Part 1 Why should a lazy person cycle at all?
The fact that you’re reading this guide means either:
- You’re already a cyclist or
- Someone in your family is a cyclist or
- You were surfing social media and just happened across it.
Whatever the reason, here you are reading. You don’t have to be lazy to read on, but it helps. After all, if you’re lazy, you’ve probably got other things you really should be doing instead, like washing up, putting out the garbage or doing your homework.
Why indeed, should a lazy person cycle? Physical activity in almost any form is the on your most hated things list.
Here are a few reasons why you might start to ride.
- Your partner insists you should join him/her jogging.
- You feel guilty when you watch fitness lifestyle shows on TV.
- Your lover, special friend, or someone in your family, has given you a bike.
- You want to lose weight but don’t want to stop eating.
- You are broke, have had your license suspended, and have an old bike in the shed.
Once something has you taking that first step, and you have pedal-powered wheels, you find yourself out riding! Well done, you are now a cyclist. Being lazy, this will be a very brief state unless you can find some reason to keep getting on that bike till it becomes a habit. Here are a few reasons that lazy people become lazy cyclists.
- Cycling gets you there faster for less energy than walking or, heaven forbid, running. While your partner jogs, you only need to cycle gently to keep up.
With no more effort, you can do two jobs at once using a bike. Ride to the shop to get your paper etc. and you have done a job and also exercised. A basket or pannier also means that the bike carries the weight, not you. Unless it’s a very heavy load*, you won’t even notice the small extra pedal power needed.
* Being lazy person, you almost certainly already have someone teed up to do the heavy shopping for you!
3. Bikes are great for getting you right to the door. Ride to the doctor’s, tax accountant’s etc. – you’ll find a place to lock the bike right at the door. You’ll never have to walk long distances from where the car is parked again. The tax accountant may even see your cycling as poverty and give you a cut on the bill.
4. Cycling is social – find a few friends with bikes, or join a club. Chat as you ride along. You’ll find you don’t even notice the pedals turning and the kilometers mounting up.
5. Unless you overdo 6 below, cycling is likely to make you fit and maybe also help you lose weight.
6. Cycling gives you an excuse to lounge around having coffee and other delights. There is no longer the need to feel guilty about that milk shake or cream cake if you’ve cycled to the coffee shop.
7. Cycling is cheap. If your area has a hard rubbish collection, you might even find a free bike on someone’s nature strip. Anyway, there are no registration or parking fees for bikes, and bikes are easy to service. Being lazy you’ll make sure someone else looks after your bike for you. Even if you don’t have a family slave, a service at the bike shop is far cheaper than having a car serviced!
If you’re a lazy cyclist, and have any other ‘lazy person’ reasons why you ride, please send them to the editor.
Watch out for Part 2 – The Lazy Cyclist’s Guide to Hills
The Lazy Cyclist (AKA Helen Lyth)
This article was first published in Flashing Pedals, Cycling Geelong’s newsletter, in April 2007