Middle-aged man keeping fit by biking

Biking Is A Startup

Biking is the only exercise that allows you to use a big belly for propulsion. Seriously, you can bounce your upper legs on your belly to help you pedal, much like a kangaroo relies on its elastic muscles to hop effortlessly. I can tell you this because that's my real story when I started biking. 

 

Biking is one of the most sustainable exercise programs that allow you to successfully get to an hour of full cardio workout. You can go from a kilometer to 50 in a surprisingly short time. I know that can sound unbelievable, it did when I started. If you've marveled at athletes on the Tour De France, Giro d'Italia, or Vuelta a España, I'll let you in on a secret. It's the bike; it was designed to allow humans to go on and on.

A biking group with elderlies got me interested in biking again. The last time I biked was when I was still a kid. This time, it gave me hope to see bikers in their 70s pedaling like decades younger round the nearby park. This came at a time when birthdays are a countdown to me already, and my health was failing. I joined the club and initially had a terrible time trying to keep up. 

His Cycling Sporting Life | Better Lives for People in Leeds

The first hurdle I set for myself was to be able to keep up with the oldest regular who was 76 then, nearly 30 years my senior.  I did not even bother thinking of going with the group on 30-40 kilometer out-of-town rides. That was just beyond me then.  And as it turned out, the 76er was not the slowest in the group, and he loved to race with the struggling newbie.

My experienced bike mates told me that the first goal was to be able to sustain 20 kph for 20 km with light gearing and do that every day. This I was told was the minimum for long-distance biking. I had to get to the point when it becomes effortless. And so I persisted. Gradually, I was not so out of breath anymore. Biking allows you to rest and recover on the saddle, and that allows you to keep going. One morning, I was surprised that I had gotten there. 30-40 km fun rides became imaginable, and fun when I finally did it. The farthest destination I have reached is over 230 km., with up to 10-degree slopes on the last 50 km. to an elevation of 4,790 feet above sea level. I managed to lose 40 kgs. in the process.

When COVID-19 broke out and I had to stay home, the withdrawal was as real as it gets. It was amazingly close to stopping cigarettes which I did many years ago. Yet this is an activity, not a substance. I gained weight, my health deteriorated. I was miserable. So I was beside myself when I was finally able to bike again. It's really directly connected to my health. But I knew that just like how I started, I can get back what I've lost, and shed what I've gained back. I just have to do what I did before.

Biking not only helps me be fit for work, but it also instills persistence in continuing something that is difficult. It's actually the kind of persistence you'd need for any venture. You just have to get out of your comfort zone and take the hardest first step and follow through with the next. That's how KissTies got started selling navy blue ties to the wedding market. Why navy blue? Because it was the wedding motif of the founders. The start-up started with selling something we loved and bought for ourselves.

KissTies having come a long way since selling navy blue ties took a lot of persistence through hard times. It’s amazingly like biking, resting, and recovering if you must, but still keep going. You get good at getting up after falling and getting up again and again.

The next thing you know, you have become a biker, skilled, but a biker more because of the love of it. Many bikers find themselves still biking in their 70s and 80s, their bodies craving for the fix. I have seen them grow old biking.

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So I wish that you would also find a hobby that you enjoy. If you enjoy something, you can persist on it. In the case of biking, I was able to persist with this cardio workout because I enjoy it. My knees crave to pedal, the same thing I hear from my elderly bike mates. So I want to be like them, knees craving to bike rather than too feeble to move about when I'm older. So yes, I wish that you also find biking.