Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

16 September 2014

A Meditation On Yoga And Cycling

How often do you go for a bike ride to "clear your mind"?  Or "to think about" something or another?  To "de-stress"? Or "focus"?

It probably wouldn't surprise you that I've hopped on my bike many, many times for those reasons or to free my spirit. I know, that last phrase sounds misty and musty and woo-woo, but there it is. 

Given that I've spun my wheels to get my mental wheels spinning (or to give them a rest), it might surprise you to know that I've never done yoga or engaged in any sort of meditation practice.  Oh, I've gone to seminars, workshops and classes on various topics that began with exercises that called for participants to be conscious of their breathing and other basic functions.  But I've never taken yoga classes, gone on zen retreats or done anything of that sort. 

I've had acquaintances and friends--including one with whom I rode fairly regularly for a few years--who spent weekends and vacations going to ashrams and such.  I have even entertained the thought of doing so myself.  But I've never gotten to it.  I don't feel guilty or that something is missing in my life.  It just occurs to me that perhaps that lapse is rather odd, considering how I sometimes spend my bike rides.

So, what started this rumination, you ask?  I ran across an announcement of a yoga-and-bicycling weekend retreat that took place the weekend before last at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in the Catskill Mountains, about 200 kilometers from where I live.

Somehow I get the feeling that riding with a yogi would be a very interesting experience.

15 September 2014

She-roes On Wheels

I grew up at the tail end of a generation in which boys (of all ages) venerated comic-book superheroes.  We had the Green Hornet, Captain America, Spiderman, the Hulk and, of course, Superman, among others.

As I recall, the only female superhero was Wonder Woman.  There was Batgirl, but I never thought of her as a hero (heroine) because she always seemed subordinate to Batman, and even Robin.

Now, I could tell you that the dearth of girls with superpowers is the reason why I never was never a fan of the superhero genre.  I didn't hate it, mind you:  I just never could care about it.

(By the way, that's more or less the way I feel about science fiction and fantasy.  It's not that I think of them as inferior genres:  I simply never could, for whatever reasons, immerse myself in them.)

Still, I have to wonder how my life might have been different had I grown up seeing something like this:

Ms. February

She's the creation of Thought You Knew founder Alexis Finch.  The lissome lass (!) in the drawing appeared in TyK's Bicycle Pinup Calendar fo 2012.

Ms. Finch says Thought You Knew is a "knee-jerk reaction to the lack of strong women as cycling role models in Chicago.  She explains she was "tired of leaving my sexuality at the door to get taken seriously in bike shops" and "frustrated at seeing so many women sitting on the sidelines at bike events".

For that alone, Ms. Finch sounds like a hero for me!

14 September 2014

Wish I Could Be There

Now this looks like an end-of-summer ride I'd like:

Actually, given that summer has not yet ended (at least, not officially) and that it's in  northern Florida (where summer doesn't end until around Halloween), perhaps it can't really be considered an end-of-summer ride.

But it looks like fun nonetheless!