“The lungs fill, the blood pumps and the stress works out of you with each pedal stroke.”
My thanks go to the League of American Bicyclists for sharing this TedX talk by Elysa Walk, the General Manager of Giant Bikes in the US. While it might appear disingenuous for the employee of a worldwide bicycle corporation to be touting the benefits of cycling, she hits the nail so perfectly on the head that instead of dismissing it as a sales pitch, it just makes me happy that she is the kind of person making money from the bikes we ride.
She tells the story of a gruelling eight day, 900km bike ride she did around the island of Taiwan – something she had to do as part of her job, along with the GMs of Giant in many other countries. I like that Giant expects its General Managers to get out there on a bike, participating in the lifestyle they are selling. While Ms Walk clearly struggled with the distance and poor weather conditions, she found that the trip had an unexpected effect on her.
“I saw that the bicycle had changed me. I had rediscovered joy in the challenge of the adventure. It had made me hungry and excited for what’s next.”
Yep, cycling totally does that. I had a similar experience after my first 40km cross country race, and after my second. After an awesome game of bike polo the world is brighter and less scary and, if I have been having a bad day in the office, getting outside and immersing myself in the world on my bike never fails to lift my spirits, even when the weather is bad. It’s nice to know that this feeling is shared by others, I hope you feel it too.