It’s a special age of symmetry for anyone: it’s 2 open hands that are smacking double high “fives” with hands of other birthday well-wishers.
55 means I’ll just hopefully go for a bike ride around my birthday. No, it won’t be a 55 km. ride since my birthday falls on a winter work day this month. Our evenings are still dark early and there may be icy pavements. We’ve had several winter days that have plunged below -31 degrees C. with a howling snowstorm.
Still, it’s a strange feeling …55. A friend who is 56, wrote a letter in which she can barely believe her eldest sister is 70 yrs. old.
It happens: the years appear suddenly like a breadcrumb trail behind you or a fading comet trail.
In recognition of this double high five birthday, I’ll share a post I recently submitted to a popular blog, Fit, Feminist and (Almost) Fifty:
Lifestyle Cyclist- When It’s No Longer Exercise, No Longer a Chore
I’ve been car-free for over the last 3 decades. I gave up my driver’s license in my early 20’s, when I realized my discomfort with driving would endanger others. So I traded a car for active transportation and good health –cycling, walking and transit.
I have consciously chosen to live and invest in walkable and cycleable neighbourhoods in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, where it’s close to a bike route or two, public transit and within a 15-min. walk of some shops and services. I haven’t known the cost of gasoline for last 30 years. I’ve saved a ton of money for other stuff.
In 2014, I will be bicycling into my 55th year. I returned to bicycling 23 years ago. I have 3 hybrids and 1 folding bike in Vancouver and Calgary. There’s even a 4th well-used bike, I gave away to a sister in Toronto. I borrow it whenever I visit my extended family in Toronto.
Cycling is integrated into my daily lifestyle by cycle-commuting to work, shopping, for fitness and on our self-made bike trips. I’ve never had an indoor bike nor bike rollers. In 2010, I started winter cycling with some snow when I relocated to Calgary. Since dry prairie air and warm chinook winds that sweep from the mountains, suck up melting snow, I’ve been able to cycle at least 70% of winter days on clearer pavements. Since our winter days are much colder, I learned to bike down to -24 degrees C (-11F). Maybe I’ll get studded tires one day.
I range from 2,500 to 7,000 km. of cycling annually. Our bike trips with my packed bike panniers, each cover from 100 km. to over 1,000 km. Every year, we cycle at least 1 trip or more, at least over several days. Since my partner is consummate cyclist himself, and local cycling advocate where we’ve lived, I’ve learned bike routes and how to string together multiple routes so that I can ride on my own or with friends. One can bike 60-100 km. in 1 day, by cycling within the borders in each of these 3 Canadian cities! I love exploring locally by bike. So “exercise” by bike is so much more psychologically effortless.
So find your favourite daily exercise for life. Then it’s no longer a chore.