I remember when i switched from taking the subway to walking to work in Berlin. They closed two subway stations along my route because the Formula E was in town, so i decided to start walking instead, and then i didn't stop. Rain, snow, morning, night, i walked. It took about 45 minutes each way.
There was a point about 30 minutes into the walk home where something would flick in my brain. The thinking about work starts to fall away. You get into this strange rhythm. The doses are up, the music gets louder, the lights swirl faster, and the chap who freaks out just hasn't passed the acid test.
It happens now too. Right up the top of Keyuan Rd, i hang a right and glide down the slight incline parallel to the Beijing to Hong Kong freeway. I am under trees. There is no one around. Everything is wet and green and fragrant. The lights blur and the wheels hiss and i am free.
Most of the ride i need to pay attention. Either i am on the road and watching out for cars, or i am on the sidewalk and watching out for pedestrians, or i am BMXing across some construction site watching out for holes. But in the gaps i am free!
The first week it was very hot and unseasonably sunny. This week it is back to the normal South China summer: very hot and torrential rain. Yesterday i jumped on a share bike which had the front and back brakes reversed, accidentally locked up the front wheel and stacked it hard. I came into the office covered in blood and muck. At lunch i hadn't dried out much, but i felt slightly better. On the way to get noodles a fucking asshole in an internal combustion vehicle zoomed past and showered me from head to toe in mud from a puddle they did not slow down to ford. I was pissed.
Soggy and pissed.
This morning i could not even see to the other side of the road the rain was so heavy, so i took the subway in. I still got drenched just getting to the station.
I felt guilty, skipping the full ride. I looked up on the internet how much exercise i was forgoing.
The internet says cycling burns about 700 calories an hour. I don't really believe that holds true for urban biking where you spend a decent amount of time stopped at red lights or threading your way around pedestrians, but let's be optimistic and pretend it's 500. That's 1000 calories a day i should be burning more than i did when i was not working. That's a lot of energy.
I should be skinny, damnit!
Alas, my jeans are tight when i sit and my shorts barely close even standing. I look fairly slim from a distance, but it seems i have been growing a belly over the past two years. Ignoring the interlude of my previous job, at my first job here in Shenzhen the bike commute was about 30 minutes each way. So burning only 500 calories a day i am slowly getting fat.
And, guys, i don't eat that much. Breakfast is just a piece of fruit or congee or something. I drink coffee, black with nothing. Lunch is usually noodles, in a serving size that is half what they give you in rich countries. Dinner is two small dishes of peanuts/tofu and some fresh veg with noodles or bread. I also tend to drink about a half liter of sweet tea. Sometimes a few beers. I can't cut down on much.
This means i need that extra hour of biking every day just to stop the slide.
Getting old sucks.
Anyway, i need to become a bad ass motherfucker who bikes two hours a day even in a typhoon. Consequently i have ordered a faboo poncho slash raincoat thingy on Taobao. I found some cute little transparent booties too, which would have been helpful yesterday given my shoes are still well waterlogged, but i am thinking i might switch to flip-flops for the ride instead.
Whatever happens i need to make up that 500 a day.
Of course all those plans will go to shit next week when i get on an airplane to the land of deep-fried Mars bars and Irn-Bru.
To quote a message from a former colleague: "I have been relaxing and eating too much today [...] I shall try to lose weight tomorrow."