Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Take Stock in Yourself and Ride a Bike.

I don't offer investment advice here.  I don't tell people what they should do, pretending like I know the outcome of stocks or coin tosses in the air, like the pundits on TV and other sites do.

But if I did give advice, I would offer one tip.   Invest time in yourself and try to improve your character, skills at endeavors that are worthwhile, and our health.  Life throws many curve balls at us along the path to enlightenment or at least greater wisdom. It is better to be in good shape to take on the curves of life.

Today, I will touch on an investment that has been one of the best I ever made. ready?

Ok --  It is a $99 bike.

This bike is a single speed bike called the Thruster by Kent that is geared for basic riding that challenges on the hills and runs at a pretty good pace on flat land. You can typically find it on a web site like  Walmart or other department store.  I consider this a good training bike for people that enjoy riding at their own pace.  If you have a lot of steep hills, I would advise a multiple geared bike.  But for basic training, fitness  and riding , I have enjoyed this bike for about five years and gone through at least one set of tires.  I ride about 10 to 15 miles as often as I can, usually at least 3 or 4 times a week.

I am not pumping anybody to go out and get this bike.  Any bike will do.  Many people have a bike sitting in their garage collecting dust.  Get a rag and dust it off, spray the chain with some WD 40,  put some air in those tires and ride on friends!

I  often enjoy the bike trails in a local park with bike paths and various rides in neighborhood where the traffic is not too heavy.  Sometimes I ride to the grocery store and pick up a few items and hang the plastic bags  over the handlebars and ride carefully home.  Although my brother who is a much more avid biker tells me that's a bad practice and says to use a backpack.  I am pretty careful although there are risks with everything.  Usually, I am just out training on the bike going at various speeds that suit me at the time.  Sometimes, the biking can feel like a flying experience as you glide over the paths and look ahead and  around at the landscape whizzing by.  Biking is a fun way to get and stay in shape for the challenges that happen.

A lot of times, I find myself being physically challenged and I am glad that my biking has helped keep my fitness level stay pretty good.  I heard of a study that showed that those who bike at least 20 miles a week lower their risk of heart attack by 50%.  That's a lot!   Just 20 miles a week for such a good benefit?  wow.  that study found that there is something about bike riding that the human body likes and responds to in a healthy way.

Just 20 miles a week does it -- But once you get on a bike and start riding, you'll probably find that the routine is fun enough and also there is a mind clearing refreshing aspect that makes one want to do more and go farther.

On my rides, I often stop at a particular favorite scenic spot in the park and work out for a few minutes in a cross training mode.  There is a pretty large flat rock that I'll lay on my back and do various sit up crunches for 5 minutes to try to work my core. Then I will do leaning pushups off that rock and do about 30 to 50. Then it is some stretching and maybe a session of various Tai' Chi style moves as I look over the park lake and then off I go to finish my ride.

Well, I share this because if someone is interested in improving their own stock in themselves, I would suggest bike riding as a great way to start. 

I have to thank my brother Joe for leading me to the path of biking again.  While we always biked everywhere as kids a few years ago, my brother reminded me again about how biking is a good way.  Although our styles  are different in that he enjoys long treks on high end racing  bikes in groups - we both enjoy biking in our own way.  I typically bike alone at my own pace.

I used to be a runner where I would run about 5 miles a day.  That was good, but as I grow older, I find that biking is a lot more fun and less stressful on the body, back and knees  too.

Now, when I ride past people struggling to run and the look like they are wobbling around in pain, I feel like shouting hey buddy! get a bike - it's more fun !  Ok Sometimes I admit I do.  But usually I just smile and maybe they figure why am I smiling while they are struggling to jog a straight path.

But here is something else,  Riding a bike can be whatever challenge you want.  Yes it is easier to dog a workout by gliding when you want to rest.  But if you want to get fit , you try to keep up a good pace and challenge yourself to speed up in intervals.  I will pick it up and stand up on the pedals and ride for so many cycles as I count them to myself. Yes that's the game I play on single speed bike. Sometimes, on steeper hills there is no choice but to stand up and pedal on a single speed bike.

Well, when I am mowing the yard on a hot day, I am glad that my biking has kept me in descent shape to tackle the task.

Yup, that $99 is one of the best investments I ever made.

Take stock in yourself someway.  That's a wrap here for awhile.
ALL in my humble opinion, scroll down and read more..

This site does NOT make Buy / Sell recommendations.