Is cycling really the new golf? Has plaid been replaced with lycra – ugly pants traded for tight ones showing off muscles, or unwelcome adipose tissue (kind word for FAT rolls). Apparently it grows and grows each year? According to regional councils, and sports organizations mounting two wheels is the latest thing.
In the seventies, and eighties running became the thing for New Zealanders, keeping us fit, healthy and challenged with events like the marathon to aim for. With increasingly sedentary lives the nineties brought the gym as a popular activity, and golf as we became increasingly lazy and it was easy, social and of course great for corporate schmoozing.
Now many of us work indoors, find it too hard to run, and don't want to be stuck inside a stinky gym, and have been told rather flatly by our GP's to do aerobic exercise or we will die in five years from our sedentary lives, and that golf just isn't enough.
Cycling then is an ideal safe and enjoyable fitness alternative for many. And the added bonus comes from our climate, been able to ride all year round. Or as one of my friends once said, "perhap, our will to sit on our butts crosses over to sport?" And one could argue it also provides the corporate schmoozing benefits of golf, provides ample retail therapy through its vast array of colorful accessories, and competitiveness of the corporate world.
No matter what the reason, cycling is an incredible sport. It gives those who dare try it freedom to roam places they have never been, challenges to conquer, endorphins to buzz off, fitness, and health benefits that run long after the pedals have stopped turning. So enjoy. And hey, lycra may not be flattering on some, but since when was plaid?