Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life Can Be a Matter of Cadence

From zosoiv71's Flickr photos, old bike gears.

It’s probably not news to the world that I didn’t bike today and am unlikely to tomorrow.

I bike year round, but ice and snow (or even rain) will stop me. And it was very snowy today in Iowa. So no biking for CRBiker today.

So instead, a rumination on pace. On speed. On taking it easy, but not too easy. On gears.

My first bike was a one-speed, but the first bike I purchased for myself was a 10-speed I bought in 1974. And today I own a 21-speed bike, which I guess is pretty typical.

One reason that I think I’m a fairly successful biker is that I don’t push it too hard. I learned on that 10 speed 38 years ago to use the gears to maintain a cadence, a pace, in biking.

I long ago set the personal rule that I never, NEVER, walk up a hill. Because you can always shift gears and slow down—and even going as slow as possible, barely able to balance, you will always bike up that mountain faster than it takes to walk up it.

Just keep that cadence going.

I suppose there is some larger lesson here I’m thinking of. I think one reason some students I teach succeed and some fail has a lot to do with their level of determination, with their drive to either keep pushing up the hill rather than stoping.

I can’t say that I always keep pedaling when I should. I think some aspects of my life could use a gear shift, a change-up, a switch.

I’m sure that’s sometimes true of my teaching style.

Still, even if I can’t always keep going all the time in everything, I can pedal up that hill. No matter how tall or steep.

Just shift and keep going. And it’s a good lesson to remember for things other than biking.

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