By CEO Robert Forster, PT
Maybe you remember when your first Schwinn took you around your neighborhood, and then rumbled beneath you as you veered off road onto a worn out path through the woods and over to the next town. My posse and I could have been in the jungles of the Amazon or little villages of Bavaria for all we knew. The terrain was all different, the buildings were strange, and all the faces were new. With wind in our helmetless sweaty hair and bodies in forward motion, we were liberated by summer and the sense of accomplishment each time our exploration took us longer and farther away from home than imaginable. Day after long summer day we were transported by our sense of human achievement.
Then, like now, we found moving through space propelled by our own power, calmed the soul and cleared the mind. Nothing in a pill jar compares. As teenagers the bicycle high was being delivered to where the girls were, and to the parties. But soon we learned to drive a car and the bike was left in the corner of the garage to gather dust. The fun of adventuring unexplored territory with endless amounts of time and energy became limited to a demanding sports schedule and a gas budget.
The fitness achieved from “no pain no gain” grueling high school and college sports programs lead to a lot of adult years of “taking it easy.” Soon enough though, I needed a replacement for hard workouts; and I needed the sanity that exercise had always provided. It was not until my middle adulthood that I rediscovered the joy of cycling.
On a bike, I could rely on myself to get to far away places again, physically and mentally. Self created adventure was possible again, and my sense of what having fun was like returned. I quickly remembered that cycling isn’t all work, it’s a fair amount of play and just plain fun, especially if you take to the mountain dirt and worn out trails again!
The fun factor is much higher in cycling than other workouts like running or lifting weights. Sure, running and lifting sometimes offer similar post workout euphoria, but cycling in the hills offers a reward to effort ratio that is so much better; the fun of a wicked fast downhill is much greater than the work effort of the climb. It’s not that hard efforts can’t be fun, and in cycling you can get fit enough where the climb is fun, but cycling downhill is all play and exhilaration. In 1983, my now aging posse and I were the first adult “kids” on our block to own mountain bikes.
The first year back in the saddle we trained for day trips across the Santa Monica Mountains. Next we trained to cross the Sierra Nevada in the “World’s Toughest Mountain Bike Race.” Within a few years we had progressed in our cycling to cross the isthmus of Central America in Costa Rica for “La Ruta De Los Conquistadores”, called the “Toughest Mountain Bike Race on the Planet.” A few years later we crossed the Austrian Alps and the Italian Dolomites in 8 days of cycling at the “Trans Alp Challenge” and with over 60,000 feet of climbing and over 400 miles. We had come along way since our days on a Schwinn.
Progression is at the heart of life’s greatest experiences. Progressing from crossing the borders of your town, to the local mountain range and then crossing continents, provide that sense of progression that is hard to find in the day to day grind of adult life. There is a unique feeling of accomplishment that comes with making it to the top of the mountain. Unlike the treadmill of real life that seems to never stop, in cycling, each day you can set and attain a measurable goal, and then you have the downhill to celebrate your personal victory!
I was not born a gifted endurance athlete (didn’t pick my parents well enough), but with science even a slightly broken ex-wrestler can transform his physiology into one capable of taking on the most arduous mountain bike stage races and survive to enjoy the accomplishment.
I’m an avid cyclist. Whenever I’m on my bike, either training for a race with climbs or intervals, or on a mountain trail enjoying the breeze and the view, my head and my body get to a place that’s hard to reach standing still or on a motorized piece of gym equipment. The conditioning benefits are more intense now, but the fun of cycling, hasn’t changed since childhood.
If you are interested in cycling as an adult, PHASE IV offers the most comprehensive science based training and nutrition programs available anywhere! We guide your fitness and keep you healthy enough for expeditions and competitions.
We invite you to join all of us for the Ride Santa Barbara 100 October 19, 2019 and we extend all of our cycling training services at 50% off. It is our hope that you will dust off your bike and bring yourself over to PHASE IV for the help and encouragement you need to ride again safely and with good sound training. Please give us a call and we’ll take all the guess work out of your exercise and training plans.
The PHASE IV Recreational Cycling Team is comprised of recreational
cyclist of all abilities who have rediscovered the joy of cycling.
For discounted and complimentary PHASE IV services in preparation for
this and other fun rides contact PHASE IV
If you are interested in improving your cycling performance, and preventing injury, we will design a periodized training plan for you, complete with nutritional optimization, as well as strength and flexibility training. Our programs have been honed over 35 years in the results driven world of elite athletics, and with thousands of athletes who have chosen our science based approach to achieving complex performance goals.
Give us a call 310-582-8212