Playing out


When you were a kid you played out on your bike. You didn’t measure your enjoyment in miles accrued, calories burned or average speed attained. You went out on your bike, had some fun, the came home when you were done. It’s easy to forget that simple raison d’etre in the current age, where even our leisure time seems to be imagined in terms of KPIs.

Last night, my son and I played out in our bikes.  I called down to his house and we went for a spin along the waterfront. A warm breezy evening to be savoured.

We rode to the Pier Head, stopped awhile, admired Liverpool’s Three Graces, watched the Isle of Man Steam Packet ferry boat leave for Douglas. Raced it along the waterfront until we ran out of road and it sailed toward New Brighton.

Then we played some more, racing each other back toward the Liver Building then decided to hunt out a pavement cafe where we refuelled heartily on tea, coffee and massive chocolate brownies (a fulsome recommendation for The Quarter by Blackburne House).

Then we dropped through Chinatown’s gilded arch, back towards the waterfront and caught the tailwind home.

You should try playing out on your bike sometime. It’s fun.

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7 thoughts on “Playing out

  1. Alcyon

    The worst place to be on a bicycle in Toronto is the Don river bike path after about five in the evening. The commuters going home are fine, it’s riders using their bikes as fitness tools who are devils on two wheels! They often have the heart rate monitors hooked up, stop for nobody and seem perpetually on the verge of crashing into somebody…quite sad really.

    One of the most enjoyable forms of riding for me is to pick a fairly easy gear and stay in it the whole day. No worries about speed, about my getting passed (I know, it’s embarrassing even writing that), just riding about on a gorgeous summer day. Why, that sounds like…fun!

  2. I try to reserve Sunday evenings(an hour or two before sundown), when I get the chance, to just ride, relax and enjoy the scenery. I leave my road bike & heart rate monitor at home and cruise on my full -suspension mountain bike – now converted to Leisure bike. It’s been rigged so that there is little temptation to focus on speed, distance, efficiency, or calories burned. Knobbly tires replaced by road tires, BMX handle bar fitted for comfortable upright ride position and stripped of the usual computer to measure anything.

    Sometimes, the bare essentials = pleasure.

    Yes to sheer relaxation, rejuvenation and fun!

  3. At the risk of sounding a grumpy old woman . . . . I remember when you wrapped a ham sarnie and a bit of fruitcake in waxed paper, slung your tent on the back of the bike and tottered off for a couple of days fun. Now, apparently you have an s240 or micro-adventure.

  4. Chris Thompson

    Thanks for this. i realized my twice weekly commute by bike was getting to be a grind. The main reason was that I was being manly and refusing to use the smaller of my two chainrings. and, I was trying to match, or beat, my previous trip. i read this post when it came out and now i’m more relaxed in my ride and happier. Especially when climbing out of the river valley I have to travel through. i will still use my tracker program (Endomondo) to keep my wife from getting anxious if i’m delayed. But, i’m not going to get critical with myself over performance.

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