Today I passed a personal milestone—I am now a little more than halfway toward reaching my goal of cycling 5,001 miles this year. Last December I put my goals on paper and planned to hit the 2,500 mile mark on July 1. At the end of May I found myself well ahead of schedule and thought I would hit the halfway mark by June 8. However, a bad case of food poisoning kept me off the bike for 12 days (Middle Eastern food).
Until I was knocked off my bike by a lowly falafel I had averaged about 20 rides per month for the past year. There were only a few times where I had to miss cycling two days in a row. After being off the bike for 12 days straight I learned a couple of things. First, the time off the bike allowed my legs to get a well deserved rest. When I finally got to ride yesterday my legs felt fantastic. Second, the food poisoning caused me to lose 8 pounds rather quickly. This weight loss helped me attack the hills better than I have in years. I have decided to drop another 10 pounds.
On my ride today I started thinking about several friends of mine who are in their 40′s, but already taking medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. All I can say is, “There, but by the grace of God (and cycling), go I.” All of those diseases could either be cured or minimized by spending a few hours a week on a bike.
Last year I was in my doctor’s office for an annual checkup and while there I got so bored I picked up a copy of Golf Digest and thumbed through it. I have never played a single round of golf in my life, and after looking at the ads in Golf Digest I doubt that I ever will. There are ads in that magazine you will never see in Bicycling! After thinking about those ads for a while I asked a friend of who is an avid golfer, “Do you have to have erectile dysfunction to golf?” Cycling not only improves your lung capacity, but it will probably save you from the little blue pill as well!
How many chronic health problems in America could be cured by just diet and exercise? I’ve had friends die in their 50′s and I know their death certificates listed the cause of death as heart disease, but I have to wonder if it shouldn’t have said suicide by inaction.