The following article by Grant Peterson was first published in the 1994 Bridgestone Bicycle Catalogue.
Ride when you like
Don’t ride out of guilt over last night’s meal. Don’t be a slave to your bike, or else you’ll resent it, and feel guilty whenever you think about it or look at it. Soon you’ll be avoiding it altogether. If all your rides are like a swimmer’s workout, you’ll burn out on bikes as fast as swimmers burn out on laps. Ride when you want to ride.
Don’t push yourself too hard, physically or mentally. Don’t ride with racers or obsessive aerobicizers. (If you’re a racer, don’t race with riders, let them be.) Learn to relax on your bike. Of course your bike can be a tremendous tool to build cardiovascular fitness, but why let that get in the way? Unless you race, you can rely on something else, like running, to get fit and lose weight. Running is more efficient for this anyway.
A ten-minute ride is always worth it, even though it won’t elevate your heart rate to your ‘target training level’ and keep it there for twelve minutes. (Or is it supposed to be eleven? Or fourteen?)
Don’t keep track
If you never use an on-board computer or a heart rate monitor, you can ride with us any time. Avoid ‘logs’. Forget the graphs and the home computer programs. Keep your bicycle free of extraneous wires and LEDs. You don’t need them.
Own more than one bike
This is not a commercial message! Runners have learned that nothing improves a run as much as a new pair of shoes, or shorts, or socks, or something. Bikes, unfortunately, cost a lot more, but the effect is the same. Make your bicycles so different that your experience on one is unlike the other—a mountain bike and a road bike, a multispeed and an single speed, or a clunker, or a recumbent. For some people, even different handlebars are enough of a change, It’s worth a try.
Learn how to fix your bike
Learn to fix a flat. Learn how to install a wheel. Learn how to adjust derailleurs. It’s all easy, and you’ll never feel at ease on a bike if you’re at its mercy. Being able to fix your bike will give you enormous confidence and satisfaction, not to mention self-sufficiency.
Don’t chase technology
You will never catch it, and if you pursue it year after year it will break your wallet in half. Some wonderful things have happened to bicycles in the last fifteen years, but so have a lot of dumb things. You don’t need a fancy machine with the latest equipment to enjoy something that is so joyous and simple. A simple, reliable bike will do.
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