Monday, January 01, 2007

my life cycle

my giant innova - a possible dream

Quote of the day - hopefully I'll remember to put these in from now on - comes supposedly from Voltaire: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

I've started the new year on a low high – my weight has topped 77k. For someone of my small frame that's way too much. BMI measures should have me down around the 70k mark, so that's what I'm targeting, and the key lies more in exercise than diet.

There are a range of exercising possibilities for me, including bushwalking, cycling and the gym.

I'm not the most disciplined sort. It would be better for me, probably, to exercise with someone. John S invited me on a cycling ride a few weeks ago. I didn't get to meet up with him, due to a series of unfortunate events, but I rode from my house to the beach on a clunky, very heavy steel-framed bike John had given me. I rode along linear park, more slowly than any other of the many cyclists using the route, some of whom would've been no older than ten. I really was trying to go fast, but it was impossible. I'm hugely out of condition, but I prefer to blame the bike, so I'm in the market for a better model. At least a bike that's a pleasure to ride will help with motivation.

Cosmos magazine reviewed a few bikes in its October/November issue, ranging from the bike that Lance Armstrong used to win his last Tour de France, the Trek SSLx [priced at around $15000], to one more within my comfort area and price range, the Giant Innova, at a little under $1000. Though I suspect a Pygmy Innova would suit better.

The Innova's frame is of aluminium and so light-weight, a great improvement on steel if not as exciting, or expensive, as carbon fibre. It's described as a hybrid bike, though more suited to road than off-road use, with 'SR magnesium travel forks' which are apparently excellent for shock absorption. They say it has a very comfortable seat, too.

Having checked out this website and discovered that Giant's a trade name, and that the Innova comes in what is probably my size [S: 17], and that the specifications are all impressively incomprehensible [the magnesium forks are an exciting upgrade], I'm starting to feel excited. It's quite possible that I'll have the money to buy such a bike by the end of this month, and I'll be able to accompany John and cronies on their Sunday journeys to well-being.

My big worry, especially after recent issues, is security, so I'll have to research bike locks too. Anyway with a decent bike I might be able to combine cycling with bushwalking, a sort of biathlonic Sunday series. Next I'll be in the market for a parrot outfit – but luckily I'll never have the body for that sort of getup.

Reading of Lord Palmerston's late-in-life energy [at 79, and still PM, he rode to hounds regularly] has the usual inspirational effect – I've probably been more affected by the energetic longevity of Thomas Hobbes, Bertrand Russell, Knut Hamsun and Bernard Shaw than I have by any of their works, I'm ashamed to say.



At 11:53 am , Blogger Susoz said...

You'll find that the bike - and especially the weight of the bike - makes little difference to the experience, assuming you have a reasonably comfortable bike. What I mean is that once you increase your fitness, which can happen very quickly, you'll feel fine doing that same ride again on the same bike. I've been riding all my adult life but I occasionally take a break and lose fitness and it feels very hard too get back in the saddle but I'm always struck by how quickly my body adjusts.
And the older the bike, the less need for expensive security.
Good luck.

At 8:06 pm , Blogger Stewart said...

Thanks for the encouragement, but you've worried me now about whether I should be forking out all that money. You're probably right about the bike [though there are some really bad ones], and I should give my current one a bit more of a chance. The hot weather's putting me off though – excuses excuses.


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