The Psycho Cyclist
Cycling food and SEX.
Now that I have your attention with the most suggestive three letter word since PUB, please forget what you've heard about the meaning of life; the real answer is simple: cycling, food and sex. They provide the basics: health, views of the countryside, transport, fuel and grand kids to entertain us and make Christmas a little more bearable.
In no order of priority, these are essential to your well being; even if we admit to not engaging in one of them as much as we'd want to, (yes it's ok - admit it - you need to get off you backside and cycle more).
Of course confirming to a bunch of hard core cyclists that cycling is not only important, but good for them, is like suggesting to a group of raving drunks would they like another tipple of sherry.
And the interesting fact is that all these things (including our little tipple of sherry) are so pleasurable that they have the potential to be addictive.
You may have read Women's Weekly stories or seen sad reality TV shows on the horrors of food or sex addiction (could yah flick me the sex one's, as I may have just missed them). However, all of us are actually on a tread mill of subversive cycling addiction and the great thing is that it is self induced, good for you, legal and with no chances of overdosing.
For the great thing about cycling is how bloody marvellous you feel after your ride. I never feel bad after a ride. I may have come last, got soaked and had three punctures but we all feel pretty damn smug after 100 km's have been clocked up. Showering down, cleaning away the sweat and grime is a pleasant ritual as you think of all those fat couch potatoes sitting around playing silly play station games and stuffing their faces with grain waves (gee I thought this was bad!)
For the reason you feel wonderful after riding your bike is more that the ‘psychological superiority complex' that fit and tanned people suffer from.
The real reason is that after a hard ride you're as high as a kite as your body has been pumping splendid self-created drugs around while you've been pushing those pedals. Don't quote me on this, (as my expertise as a doctor starts and stops with the very delicate and refined surgical art of nasal clearance - i.e. nose picking), but the endorphins created by our bodies are very powerful and are a natural mechanism the body creates to manage pain when placed under huge duress. It's the old flight or fright syndrome and we should thank our lucky stars. Yeh Man!
And what's more remarkable (and wonderful) is that endorphins are a derivative of those remarkable pain killers like morphine. And that very illegal and highly addictive baby heroine.
As well as our own internally productive tinny houses, cyclists should be able to stuff their faces (within some sort of reason that I'm slowly working out), with food. Food is another addictive substance that I want prohibited to a class ‘C' drug because it makes me fat and climb hills like an elephant. When we include food into the picture - it has it's own splendid contradictions. Just consider these funny things:
- Cycling uses a remarkable amount of energy but I'm still a fat old bugger. Professional cyclists eat like horses (8-10 000 calories a day) but many look like they have escaped from Auschwitz.
- Top cyclists obvious need energy (food), but they want to be as light as possible and take drugs to be leaner and meaner. Stuffing your face to be skinny. A funny game.
- They cycle more, eat more, seek to be skinnier and I reckon in a few years there will be a cyclists anorexia clinic. Perfect sense.
What is there left to say? Except that sex, I hear, is a bit like riding a bike. If you fall off, as they say, you'd better jump back on and get pedalling.