Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I'd Rather Be On Horseback

If all your comments were votes, I'd say biking was voted down 10-1.

As I was pedaling (then pushing) up a very long, steep hill last weekend, being passed by younger, fitter, men and women, your words were screaming in my head.

What am I doing on a GD* bike??!!?? (*gosh.darned)

It didn't help that we ran into some of our buddies--fellow land conservationists and president and former VP of our Palisades Park non-profit--Robbi and Vic--on horseback! (As they should have been.) It didn't seem natural to be propped up on my bike talking to them as their horses plucked away at the grass. I even found myself making excuses for being on a bike rather than on my horse--as if I was somehow cheating on my horse.

We said good-bye to them, pedaled something that I'm pretty sure is the equivalent of the Tour de France, and ascended the bluff overlooking the river only to be met by two more women on horseback enjoying the view. The wind was blowing their horses manes gently and they were smiling from ear to ear--all relaxed and happy. I was huffing and puffing--sucking air into my stinging, under worked lungs and experiencing leg fatigue. I wanted to say--hey, I have horses, too. I love horses. Can I pet your horse? This is just an anomaly--I'm a really a horse person not one of those obnoxious bike people who come screaming down toward us on the narrow, cliff trails.

Alas, I was not a horse person that day; I was an out-of-shape bike person who, btw, bikers, I'm sure, would not claim as their own. I'm one of those newbies they hope will give up and clear off their bike trails. One of those that struggles with the rules--Do I pass on the left or right? Are those 15 mph speed signs for real? I need to go like 50 mph to get enough speed coasting to make it up the next hill. We can be sued if we hit a pedestrian? Really???

But the out-of-shape part of this equation is exactly why I am out there huffing it. The good news: I'm already starting to see its benefits. I'm not getting any younger (as last month's back pain proved) and if I'm going to be enjoying a long life with horses I have to be conditioning myself as much as I condition them. This is why I chose biking:

1. I have to be outside.

2. I have to be on the trails.

3. I have to have variety.

4. I have to go fast.

For the record, however, I'd much rather (and this will always be true) be on horseback!


  1. Ah well, it's for a good cause. Sez I, who walked 3 miles to work and 3 miles back yesterday because my truck wouldn't start and my car's outta gas!

  2. It's true, that exercise really increases our enjoyment of the rest of life. I walk at least 2 miles, more if possible, nearly every day, and I can feel it when I miss even a few days.

  3. I don't bike but I do have an exercise routine I do to keep fit for riding. It sucks but if that's what I need to do so I can ride well, I guess it's worth it.

  4. This is part of why I make a point to add fitness to my life- especially core fitness- it's so important to everything you do.

  5. I agree, when I am doing other outdoor activities, I feel like I should be on a horse. I started running this week and felt like the time should be spent riding, but when you only have a small amount of time, strapping on a pair of running shoes is a lot faster than catching and saddling up.

  6. lol! I can't stand to do other activities such as hiking or biking. If I want to explore nature, I'd rather do it on my horse. I refuse to do any outdoor activities other than my horse. Usually people who hike or bike don't have horses. Not always but a lot of times is that they don't have them.

  7. I'd rather be riding too and when I'm not I do my bike riding and treadmill indoors. But we all do what works for us individually and biking for real up and down hills will sure get you in better shape for riding.

  8. Cute post! I am not a biker, or at least not as a workout. I could do it recreationally once a month or something, as I did when I would visit my parents and some nights my cousin and mom and I would take the bikes around the neighborhood for a leisurely ride. But I'd rather be on a horse if given the chance!!


Please feel welcome to join our discussion by telling us about your own thoughts and experiences.