Bicycle, Bicycle

My first time riding this year didn’t come without a small issue…

But first, a snazzy bicycle picture.

Mind you, I have never figured out how to get my odometer to work–I have a new one waiting to be unpacked–but this picture represents my glorious half-hour leisurely ride last Saturday.

Naturally I pulled over before taking it.



The Small Issue

Just as I rolled in to the usually demure neighborhood, I saw a dog crossing back and forth on the street ahead of me with no owners, responsible or otherwise, in sight.

He even loped onto the lawn of what I assumed was his house, barking his head off, but nobody appeared even then.

Of course he saw me. “WHEELS!” he said, dashing over.

Dad always said, dismount and put the bike between you and any teeth.

So I did and informed said teeth to GO HOME.

One ear pointed to home and the other pointed to perplexed because I wasn’t his people.

I said, Look, I can out-wait anybody, and after a few volleys of confused barks, he loped off because I had become boring. Good.


And thus the adventure ended.

My Dad, The Cyclopath


Not my dad’s bike, but a great shot from!


“No falls, flats, or fangs!”

That’s what my dad says when he returns from a successful bicycle ride.

He’s in his 70s. He’s been bicycling on the weekends since I was in high school. Now retired, he bicycles outside on every good day. He finally decided to stop bicycling for the year in December.

In fact, I asked him how many miles he’d clocked just outside in 2015, and he somberly replied, “2,500.” He’d missed his goal of 3,000.

But he blamed the weather for that.

He usually brings his pipe along. One of his bicycling jerseys looks like a tuxedo. “I like to look nice,” he says.

I’m not kidding about this

On not-so-good days, he’ll cycle indoors on an equally retired bike.  He has a TV, but prefers to face the picture window instead so he can imagine he’s outside.

“I also turn on the football game and watch the reflection in the window. I like seeing millionaires busting into each other,” he says.

He props a word search book on the handlebars and plays songs like The Freckle Song and Copycat to pass the time. (And let’s not forget Tiger Haynes, but that’s a whole ‘nother post right there.)

“Otherwise it gets boring, and who wants to exercise when it’s boring?” he says.

His total mileage for 2015 was 6,000 miles.

All these things may go into why he calls himself a Cyclopath.

But this post is really about advice, so…

In addition to those three Fs up at the top–no falls, flats, or fangs–my dad has another three Fs of bicycling that you can apply to just about anything else.

Three Fs to Remember:

It’s NOT about how FAST you go.

It’s NOT about how FAR you go.

It IS about how FREQUENTLY you do it!

Here’s another way to look at it:

You know what they say about sitting too much: It can kill you! Yikes!

I suppose something has to, but all the same, I try to remember to get up and move around, even if it’s only for a little bit at a time.

Remember that all big things are made up of little things.

This means making your milestones achievable so you won’t wear yourself out before you’ve even reached your goal.

Plus, you’re more likely to miss really awesome things along the way that might have made a difference to your whole perspective.

And don’t forget, bicycle or not, 10 miles one way is another 10 miles back!

One last bit of dad-wisdom

This is what I hear when I’m dithering about hopping on my own bicycle:

“Go because you want to, not because you have to!”

And then I do.


See, I wasn’t kidding!

What gets you up & going?


Originally posted on LinkedIn.

A Girl and Her Bicycle

I rode my new bike today. Just for a little bit, just out around the neighborhood, a delectable half hour to myself out of a busy weekend and busier week.

My mind wouldn’t stop chattering at first, spinning its wheels faster than I was spinning the bicycle’s tires. Then I started to notice that all through the surface noise, one phrase kept running through my mind like a mantra.

“This just feels so good.”

As I became more aware of it, the phrase became more intense,  my other, errant thoughts quieting to a distant mumble. Yet I wasn’t so much concentrating on those words as just being, being part of the road and the wheels and the spring.

It was exactly the right time to return to this once-loved pastime.

What have you returned to recently that you let go for too long? What mantras are you feeling or experiencing?