I’m back from a morning cycle trip, taken before the forecast rain began. I’ve just been pondering the difference cycling has made in my life. At 58 years old, I can honestly say that I have probably never been fitter in the last 30 years.
I have just cycled 32 km in one hour and thirteen minutes, which averages out to about 26 kph. Not a competitive speed I know, but a far cry from the 12 km trips that left me huffing and puffing when I began cycling a year and three months ago. I am now 27 kg lighter and my resting heart rate is about 62 bpm, down from 74. And I feel better, not just physically but mentally.
I realize, however, that while these statistics show I am probably healthier, they do not guarantee me a longer or more satisfying life. A wayward blood clot, a wobble beside a passing dump truck or an errant bus could easily end it all for me in a moment, amoung countless other possibilities. But perhaps that early a death would be a better option than being abandoned in a senior’s care home, lying in a soiled bed, rasping out my final breath with COVID-19 because some unethical for-profit company and/or a government wasn’t interested in doing the right thing.