Endurance Cycling And The Disappearing Bike

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

If you don’t trust the people,
you make them untrustworthy.

The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
When his work is done,
the people say, “Amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!”

Tao te Ching, Lao-tzu, translation by S. Mitchell

“The technology involved in making something properly invisible is so mind-bogglingly complex that 999,999,999 times out of a billion it’s simpler just to take the thing away and do without it……. The “Somebody Else’s Problem field” is much simpler, more effective, and “can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery.”

From: The Hitchhiker’s Guide, Douglas Adams.

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

Deb with FitOldDog's Guru bike

This bike really fits, to the point that I forget that it is there.

There are two key rules of cycling:

1. Keep the rubber side down.

2. Make sure you have a bike that fits (a non-trivial problem).

In life, it’s the things that you take for granted that you shouldn’t take for granted!

Once something really works well, we tend to forget that it exists, like a great pair of shoes. This is certainly true of a bike. I described to Victor, my bike guy, the feeling of forgetting my bike was there during a 110-mile bike ride (translation: bloody long way) the other day, and he said, “Oh! Yes! That’s the disappearing bike.

FitOldDog with his Guru

FitOldDog with his Guru, built by Victor of Bicycle Lab! What a bike. It disappears all the time, but I am careful to never take it for granted. Photo by Sue.

Think about it! It’s the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Someone else does the housework and you only notice when it’s NOT done. That’s human nature. On the bike, during repeated long long rides, slowly things start to disappear. First everything is an issue, then you notice that you don’t think about the challenge of the roads or the hills, then the bike is forgotten, and finally you disappear – your body is an engine, and you just admire how it works. The pedals spin all on their own. Believe it or not, from time to time you are just watching your body doing its thing – this is a truly remarkable and great experience. It’s worth all the work.

Getting to this level of cycling takes a little time, but when it happens you get the feeling that you are finally approaching a reasonable level of mental and physical fitness.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.