Guest Post: Emotion of Motion

8 Mar

For the Love of Bikes is happy to offer this guest post by Frederick Su~

Frederick Su pic

Fred and Taz, a 50 lb Chow Chow, who loves to ride!

To see the sense of joy on a child’s face as he or she bicycles along with a newfound sense of freedom is to recognize the emotion of motion. Free, not from gravity, but from the constraints of the striding mechanics of walking or running, the child now recognizes the ease of bicycling and how this rolling method of locomotion is so efficient that he or she can easily pass a walking adult.

Somehow on the long road to middle age, many children and even young adults who once rode bicycles, suddenly eschew this mode of travel for the motor vehicle. Their thinking probably goes something like these thoughts: “I’m too old to bicycle.” “I’m in a hurry and a bicycle takes too long.” “I don’t want to get hit by a truck.” “It’s raining.” “It’s too hilly.” “The roads don’t have good shoulders.” “I’m worth more now as an individual and I need to show my net worth when I drive.” “It’s faster in a car.” "I don’t want to break a sweat and have to change at work."

I can only argue that those who eschew the bicycle eschew joy. Pure and simple, the modern multispeed bicycle is one of the greatest inventions of all time. In my mind, it is greater than the internal combustion engine and the airplane. It is a fitness machine on steroids that allows the world to pass beneath your feet. On a bicycle, you are a like a pioneer, subject to all that Mother Nature can throw at you. You are subject to her tantrums and her beneficence. Moreover, recent research has shown that exercising outdoors has much greater benefits for you than exercising indoors. Apparently, expanding the horizons of your experiences also expands the joy.

You are the engine of your travels. The bicycle is powered primarily by your legs, lungs, and heart. As one 90-year-old gentleman remarked to my wife and me, “Keep your legs moving.” In middle age, we all slow down and tend to put on more pounds. Without exercise and a healthful diet, we can easily slide into obesity and incur such health problems as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. My philosophy is to suffer the exercise or suffer the disease. Which would you prefer?

© 2011 by Frederick Su /

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