On Apr 22, 2009, at 7:21 AM, Ian wrote:
> A man who can only walk with the aid of crutches using a tricycle
> to get to the shops
A fellow of my acquaintance, an avid cyclist, reported with both
dismay and admiration that he was recently passed on a notable climb
by a sport cyclist with a prosthetic leg.
In general, people who engage in even modest exercise, such as
utility cycling in euro-style cities, tend to keep their abilities to
walk or cycle well into old age. Many of my correspondents report
that their grandparents or great-grandparents in the old country
cycled into their eighties and sometimes nineties.
The English author Thomas Hardy, who didn't take up cycling till he
was in his late fifties (but was an enthusiastic walker), continued
to ride around Dorchester till he was well into his eighties. Gravel
roads, rain, etc.--much harder than in town.
Cycling uses 1/4 the calories per mile that walking does. In the US
cycling is seen as a "sport," but elsewhere it is viewed as
transportation, and it's sport cyclists, not commuters, who are seen
Indeed, US sport cyclists refer to commuting and pleasure rides as
"junk miles," since they are noncompetitive types of cycling. Even
the large majority who "train" without actually ever racing use this
term. It's an American peculiarity. I guess it's transferred from
the "dominator paradigm" that drives people to buy gigantic SUVs when
they don't own a ranch.
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