Biking… like the Dutch?

In fact, I have a sort of ‘Dutch’ view of the whole bicycle thing. Its just a great device for getting around. (Jonathan/Skinny Daily Post, “Wheeling and Dealing“)

I’ve recently started biking. I’m all stationary right now, because unlike Jonathan, cold and windy weather is a big deterrant for me. That and the fact that, quite frankly, I have to work up to the level of fitness where I can ride outdoors for any distance comfortably. Winter is good for little if not training for spring and summer outdoor activities.

I haven’t run in a couple of weeks. I should really be alternating my hard biking days with running, but my running seems… hard. Unfocused. Hell, if I add in some swimming, though, I could be the world’s crappiest triathlon participant.

I like biking. In part this is because I can multitask–I can read textbooks, articles, and novels while I’m on the stationary, which makes the time pass easier. I mean, I can only enjoy the passing eyecandy so long, right? (Although the eyecandy really ain’t bad.) Being able to read also takes some of the sting out of the “lost” homework time, although I’ve taken to reading novels moreso than journal articles.

Come nicer weather, though, I plan for outdoor biking to become a transportation and fitness device. Like in running, I’m not interested in competing (triathlon jokes aside) or even reaching what should be ideal speed/stamina goals for women my age. I may never be able to run an 8-minute mile, but that’s not my goal. Likewise, I may never be able to complete the Hilly Hundred, but if I can ride my mountain bike the handful of miles to the nearest big park (or grocery store, or theater, etc.) without having an asthma attack or taking all day (or getting hit!), I’ll have met my goal of general fitness.

Fitness defined by real abilities. That was something left unexplored when I ran more regularly; I ran more because I enjoyed it and because I wanted to be able to have stamina than because I predicted that I would one day be chased by a big bar (that’s “bear” for the uncountry) and need to run for dear life. I’m certainly not knocking that, and I don’t plan to give up on running quite yet, but the difference does give me more focus in biking.

Fitness defined by real usage and abilities. Shouldn’t be such a foreign concept in this day and age. I’m not all about spending afternoons in the gym; that shit’s boring. Give me sunshine and wind any day.