We bought some official Schwinn® bikes about three years ago and used them once.
Now, not unlike most of those with a bike, we use them quite frequently in an effort to not go insane and get some form of exercise. I also enjoy seeing other humans in the process, even if they’re almost running me over in their high performance, imported SUV and/or hybrid.
My son has quickly eclipsed me in terms of fitness-level-gained as a result of this newfound bi-pedaling. In the beginning I crushed his soul, as he was weak from weeks of distance learning with no recess, while I remained strong from dedicated 20-minute Peloton sessions in the morning, where by the end of the ride I literally looked exactly like the chiseled, handsome instructor leading the class. Exactly. Not gasping and crying. No way.
Plus I’m a master of psychological warfare against 11-year-olds. I was constantly in the boy’s ear, calling him names, describing how painful and bloody a fall would be, reminding him he doesn’t know how to shift, etc.
Nonetheless, within a few weeks he took to passing me on steep inclines despite my attempts to cut him off or ram him into a parked BMW. My last-ditch effort for victory involved feeding him heroic volumes of ice cream right before we rode, only resulting in impressive amounts of vomiting which slowed me down further as I was obliged to constantly dodge the pools of sick.
I’m not a bad parent.
As I’ve continued to ride my bike I notice a few things that never used to be a problem that are now officially problems. I don’t mean back when I was an 11-year old, I mean about 15-years ago when I rode all the time. Okay, now that I see it in writing 15 years is a long time, but still, here’s what I’ve noticed:
…My shirt riding up about 2.5 inches to reveal a newly developed section of halibut-colored relaxed muscle where my stomach used to be. I have no idea where this came from. Perhaps age, plus beer. Oh, and I like to eat right before bed, especially after having beer. We’re talking peanut butter & jelly sandwich or cereal. Oh my god, I’m a monster, forget I said that. Surely my fish-colored, exposed midsection is unsightly and thus tragic for anyone to happen upon visually. This newly formed extra part of me also may explain my general uncomfortableness on soft couches, reaching high when doing yardwork or anything else that involves shirt-going-up.
…Back pain secondary to hunching over to reach the handlebars. Perhaps this contributes to the shirt problem as well. I’ve adjusted the seat a million times so I don’t think it’s that; I think it’s just not being as flexible as my 31-year-old self…or maybe I’m dying.
…A general sense of doom when it comes to thinking about riding for more than an hour. I used to ride for 45-minutes to 2.5 hours. What gives? We went for about a 90-minute-er last week and my lower back was screaming for the next 36 hours. How can I expect to put headphones on and dangerously weave in and out of traffic as I go on a relaxing ride to escape my wife and kid er I mean meditate through cycling if I’m going to be in traction for the week afterword?
…A genuine fear that I look like a 46-year-old who’s only desperately peddling because his wife took the car and it’s the only way he can buy more beer, and obviously this guy drinks beer. And smokes.
Anyway, I highly encourage you to get on your bike and ride with reckless abandon, making sure your kid doesn’t get better than you and your shirt doesn’t ride up. Don’t worry about any chafing, I forgot to mention that. It’s normal, and not a function of improper form, inappropriate clothing or a higher than average thigh circumference that’s not a result of doing lots of squats.