Cycling > Running

I fixed up my old flatmate’s bicycle and set out pedalling hoping to get back to some semblance of fitness. Eventual goal was to get back to running without getting injured. I’ve been cycling for a while now and I’m slowly expanding my range. I’m a bit nervous about setting out on the main roads because they’re a bit unsafe. People in India just don’t give a damn. You’ll find people driving on the wrong side on a high beam. You’ll find people taking sharp turns without using the indicators. The weather is a bit nicer these days so I push myself further and faster.

I took a route today that I know is scenic because I’ve been there a bunch of times while driving. What I really wanted was speed. It has become an obsession. I drive a cheap ₹6,000 city bicycle which has no gears. I’ve been pushing it to see how fast it would go. My previous best was 24.0 kmph on a flat track. Today I went up this road knowing it has some fantastic declines. I hit 29.1 kmph today. It felt fantastic. I’ve been contemplating an upgrade since technically I didn’t spend anything on this cycle.

The last time I cycled properly was when I was in school. I’ve been active in the recent past but it’s only been running and some sports like football and squash. Cycling has been amazing for me. In the early days when my legs were still behaving like jelly, I set out exploring the area around my apartment complex and found so many interesting places. Like a drive-in theatre right behind us. I didn’t know those were still a thing. Slowly but surely, I started pushing my boundaries and started setting times. The furthest I’ve gone in a single stretch is 25 kms in an hour and 4 mins.

I remember how I would feel after a long run. Like I’m dying and my lungs are on fire. I don’t get that at all while I’m cycling. I do get my heart rate up and I do feel a burn in my legs but I can still function when I’m done. Like for instance, this track that I took today was brutal. But I came back and I’m still good. I like the outdoors, I like the wind in my hair and I like that fact that it doesn’t feel like I’m dying. It is far more enjoyable. And being in the city, the roads are quite good for an enjoyable ride.

As winter sets in, maybe I’ll cycle less and focus more on running. But let’s see. So far, I’m loving it. Cycling feels way better than running.

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