Took on a new contract last week, and found myself back to commuting on my bicycle. January in Dublin is not the loveliest time of the year for spinning the pedals. We are going through a cold and wet snap of weather with cold rain and hard sleet.
That aside, it is great to be back on the bike. It gives me a great sense of freedom. When you cycle to work you get a workout in the morning and the evening, so you don’t need to go to artificial environments like Gyms to get exercise.
It has been three years since I did a cycle commute and the break has robbed me of a lot of fitness. The first two days were torture. I thought I would have a heart attack. It’s amazing how quickly you get out of condition if you are not taking regular vigorous exercise.
Today, Saturday, I can feel the pleasant sensation of hard muscles tightening in my thighs. My cycle yesterday was a vast improvement on the first two days. I begin to feel in control again.
Going Down Hill on a Bicycle: A Boy’s Song; by Henry Charles Beeching
With lifted feet, hands still,
I am poised, and down the hill
Dart, with heedful mind;
The air goes by in a wind.
Swifter and yet more swift,
Till the heart with a mighty lift
Makes the lungs laugh, the throat cry:—
“O bird, see; see, bird, I fly.
“Is this, is this your joy?
O bird, then I, though a boy,
For a golden moment share
Your feathery life in air!”
Say, heart, is there aught like this
In a world that is full of bliss?
‘Tis more than skating, bound
Steel-shod to the level ground.
Speed slackens now, I float
Awhile in my airy boat;
Till, when the wheels scarce crawl,
My feet to the treadles fall.
Alas, that the longest hill
Must end in a vale; but still,
Who climbs with toil, wheresoe’er,
Shall find wings waiting there.