Cycling Therapy

Cycling along pretty country roads in autumn is the best way to clear your head.

Cycling along pretty country roads in autumn is the best way to clear your head.

By Tor McIntosh

I’m an avid cyclist. Well, I say I’m an avid cyclist, but I haven’t actually been on by bike for close to a month. It hasn’t just been idleness that has kept me out of the saddle; I’ve been battling a persistent cold for weeks and juggling a few too many projects. But they’re poor excuses for only togging up in padded pants twice in the past month .

It’s all too easy to convince yourself that you’re “too busy” to find time to hop on your bike for a spin around the hood or lace up your trainers for a plod around the block. Like many startup entrepreneurs my weeks are full of juggling the demands of a day job and the challenges of starting a small business. Right now “too busy” is my default.

However, today I finally got myself back on my trusty steed. To be honest the impetus to step away from my computer was purely physical — a nagging feeling that my idle month meant my fitness was suffering — but the reward was most definitely mental. Despite years of cycling I had forgotten that going for a solo bike ride is brilliant for aligning my thoughts, kick-starting ideas and refocusing my mind. Seeds of doubt are dispersed in hedgerows; the fresh air clears any clouds of confusion in my head; and my creative juices run wild while I pedal along country lanes dodging suicidal pheasants.

Returning home a bit sweatier than when I’d left 90-mins earlier, my never-ending To Do List was still, sadly, never ending. But my mind was clearer and more focused, and I was raring to put into action all the ideas I’d conjured up while pedalling. Today’s cycle-cum-therapy session reminded me that I am an avid cyclist. And somebody who benefits both physically and mentally from stepping away from my computer and getting outside.

I thought of that while riding my bicycle.
— Einstein (referring to the Theory of Relativity)

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