Mrs. Bgddy and I were back out for our Friday lunch ride, first one of the year. It wasn’t too bad out, mid to upper 40’s – the wind was brutal, but my God, after this long, brutal winter, the sunshine was awesome and it sure beats the trainer.
We stopped by the bike shop on the way to lunch and Walter, the shop manager, snapped our photo as the “first ride-ins of the year”:
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Note the size of the snow bank. They call me an avid enthusiast for a reason.
BTW. In the first photo, Mrs. Bgddy was up front – my wife, because the sun rises and sets on her, always gets the front… Walter had us switch because they’re a Specialized, Trek and Giant shop – Mrs. Bgddy was on the Cannondale. 😉
I hear (or more often, read) health pros say that we shouldn’t look to cardio to build muscle and I just don’t understand what I’m missing here.
When I was a kid (early-twenties), I had extreme chicken legs. Rollerblading 50 to 60 miles a week and they got quite a bit better. When I started running, still better. Cycling has grown my legs to a point where I have to buy slacks a size (getting close to two) bigger in the waist so my legs fit, just to have the waist taken in. My legs, to put this simply, are bad-a$$.
I haven’t lifted a weight since college, 22 years ago.
Statements such as “don’t use cardio to build muscle” or “you need weight training to build the muscle needed to lose weight” catch me up. If those are true, how could I have gotten such spectacular legs. Weight training certainly couldn’t get me there, not even close. There is a simple reason for this: I will ride my bikes. I will not show up to the gym. I’d be no worse off taking a stack of cash equivalent to a year’s membership and lighting it on fire – at least I’d be warm for a minute (we broke a 118 year-old record yesterday, 5 degrees F).
Now, I realize this approach is not perfect. I am not perfect, far from it, but don’t I have a desire to be either and I suppose that’s probably what is important here. What do I want? I can answer this question simply: I want to stay fit and trim. I want a body that I can fit into slim-fit clothing and I want to have fun getting it… And that last part, having fun, is the most important.
Folks, life isn’t necessarily easy and sadly, it’s very short. I have, over the last twenty years, enjoyed every fitness activity that I’ve chosen to take part in, and because I’ve enjoyed myself, I’ve stuck with it. Whether rollerblading, running or cycling (especially cycling), I’ve had fun staying in shape. For some people, going to the gym is enjoyable. I’m not one of those, so the fact that pumping iron is said to be the easiest way to build muscle is irrelevant. The best way to build muscle and stay fit is the one I will stick with and commit to.
I fit into the cycling community. I ride well with others and I thoroughly enjoy every minute I spend on a bike.
What works best is what I will stick with. After, all that matters is duration and intensity. Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something. In my humble opinion, of course.