggies and fruits are now my thing. I now officially wolf down a salad with vinaigrette and cringe on caesar dressing, thank you very much.
It’s been roughly 3 weeks since I started to bike and I am loving every minute of it. I get a rush of excitement just thinking about the bike paths I am yet to try. My thighs are now rerouted off the road to cellulite fiesta. I have already shed off a few pounds. I also like the way I feel lighter and more upbeat the following day. Hopefully, the coming winter would not dampen my biking spirit.
Bike love = self love. This one’s for keeps.
|And most of all, biking gives me all these life stories that I can never ever have inside the comforts of a gym.|
The pro cyclist and mushroom photos in this post are not mine. To know their actual source, just hover on those photos and their respective sites would appear.