My son is graduating from high school and he’s finally faster than I am on hills. Likely, his years of longboarding is what has given him the strength to “kill the hill.” I’m very much in awe right now as I keep the memory fresh of him speeding past me and cresting our hill up across the tracks from Lake Harriet. This is a natural progression. I get slower, he gets faster with age and experience. That is “spirit in motion” or Kodo.
So, this leads me to my blog post subject today, which is to be aware of your progression or Kodo as a bicycle rider. Far too many “bike riders” or schlubs are out early this spring “tuned out” to Kodo, when they are the one’s who would benefit by tuning in. But, before I go on about schlubs it is best to mention again that bicycling is not why we ride, but how we roll. Bringing gracefulness to your ride is a good place to begin. So, what can schlubs do about it and where is the Kodo?
Hey, Schlubs. Where do I begin? Going back to a time 30 years ago when I lived in Indy it was acceptable in the “Ghetto” to clamp a vise grip onto your seat tube to keep your seat post in place. That’s cool or so people thought. But, this week when I saw a guy wrenching on his seat post down by the lake I was surprised to see he was using a set of needlenose vise grips. Basic hand tool and bicycle maintenance is not rocket science although it takes awareness for one to seek knowledge and common sense can’t be taught. One becomes either a seeker or sucker. What are you?
Suffering or being a martyr on a bike is not Kodo. Why are schlubs even bothering? Let’s figure this out together. Everyday outdoors there is wind. Fact. Peddling a bike into the wind is made easier when you sit down and spin at least one revolution per second. Technique. Schlubs can progress knowing the facts and knowing technique. Know Kodo.
Kodo is more than having fun on a bike or riding a bike as a self serving act. The few of us in America who have ridden bicycles for transportation that have over 35 years experience know that we continue to learn something new every time we are bike riding. The core trait for any bike rider is to have awareness for a handful of factors that make up each and every ride. We have to be aware of the weather, which includes wind speed and direction, temperatures and time of day riding, aware of bike maintenance, street conditions, traffic levels, traffic speeds and known congestion. Seems like a lot to be aware of when you think that driving a car pretty much eliminates most of these factors. That is the difference between a bike rider that is naive to think bike riding is just fun and a self serving act and a bike rider that knows Kodo. A proficient bike rider is an aware bike rider that knows Kodo.
For anyone wanting to become proficient as a bike rider my advice is to start bicycle commuting to work five days a week. Do this all year-long. Read as much as you can about technique and watch YouTube videos for technique. Learn bicycle maintenance, get a book, tools, take a class, hook up with people who know how to repair bikes. And a word about bicycles. This blog author encourages you to get serious about the cockpit on all your bike choices. Any bike will do when hopping down to the store a mile away. For commutes I highly recommend my Detroit Handlebar since it has multiple hand positions, allows for aerodynamic posture, upright posture and many component options. Is 35 years experience enough for you to take this advice seriously? You can either be a seeker or a sucker, what are you?