I admit it – I like to ride a bicycle. I think that it’s good exercise and I like to get out into the fresh air. Let me say at this point that I don’t ride on roads with high traffic, as I think that it’s too dangerous. My riding is on dedicated cycleways and paths and its all about “smell the roses” along the way. A nice steady ride. None of the “head down tail up” stuff you see from the hard riding dedicated cyclists.

I recently bought a new bike and this has caused me to ask a few questions and ponder “the meaning of life”.

My old bike was bought back in about 2005 and over the years there have been many parts replaced due to to wear and tear and the occasional spill.
But – just like soft brakes on an automobile can creep up on you, many things had started to creep up on my bike without me paying much attention to them.

Let me also say that I’m not big on bike maintenance – I know that I should be – but I always seem to have too many other, more important things to do – So I adopt the “If it ain’t broke – Don’t try and fix it” approach.
I think that I did clean it once over the 12 years or so – but normally relied on the next shower of rain that I got caught in to wash it down.
After all – Its only a bike and with fairly simple mechanical components – I always gave the chain and sprockets a good dose of lubricant – what could possibly go wrong.
I would have my ride and put the bike in the shed until the next ride. All Good

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but when I finally did give it the attention it needed I was looking at replacing wheel bearings, the sprocket assembly, the chain, various wheel spokes and there was a split in the wheel rim, a buckled wheel etc etc.
Obviously just not worth spending the money to fix it when compared with the cost of a new, similar bike.
So I bought a new bike.

Now – This is where the conundrum starts

With my old bike I was riding about 60 km (38miles) and after the ride there was a fair degree of aching in the legs and I generally would feel fairly whacked. This would carry over into the next day and it was only on the third day that I was back to normal.
Now with my new bike I am riding the same distance, but with none of the aching and feeling whacked afterwards. So – obviously the old bike was in pretty poor shape and fairly inefficient – to say the least.

But I’m not getting the “workout” that I was getting before !!!

• I could try and ride faster and with more intensity – but I ride on a shared path and there is always a steady stream of pedestrians (including children and dogs) and at 67 years of age I really don’t know that I’m capable of pushing the speed.

• I could ride further – i.e. a longer ride, but do I want to commit to more time in the saddle ?

• I could look at making the bike less efficient with maybe a slight steady brake on the wheel – but this is a bit radical and probably an impractical/stupid idea!

• I could try and get in more, maybe shorter rides – but this would not make up for intensity.

I know that some people will say – buy an exercise bike or go to the gym and adjust the resistance but:-

1 – I have tried these exercise bikes and I don’t like them – I like to get out in the fresh air and see things.
2 – I’m lazy – if I’m riding a machine and get tired I will find an excuse to stop and get off – If I’m 30 km from home and get tired theres no couch nearby, it’s grit your teeth and keep going.

Mmmmmm – So it’s back to the Drawing Board

Then again ………

Maybe having an easier ride isn’t such a bad thing after all !!



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