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Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home   The Next 30 Years? (How About the Next 50?)    Bikexchange.com logo, link to Home

By Chip Haynes

Editor Note: This pieced first appeared in the Wire Donkey Bike Zine. 

My deep, dark secret: Iíve given up on rock Ďn roll. 

Lately, when Iíve had to drive the departmentís van on any errands, Iíve been listening to country music. Contemporary music is just stupid, and the oldies are so, well, old. (An besides, the oldies stations play nothing but commercials for antacids and arthritis medicines.) So I found a country music station, and itís not so bad. Itís nice to actually hear the words again.

One of the songs I heard the other day was about a guy turning 30, and all the things heíd decided to do different for his next 30 years. I can identify, but youíll have to kick it up a notch or two. Make it the next 50 years, and Iím there.

So what would he do different? Oh, itís mostly the usual stuff: Eat more salads, sleep better, drink less bad stuff and more lemonade, you know--that whole health thing. Stuff that you and I probably do everyday anyway.

Now Iíll admit, I was never all that wild. Never smoked, never drank, never could stay up all that late. So Iím not completely out of bounds on those health issues. Oh, sure, I stopped riding a bicycle there for about 20 years or so, but Iím back--big time. I got my diet together this year and Iím putting on more miles and less pounds. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man truly annoying to his co-workers, but what fun!

Bad habits? Not sure I have any. No more ice cream, no more caffeine, no more sodas--and I canít remember my last hamburger. I donít gamble, keep my language polite, love my wife and pet my dog. I even vote.

So will all of this get me through the next fifty years?

Iíd like to see a hundred. Iím fifty-one now, and Iím in pretty good shape. Not Lance Armstrong good shape, mind you, but okie-dokie good shape. And getting better all the time. Another fifty? Why not? As long as I can keep riding my bicycle!†

I think thatís the key to it, and itís more than just the exercise you get when you go out and pedal. Sure, itís a good low impact work out. Great for the heart, and keeps the legs limber and all, but thereís something more to it than that: Bicycling sets you free, both physically and mentally. It keeps you awake, in every sense of the word--and in every sense.

Bicycling lets you get out and really see the world around you, and really feel a part of that world. No glass-and-steel awfulmobile, insulating you from everything around you. Get out and ride and you can see, smell, hear and touch the whole world as you roll along. Nothing like a little sensory overload to keep you from nodding off! With a little luck, Iíll be pedaling through the world for the next fifty years. And as long as I can pedal, Iíll have no complaints.†

So letís raise a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice and toast the next fifty years. Will I really be riding my bicycle in the year 2052? Who knows? Iím going to give it my best shot, no doubt about it. Hereís hoping youíve got some great long-range plans, too--and have the health to carry them through. Eat right, get your rest, and ride your bicycle. I think that last one is very important--if you donít feel like youíre going anywhere, it doesnít matter where you go.

Viva le Bicycle, yíall! 

For Wire Donkey subscription info, contact Mason St. Clair, Editor and Founder, 3620 Rolland Road, Nashville, TN 37205-2434. Email masonbike@aol.com

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