Full Body Cycling

Normally, we think of cycling as a sport that involves lots of leg muscles. But today, after the second of our bicycling adventures, it’s my torso and arms that are stiff and sore.

I think it’s because, the way we do cycling, the actually pedalling seems to be the least of it. We don’t just hop on the bikes and go, we drive somewhere and then hop on the bikes. Which means bending and reaching to put down the rear seat of the car. Then there is carrying the bikes up the half-flight of stairs from the basement to the driveway. There’s bending over to remove the front tire, and then lifting and wrangling the bike into the back of the car. Then the other bike has to get up to the roof rack. At our cycling venue, the bike has to come off the roof, and the other out the back. Then we can start riding.

At least today we put my bike on the roof. (Here’s a tip for using a roof rack: it’s much easier if the bike is light enough for you to actually hold over your head.)

After the ride, of course, all the loading has to happen again, and then it has to be unloaded at home, including carrying the bikes back down to the basement.

Kimberly, for some reason, complains that her calves and situpon are the sore parts. (It appears there are some advantages to being too short to reach the roof rack, or manhandle a bike into the back of the car.) I believe my situpon benefits from the fact that I’m riding the same English leather saddle I’ve had since at least high school, the same one I rode across the country. It’s well-adjusted to my ischial protuberances by now.

After our ride, we went over to the Ballard farmers’ market, where my newly purchased cycling shoes weren’t the only pair. Riding to the market seems like a common practice. We may start doing it ourselves, since the Burke-Gilman trail runs most of the way there. (The Burke-Gilman is a former railroad right-of-way that’s been converted into a 17 mile paved path through Seattle and north along Lake Washington.) Then the driving would only involve getting down and back up Queen Anne Hill. I may be optimistic, but I’m not even approaching the idea of riding up that!