I have biked to and from work on and off for the past 8 years since a DUI detour some years ago. Cycling has proven to be the bedrock of my fitness model. Eight plus miles (currently 11.5) both ways is the foundation of my daily fitness choice. It is not efficient or practical all the time to drive to run (“run”?) errands when cycling is so much more agile and dextrous in traversing the (usually crunched up) city grid and provides more fresh air, scenery, and off-beat pathways than the conformity of the perpendicular bumper-to-bumper. Cycling is a continuous, low-impact aerobic exercise so elementary in form and function that it forms the holy triumvirate of athletics alongside running and swimming.
As the expression goes, it’s like “riding a bike”, so youthful and liberating, availing its rider to many more fantastic sites and experiences. Atop my aluminum steed I have been beholden to unimaginable Arizona sunsets and privileged to witness eclipses that I am certain I would have been unaware of had I been contained inside a steel box. I have also formed a relationship with the ever-changing climes of this hot, dry and dusty Southwestern town, contending with 110+ degrees on summer afternoons, unforgiving morning wind-chill, and I have also been known to plunge headlong into a monsoonal monster- I’ve often enjoyed a good hosing.
I now have seven bikes- four that function- and have taken up the collecting of bikes of various design (e.g. mountain, road, cruiser) because I am convinced of their supremacy (in partnership with the modern urbanization of light-railing and free local transportation initiatives) in conveying a busy populous. So, I will say it here, if there is one thing you need to invest in for a health-conscious (and environmentally responsible) lifestyle, it’s a bike. THEN, it becomes a moral imperative to choose your self-power over the gas-powered motor for the basis of day-to-day transit and leisure.
This is the route I take to and from work. From Guadalupe and College to 64th and Camelback and right back down is my daily double and amounts a 23.4 mile round trip.
And for the data crunchers: Created by Google My Tracks on Android
Name: calm mute home from work
Activity type: biking
Total distance: 18.71 km (11.6 mi)
Total time: 48:37
Moving time: 48:37
Average speed: 23.09 km/h (14.3 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 23.09 km/h (14.3 mi/h)
Max speed: 44.10 km/h (27.4 mi/h)
Average pace: 2:36 min/km (4:11 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 2:36 min/km (4:11 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 1:22 min/km (2:11 min/mi)
Max elevation: 365 m (1197 ft)
Min elevation: 317 m (1040 ft)
Elevation gain: 168 m (551 ft)
Max grade: 8 %
Min grade: -11 %
Recorded: 1/7/2015 10:03 PM
AND!.. also this, up and back, if your enjoying the ride 🙂
It should be clear by now that my chief purpose is to demonstrate abundantly the wide, open, free green space readily available for public recreation. From city parks to outlying preserves and habitats, the availability of public space is vastly greater than the cumulative square footage of ALL the gyms in the world (I fear a world where this isn’t the case), yet the bulk of exercisers predominantly spend their time inside these fitness factories. This is troublesome. Shouldn’t fitness be a pursuit procured by any means necessary?
Of the proagonists for outdoor recreation the consummate instigators are the practitioners of Parkour, or Freerunning- as it is sometimes referred to- whose fitness philosophy embraces an environment as is, and seeks to bring it to life through creative energy flow. Theirs is an omnivorous recreational paradigm where all aspects of fitness (physical, mental, and emotional) are brought to bear in an omnidirectional modality. *Sometimes police enforcement is involved.
Now, one is not required to exhibit fantastic feats of acrobatics and gymnastics (popularized in the Jack-Ass world of YouTube stunts) to practice the precepts of Parkour- these are really the fringe trapezeries of a wholistic and natural movement-based fitness design. All insanity and reckless abandon aside, Parkour allows for broader, reflexive action, so the more expressive and interactive the given space, the more creative one’s movements can become.
For a visual aid I chose a particular abandoned office complex for its simple features and their relative accessibility to a novice Parkour enthusiast. I hope you can gather some ideas for your own Parkour gauntlet.
P.S. I added an alternate ending with a challenging (and risky!) elevated finale.
Straight lines and ovals are most definitely inferior when compared to the nonlinear topography of Terraining (or Runagading as I’ve come to call it), a nature-based relative of the more urban-focused Freerunning. Threading trees, charging up and down hills, coursing over variegated sections of grass and dirt is the ONLY way to run. Treating the park or preserve as an unbounded canvas with which to color and texture creates an aesthetic both inside and out.
Here’s the Kiwanis Loop from the corner soccer field at College & Guadalupe to the top of the single field off Baseline, down along the canal and back to the origin. This circuit offers 2.6 miles of diverse scenery from ballfields and bridges to a man-made lake and canal path on its western border.
I call this Slalom Skying- instead of skiing- because it feels quite uplifting as you rise over hills as they yield elevated perspectives and kinetic energy shifts… and there’s nothing better than hi-fiving a tree as you skirt around its trunk.
And here’s a YouTube rendering of the event:
And the data for the dorks (ME!):
Name: Kiwanis Slalom Skying
Activity type: running
Description: Kiwanis hill threading.
Total distance: 4.17 km (2.6 mi)
Total time: 19:35
Moving time: 19:35
Average speed: 12.78 km/h (7.9 mi/h)
Average moving speed: 12.78 km/h (7.9 mi/h)
Max speed: 22.50 km/h (14.0 mi/h)
Average pace: 4:42 min/km (7:33 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 4:42 min/km (7:33 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 2:40 min/km (4:17 min/mi)
Max elevation: 348 m (1142 ft)
Min elevation: 326 m (1071 ft)
Elevation gain: 56 m (185 ft)
Max grade: 8 %
Min grade: -10 %
Recorded: 11/12/2014 5:39 AM