Exercising, one of the simplest tasks to initiate, is often the most difficult to stick with. Over the years, I have tried several fitness clubs, running, treadmill in the basement and watching Jane Fonda videos.
Nothing seems to work for me, except riding a bicycle. My bike is celebrating its 25thanniversary this year, and I am happy to say, it has never let me down, both in mechanically and in willingness to take me for a ride… literally.
I remember it being a steep investment at the time, but as I mentioned, it has served me well. I have been biking several times a week for the past 20+ years, weather permitting, and five years ago hooked up with a couple of fellows my age. We do a short, 20km circuit, two mornings every week, and I must admit, I enjoy it as much today as I did when I first started pedaling.
Over the years, I have biked in a few bike-a-thons, as well as a grueling trek from Niagara Falls to Niagara On The Lake and back. Now, in my ‘slower’ years, I am quite happy to stick to the 20k, which takes about 45 minutes.
We start at 7:45, take a route that heads north, then east and then down, along the lake. The early morning scenery is spectacular, and even last week, when it was -1 degree, it was invigorating, albeit a bit chilly.
The energy we burn is not mind-blowing. We seem to shed around 800 calories, during a ride, which is about the same as one piece of chocolate cake, but the cardio workout is great. Surprisingly, I feel good at the accomplishment, and I burn about twice the calories as I do in an hour of pickleball (which I also enjoy).
Probably, my favourite element of the trek is the camaraderie with three other guys. I am amazed at how we seem to solve all the problems of the world, and find solutions to every political aspect in existence. Ahhh, if only we had the power to rule the world. Until then, however, we will just pedal along and enjoy life as we experience it.
Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on RogersTV, the Standard Website or YouTube.