Saturday, May 30, 2009

I forgot just how great of a workout cross country bike riding is, that is until I promenaded through the countryside on my mountain bike this morning.

I quickly realized after struggling up the first hill that the ride wasn’t going to be the morning motorcycle cruise I had imagined. I made it up the first hill without an annoying amount of huffing and puffing. But my cool, smooth breathing ended there. The next hill (and pretty much every hill after that) I was gasping for air like a fish out of water. Struggling up hills on a bike is much more difficult than it looks. Bikers often breeze past runners climbing to the tops of hills, but I think I’d rather be the lingering runner. Biking a hill is by far more strenuous than running one.

But all those hills are worth it. After the peak of a painstaking hill, there almost always proceeds a phenomenal downhill. Speeding down those hills is a rush like no other. And trust me, the downhills felt extra great after the long uphill struggles I went through to get there. Wind through my hair, and sun on my back, ahhh love it.

Cruising through less-traveled back roads brought a sense of tranquility to my workout as well. Except for the occasional car, it was just me and my bike, hitting the pavement (and every now and then a gravel road). Although I run these roads, I am never able to get as far as my bike can take me. It let me see more of the countryside and explore roads I infrequently come upon.

I’ll definitely be embarking on another countryside bike ride soon. And I recommend it to anyone looking for a good leg workout. You’ll be panting harder than your dog running next to you. Dust off your bike and let it see the day of light! If you don’t live near the country, explore your town/city and check out some of the less illustrious parts of town. You may discover a hidden gem/secret spot right in your backyard. And while you’re having fun cruising around, you can burn roughly 500 calories in just 60 minutes!

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