“The noble-minded never contend. It’s true that archery is a kind of contention. But even then, they bow and yield to each other when stepping up to the range. And when they step down, they toast each other. Even in contention, they retain their nobility. People’s strengths differs.” (Confucius)

 
“So, in archery, shooting through the target-skin isn’t the point. Therefore, preemptive-ness can be a plan of defence as well as attack.” (Mavarine Du-Marie)  

OUTDOOR EXERCISING

 –  Walking (slow pace)

Okay, thought I’d mention some examples of my past walking journeys of note in London town which began when I started school for the very first time, as until then I didn’t walk far from home. And now in adult life, to make it very much an urban sport thus I also for this dress appropriately, I walk with a pedometer stopwatch to time myself so that I can track my progress for a particular route even around a green space, such as Kennington Park for circuit lap walking.

So for me I will say my first epic walking journey was from home to school at the age of five, which was from Clapham North underground station to Wandsworth Road, being 1.3km (0.8 miles) in one direction; double this for a return walk after school, and calculate for five days a week for the next five years of my life come rain or sunshine.

View weblink for route details: Clapham North to Wandsworth

My second long length walking journey in my teenage years was from Clapham North underground station to Fulham, which was 6.5km (4 miles) in one direction; double this for a return walk when visiting friends at the weekends, and yes at the most, I wore 2½ inch high heels, as it mattered still to be presentable when one arrived at the door for the duration of the visitation, but yet comfortable enough for the long walk for me personally as my legs were toned enough to take it within its stride <excuse another pun here >.

View weblink for route details: Clapham North to Fulham

And another of my long length walking journey in my adult life, has been from Akerman Road to Norwood High Street, which was 5.5km (3.4 miles) in one direction; double this for the return walk when going shopping in that district, as I like to walk this route when I can because of its topography, there are up climbs and down climbs as well as straight parts to the journey, as its where I go for my voluntary work too.

View weblink for route details: Akerman Road to Norwood High Street

And of course, this does not take into account the walks I do for daily when carrying out domestic jobs around the house ie. walking up down the stairs and from room to room, nor does it include the local shopping that I do, for which I will go for a walk pushing my 4×4 front wheel motion shopping trolley to carry out these tasks; there and back, (see also weblink article: Lay off my trolley) to still look composed and not hurried whilst I walk. And these examples gives some insight into how much walking was and is still done by me to stay physically active.

And lastly, as well as having mentioned the few of my walking journeys from my experience, as they don’t include my out of London picnic walks either, I have however also given a few video features below, which have the different examples and benefits of a walking journey: walking to meet up with a friend, a walking tour, and lastly, the circuit lap walking as a leisure sport that one can participate in doing to keep fit and toned in body without expensive costs incurred as well as other videos on the topic of walking as an activity.

WEBLINK INFO:   

 

 

 –  Riding my urban tricycle (see photograph picture below) 

TricycleAnd although I had tried many sport activities over the years, through school mainly, of which I’ve also stated in my website on the page entry: ‘Competitive At Work’, but having learnt to swim, as the phrase goes: was taken to like a duck to water, just didn’t and still don’t like feeling the chill coming out of the pool thats all, as the local baths don’t have the luxury of central-heating alias <sigh> However, I am glad I’ve been able to rekindle my riding skills of tricycling.  That is, when younger I had a tricycle, with red ribbons on the bar-handles, and I would zoom literally everywhere, okay, just around the block of flats, but now with an adult sized urban tricycle, the bus lanes are my freeway!!! As learning on a trike is very good to gather confidence riding on the main road (and not on the pavement or sidewalk) and becoming familiar with being in traffic flows in that specific lane, that is, along with the buses, taxis, scooters, motorbikes, horses, ponies and other types of bicycles, and becoming accustomed to the different terrains and surfaces on the road. Having learnt on a tricycle initially, its also a great way for one to get used to pedalling, and if any problems with this, such as keeping one’s foot on the pedal or the lack of power in the leg muscles, as I had, this can be corrected with toe pedal clips (with or without the straps) to keep your feet in place on the pedals as you start, move and stop, and whilst using toe clips with straps getting used to mounting and dismounting from the bike when you are held in position by the toe clips with relative ease. And I use my tricycle mainly for shopping around the local shops in town.

My urban tricycle
My Urban Tricycle: ‘Charleston Skaddle’

Website Article: On your trike! Latest celebrity accessory has three wheels

HOW TO RIDE A TWO WHEEL BICYCLE:

When I was a young person, I first learnt to ride a two wheeled bike when visiting for one day my half-cousin’s home in Perivale, located in the area of West London, England. She had a yellow road-racer bike, and on the spur of the moment decided to let me have a go on her bike learning how to ride. She showed me how mount the bike from tilting it towards yourself (we were only about five foot of nothing back then!) and to push off from the kerb with my left foot, then that I must weave the front wheel side to side to keep my balance on it, and when stopping to use the kerb again by putting my foot down, as kerbs are about one and a half inches from the ground where she lived, so it was easily done in taking off on it, and to keep my body position bent in a ‘C’ shape over as I stretched towards the handle-bars.

We chose a spot where there was no cars parked in the residential street, and that I could ride it in the gutter strip which runs alongside the kerb. I got more than half way, as far as down the road on this racer bike and all was going really well, but I panicked when the bike went into free-wheeling at a faster speed, and the pedals don’t work when its free-wheeling (gliding/coasting) along, and thus I didn’t know when and how to pick up back the momentum from the pedals and then my feet couldn’t find the pedals again, and I also forgot where to place my feet on them too, so it all ended in disaster, but not an outright absolute disaster as I was mindful of not damaging her bike, so stopped when I found it necessary at that point and not test the limits of my basic skills. And that’s all I learned many years ago as from my past experience, and was left, like my academic education at the time, as unfinished business in my life; as I’d never had the time or my own bicycle to practice on. Although like when I learnt to swim, and with all the doubting-toms around me and the mockery that came with it, there was always a firm belief that I could do it that was deep-seeded until the day I passed my swimming test at 25 yards (and I still have that swimming certificate!!) which confirmed that I did it.  And the common features to both learning how to swim and biking is that its all about two things ‘co-ordination’ and ‘pacing’ as in mastering parts of different skills that make up the whole and the end result is making it seem all effortless when it comes together. 

Weblink Information: Different Types of Bicycles.

So now, years forward, there is the same firm belief in myself, and no matter how long it takes me in the long run, I ain’t f**king quitting no how!! ‘Cos I’m learning to ride a two wheeled bike as an adult from scratch this time again at the age of forty-seven; day one was spent getting it ready and customising it with a new wider comfortable (gel) saddle for a woman’s bottom designed in the seated position, and a louder bell to serve as a warning sound, as the one that came with the bike went ‘tang’ in a dull manner instead of ‘ting, ting’ in a lively way, which is the one I’m used to hearing as a characterised noise for a bike bell, that also had been installed on my tricycle too.  However this insignificant ‘tang’ dull sounding bell was black and far too small, that is, as it was done for the concept of minimalism in design and simply inkeeping with a sense of fashion style only, and not for real road riding, but posing, which as a bike bell would’ve been that difficult to see for use at night, therefore I chose instead a big bright neon purple bike bell in colour as an alternative for this safety reason and very gaudy I confess.

And initially, I took my time in acquiring the bicycle type of my choice, my own preference is for Mountain Bikes: the all terrain bicycles, as it can deal with urban living very well, what with the potholes and going over speed bumps in the road, as well as the many slopes that can be found in an old city like London and especially so where I live currently in South London. And because I saw it also as an investment: that is having the desire so strong to get on the bike every day whilst learning and thereafter, as there had to be a mutual attraction for the object, and in addition, would the bike suit my urban lifestyle for practiality. And my purchase would also have to be due to my height, weight, my overall build, and as a female my fanny height (as men have crotches and I ain’t transgendered neither!! I’m a girl) and between a seamstress/tailor and bike shop thats the only business trades allowed I think, to use such a term as ‘fanny height’, due to having to know this initial measurement for ladies jeans, trousers, culottes and shorts, but in this case to fit the frame size of the bike; I have a mountain bike (see picture below) for ladies, which has an open frame size, which is just right for me at 19ins, as a bike for use in getting around generally in town. As with any learning you need the necessary gear and equipment to practice on in the first instance which includes the main item of an appropriate bike:                         My Mountain Bike: ‘Aurora Challenge’

For further information – Learning to ride a bicycle – for Adults! and a Guide to Mountain Bike Saddle Seat for Women

And whilst day two, three, four, five and six etc, etc., of learning was spent with a very sore and numb fanny (pussy) area afterwards! Truely and tortuous. Along with getting a butt and fanny ‘sweat gland’ workout from using the side muscles of the inner upper thighs (and definitely not a ‘vaginal secretion‘ it can be verified: as the clitoris isn’t touched due to it being hidden and in a high position within the fanny, nor is the clitoris rubbed by the bike seat whatsoever to simulate a climax, thus it does nothing to turn one on sexually! And therefore that is an utter cycling myth!! Thus there shouldn’t be any fear of letting daughters learn to ride their bicycles) my body muscles ached all over however by the time I’d finished my lessons, as this is supposed to be the rite of passage for wearing in the saddle seat on a bike so I’m told for an adult learning. Perhaps I should have invested in a cut-out saddle seat instead, oh well too late, as that type still isn’t wide enough for my seated ass! 

I would also state the importance of carrying out warm up exercises of stretching, particularly for the legs, before you get onto the bike, even as a beginner. I neglected this aspect initially and it then took me longer to get into the motion required for pedalling. So therefore as a suggestion, its good to get into the routine of warming up the body and legs, because it will prevent somewhat the leg cramps from having tense, tired and tight muscles, that start to occur after you’ve been on the bicycle for awhile, and the pain from that isn’t pleasant either.

Weblink information: Why Stretching is Great for AdultsLeg Stretches, and Preventing Leg Cramps Exercises.  

But I’m enjoying the learning process as I made progress steadily each time, in broken down stages (unashamedly baby steps), mixed with the determination to become slightly better as I took to each and every attempted ride that I undertook, but also joy as I managed to do something for longer than a milli-second, then a split-second, I’m up to a second so I’ve increased my timing, however I still complete it all with a smile or with a grin on my face, and when at half a minute etcetera I’ll burst into tears of laughter, but always thinking when I didn’t do well: “try that again” all the time too and ain’t too hard on myself over it, but remind myself again what I’m supposed to do, that is visualising. My aim was to achieve a five minute duration in the specific exercise itself of finding my balance.

Did I achieve this? Yes. Am I riding? Yes, that is both on grass and tarmac (see home video clip above). Although I’m still rough around the edges, and consider myself still in the basic mode of learning biking. And this achievement of knowing how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle was also due to the videos and information gathered below and in this section of cycling overall, along with my own determination, and under the tutelage of my cousin, Bobby Juggernauth, who is credited with being the person in the difficult role of the hard-force-encourager: “And another”, “And again”, “And repeat that!” like a military officer, and for being a good sport so early in the morning and mid-morning try-outs! And also in my prayers to acknowledge the applause received in support from the spiritual realm: you can breathe now, when I got it right from my own effort. Thanks everyone. 

HOW TO BALANCE ON A BIKE AND RIDE

If you are learning as an adult, and have never in your entire young life had a toy scooter when a child to learn the principle of balance and steering a handle-bar for a two wheeled vehicle, then with your adult bike just walk with it by your side, with your hands on either side of the handle-bar to keep the bike upright and discover how much play there is to keep the bike stable and upright, which works on the same principle as a toy scooter, and do this as many times as necessary without even getting on the bike, so that one becomes familiar with the bike motion, that is for keeping the elbows slightly bent and out to the side liken to ‘flap-wings’, steering and balance, before you move onto the next stage of learning to ride — with patience and consistent practice — as this part is crucial to riding a bicycle; for the duration that is spent on it will increase and this balancing of the bike has to be kept up during that time.

For the next stage, when mounted on the bike, as the trick for steering and balance is keeping your elbows slightly bent and out to the side liken to having a ‘flap wing’ shape, turning the bar handle very slightly to the left and then to right, that is, like weaving gently the bike’s front wheel from side to side with your feet off both pedals (see videos directly below for ‘Lego scientific’ theory and the other two videos showing it put into practice by real life examples) which is a term also called a ‘yaw front axis’ when the front wheel moves from side-to-side in that manner liken to a snake. 

And afterwards when you practice at the next stage, the wheel of the bike ‘rolls’ forward as you then start to pedal continuously, to keep the bike in balance and stable too as the faster you go, thus the front wheel should remain directly underneath your body on either side of your chest cavity, as you weave the bike slightly, that is, centred to your body (see weblink article: ‘How to Balance a Bike’ for details) and if you are learning by yourself, that is on your own, find a gently slope, or have someone push you, so you can practice riding to balance the bicycle. 

And when you’ve gained balancing in riding the bike to be road-worthy with safety in mind, then you’re ready to get the bike moving by yourself and on a flat terrain, and how this is done is by learning to back pedal from that first movement of the front wheel, by the action of moving the pedal backwards once or twice depending on dominant leg power, from the position of 12 o’clock to 7 o’clock back and forth and much easier to do with toe cage clips as you can push upwards or downwards on the pedal; to push the wheel onwards without anyone else’s assistance, as you start to move off on your own, which also gives you time to get your other leg onto its pedal too.

That is, turn left if bike is falling right, turn right if bike is falling left as to counter steer to keep from falling off from the bike. And to keep the balance on cycle also you must keep pedalling with the ball of the feet (see info below for details) at the same time as moving the front wheel slightly to the left then to the right by using the handle bar.

Keep reminding oneself to keep turning the bike handle bar left/right to maintain balance of the bicycle. Make sure the seat is low enough to allow your leg to stand on the ground to support if falling from the bicycle.

When free-wheeling (gliding) have your strong leg (usually the one you push down on the pedal with to start the bike in motion) at a three o’clock a position, and the weaker leg at an 8 o’clock position, and remain in that stance whilst gliding (coasting), but don’t pedal until the bike slows down enough, then you start pedalling again to pick up the momentum again, which has been made easier from being in the 8 o’clock/3 o’clock position on the pedals.

HOW TO RIDE A BIKE WITH TOE CAGE CLIPS

There’s nothing babyish or immature when having toe cage clips on bikes. For its what some advanced bicycle riders use for pedal control and to be able to concentrate on what is ahead of them on the road, as well as focus steering and balancing on the bike, as pedalling then becomes second nature without a loss of grip and thus better safety. It is just a similar thing as an advanced swimmer who from early training would use flippers on their feet to gain a greater advantage in their technique in the water, so its the same with having toe cage clips on the bike and using them.

Place one foot in the toe cage clip, either one of choice, sometimes it’s the foot that’s the weakest, to get the bike going with the same amount of oomph as the other foot, or the dominant foot is chosen to give you more power to push off.  And this is done so that the foot your used to doing the mechanics of cycling, can be also used to efficiently back pedal to various degrees with it easily without foot slippage with a toe cage clip; in addition to slowing down the bike when going down slopes and hills, and going at a faster bike speed on a flat road, rather than solely relying on the brakes when back pedalling. Its all about greater pedal control, and toe clips really helps to keep the foot in place for these techniques. And the reason for one foot going into the toe cage clip first, is because once cycling when you start off with the bike, you want to actually guarantee that one foot is on the pedal, and going in full rotation at all times too.

Weblink Information: How to use toe cage clips and How to Install Toe Clips.

And this is because to get the other foot into the toe cage clip when learning as a beginner, you really have to pick up speed by getting the bicycle to a freewheeling, (coasting/gliding) stage for a few yards which buys you enough time to then ‘feel for’ rather than looking down for the toe cage clip or whether your learning to use the clipless type (see videos below), then flipping the pedal by resting your foot onto the ridged edging of the pedal, before you shove your foot into the toe pedal cage as you continue to ride.

And that doesn’t come easily, so practice is required, when you are learning to get your balance and keep looking where you’re steering to, all at the same time as pedalling the bike. So if the other foot is missing the toe cage clip completely, don’t panic, as there really isn’t a wrong or right way up with a pedal, either side of it will do the job of getting and keeping the bike in motion, with your own feet then being the operative key in turning the wheels, for the whole point is based upon an imperfect riding concept: one never goes in a straight line, so no guilt be applied when you ride, therefore it’s completely okay if one has missed the toe cage clip with the foot to be riding the bicycle on that pedal’s platform instead (which is situated underneath the toe cage) until such time as you can shove your foot in when coasting down the road.

As once you get the hang of placing your feet into a toe cage clip, it saves time having to learn this technique later on, if like me you have a problem with keeping your foot on the pedals, and in the proper position right at the start of learning to ride a bike to resolve this, and/or you want to drive more foot to pedal power transfer into the ride too, but ultimately a toe cage clip (with or without straps) is about control of the bike, and being connected to the bike, as to have a more effective ride, for whether one likes it or not, your body in particular ones feet, are part of the cycling mechanism which becomes the second nature.

WEBLINK INFO:

Choosing the right bike.
Bike Sizing: choosing a bicycle for your height.
Bicycle Seats: Bike Saddles Explained.
Bike Fit: Seat, Pedals and Handlebars.
Foot Position on a bicycle.
The Perfect Pedal Stroke.
Adjust a Bike to Fit You.
Bike Fit: Problems and Solutions.
Bike Riding Techniques.
Using Bicycle Gears.
How to Use Bicycle Gears – For Beginners.
Cycling Performance Tips.

CYCLIST PRAYER

Dear God in Heaven;

Thank You for this day,
Thank You for this bike,
And thank you for this chance to ride.

Please give me the strength to ride fast and the stamina to ride far,
May my spinning wheels sing a song of praise to Your Glory,
And with every revolution of the wheels a prayer goes up to Heaven.
And may each turn of my pedals be an act of thanksgiving
to you for the blessings of this day and for the privilege of pedaling.
And the handlebar guide and balance me in my journey.
May Our ride together go on forever.
Amen!

NOTE: La Madonna del Ghisallo – the Patron Saint of Cycling (see weblink for historical background and a collection of cycling memorabilia at the chapel.)

INDOOR EXERCISING

female in sauna room 

–  Dancing (fast pace: see Music Play List 1) *
–  40 Stomach sit-ups every other day. *
–  Relaxing at the local gym Sauna facility. 

Well, as I’ve said in this blog, I can no longer dance, which I have not only enjoyed in the privacy of my own home but also publicly, and when I say publicly I mean not only the nightclubs but publicly in the street, and I’m not talking about carnivals, but the pavement street, and not the Hari Krishna type of dancing either, but specifically dancing or grooving, ahem, depending on your terminology for such body movements, that occured in the heart of the City of London’s financial district; on main high streets at their bus stops and sometimes in parks, such as Hyde Park or Regent’s Park, depending on our moods, during the summer days of my youth with a group of other girls, and for no particular reason expect having a good time.

However, have no fear, just as my dancing days have ended, I can still sing (aka. cat-a-wailing) okay with a little warm up practice!  But, I won’t mention here on this blog my hair-brush, kitchen wooden spoon, or broom-handle sing-along microphone improvisation, as an example of studio session recording to music heard, save for an encore from the washing machine or the stereo system.

(* these exercises I can no longer do, due to medical diagnoses of (OA) Osteoarthritis.)

Go to: Summary of my Recreational Activities


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