Cyclists, Count Your Blessings… a short list

As cyclists we’re extremely lucky. Think about it.

A runner… your speeds are “slow” and “slower.” It beats you up, the pounding on the pavement sends a shockwave through your feet, your knees, your hips, your back. You’re prone to injuries, ongoing pain and even long term damage.

Swimming vs Cycling
Swimmer – courtesy Flickr user Tyler Bolken

If you’re a swimmer, okay it doesn’t hurt so much. But it’s painfully slow! You literally have to claw and drag your way through a substance that’s trying to smother you. And your view? It’s a freaking stripe at the bottom of a pool, and a few flashes of feet poolside when you gasp for breath.

Cyclists? We’ve got it made. A simple, amazing machine and we can go places no runner or swimmer could even dream about.

We enjoy incredible variety of speeds and emotions. On the flats we fly, on the hills we grit our teeth and grind, and on the descents we go into an exhilarating virtual freefall.

Now I did a few triathlons years ago, that’s how I got into cycling. And I still run, every day in fact, but IMO nothing beats the simple joy and range of experiences that the amazing machine makes possible.

Trail Runner's Altra Lone Peak 2 shoe hitting the ground.
A trail runner’s Altra Lone Peak 2 shoe hits the ground.

I think this translates to indoors too. You can run indoors with a treadmill, but those things are huge and expensive. I’m looking for one right now for my wife. The experience is pretty much “thud, thud, thud, thud.”

The incline feature doesn’t simulate hills because although the treadmill tilts upward, the ground (rotating band) is falling downward. It’s much harder to run up a hill in reality, you have to lift your entire body weight up and over the hill, and a treadmill you just have to lift your foot a little higher but your body weight stays exactly where it is.

Swimming indoors? Yeah, for a ton of money you can install an endless pool in your garage, a friend of mine and swimming coach did just that. It’s very expensive, requires a lot of maintenance… and the experience, well let’s just say you’ll be missling that line and those feet.

Cycling indoors these days is an awesome experience, especially with a smart trainer. Sure, it doesn’t match the outdoors, but it’s a long way from grinding away on a trainer staring at a wall, a workout, or cycling video.

Today, with a bullet-proof bicycle trainer like Kinetic, you can race online in real time with people from anywhere in the world. You can ride in a group, draft, attack… win sprints and King of the Mountains.

It’s an incredible sport. A simple machine, human-powered, and now technology like Zwift brings that fun and excitement indoors too.

Lucky us.

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