Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Pedal Power-ful

I'm back on Trusty this week, and I've realised another reason why I love cycling. You thought you'd heard them all eh? How about self-sufficiency? I couldn't work out why I found returning to it after public transport so very satisfying, until I realised it sort of reminds me of the difference between pocket money and your first pay cheque. I love that I get from A to B all under my own steam. That my body is working well, the finely honed machine it was designed to be. I don't mean finely honed like an athlete, far from it. You wouldn't want to see me in skin tight Lycra. I mean finely honed in that, you know, it works. My legs get me where I need to go. Cycling reminds me how amazing we are, every cell and sinew.

I have this feeling in the same way with walking and running (still, toddler like, thinking 'look at me go!') but much much more so with a bike. I'm so fast! Bikes are a magical invention that take my paltry effort and mysteriously convert it into glorious, thrilling speed. It's like the feeding of the 5,000. I know it isn't a complicated technology, and someone cleverer than me could tell me how it works. My guess would be the equation goes:

Power in (P) + rotariness/spinnyness (R) (possibly not the correct name for the force)=(A) amazing.

There must be some variables. Time and distance or something.

I should so be a scientist.

In any case, even though I don't understand it, it doesn't feel like cheating, in the way that the bus or the tube does. Whoever invented the bicycle (apparently Ernest Michaux in 1860, though it's disputed), I salute you, you big brilliant boffin you. You blessed my life.


  1. Ooh. I feel like I'm cheating or being lazy if I ever sit in a car, hop on the tube...or even a bus (this latter one happens only very, very rarely)!

    The only way for day-to-day London travel is the bike and poo to anyone who doesn't agree!


    (p.s. I love it when people exclaim how cold I must be on the bike...only for me to inform them of how much warmer than them I actually am. It's my 'one up' on the lay people).

  2. I couldn't agree more. I most definitely do not fit the description of a high-level athlete, but the bicycle is a great equalizer. I rode my bike regularly from age four up until my middle teens. After about a twenty-five year hiatus, I returned to riding regularly. I too still get that child-like thrill when I ride and have such a sense of self-sufficiency in getting around by bike. Ride Happy!