When I was in my teens, I used to make whole bikes out of found bicycle parts. The result was always Frankenstein-like and was a source of amusement for my neighbors which called it a truck. Nevertheless, it was my bike, my handmade treasure, and a way to escape my neighborhood, albeit briefly. In that sense, it became important for my well being.
Later, during my early 30’s, I found myself bike riding again. And, like before, it wasn’t really for pleasure or exercise. When I lived in Westchester County, NY, I rode my bike, two days, to Woodstock, then a few months later, again to Kingston, NY. Both trips netted be about 200 miles on my “truck.” Yes, it was tiring, but clocking in back then at 165 lbs, I couldn’t really complain.
I’m still the same height today, but now I weigh 220 lbs and bike riding is an absolute chore. I bought a Mongoose dual suspension 29er about two weeks ago and only average about 3 miles/day. My need to escape doesn’t exist anymore as I’m finally settled in an okay place. Some of the tenants here drive me nuts and I try my best to avoid them, but still, my living situation could be worse. I could be back to being homeless.
My reason for riding these days, then, is not about seeking greener pastures, but slimming this fat gut I’ve acquired over the years. I’m diabetic now so it behooves me to lose as much weight as possible. My doctor said I’d make her a happy camper if I dropped 15 pounds or so. If my living arrangement truly drove me bananas, then losing the weight would be a walk in the park. Now, surrounded by the comforts of home (computer, flat screen TV, guitars, a keyboard, a roof over my head, a working refrigerator, etc.), I’m downright lazy. Still, I’ll give my exercise regimen a shot. What do I have to lose except this bulging gut?