Photo by Wayne Bishop on Unsplash

In between gears of life

To stay on the gear or to shift down a gear?

I knew my old bike so well! We have been together for five years having done many events, explored countless roads and ventured to awesome places to experience beautiful landscapes! I’ve developed a unique feeling on my bike. I understand the way it moves, the way it turns, the way it pedals, the way it rides. My integration on the bike is superbly synced. We bonded seamlessly when I rode on curved, straight, windy, hilly and smooth roads.

I was confident in knowing which gears I should be in. There was no hesitation or doubt on what gear to be on for any condition during the ride. Whether flat roads, steep climbs or descents, I was comfortable on a certain gear to maintain my speed, energy, effort and form. I controlled the bike to maximise the full potential and leverage this to make me an even better rider. I wasn’t in between gears, guessing which gear I needed to be in. It came naturally through experience, knowledge and a sense of feel that decided the gear. I just needed to pedal and ride.

I fully believed in my bike’s capability to take me any journey in the most effective, efficient and most of all, enjoyable way! I was wholehearted with the bike. It was more than a link, it was an extension on myself, flowing movements, interconnected beyond the pedals and handlebars.

Then I got a new bike!

The feeling of overwhelming great joy and excitement with an upgraded bike! The bike was so awesome but the change to a different was not so much. It felt so good to be on a brand spanking new bike, though I felt a little awkward and not right with the new geometry, reach, gears, lightness and components. Adjustments were made and with time I got familiar with the bike and riding experience was excellent again! The gearing was most challenging and took the longest to know the gears and use them to their optimal best. There were so many times where I was in between gears, spending too much time deciding and not riding. To shift down a gear or to stay on the gear?…

The shift in life

As we change in life from job to job, career to career, age to age, relationship to relationship, goals to goals, we are constantly adjusting, adapting and learning. Change requires growth, and growth requires discomfort. The shift isn’t as smooth as we want it to be.

Some of my experiences of shifting felt like I was grinding myself, unclear on my task, switching between the old and new, stretching myself too thin to make progress. Unclear, energy depleted and detached from my mind, body and spirit. I struggled to be switched on or zoned in and the offset imbalanced my harmony in life.

So what do you do? Click down a gear or stay on the gear?

When you’re indecisive of the gear to be on while riding, it’s either push harder on the gear or spin faster on the lower gear. The two options when you’re in between gears. Does it make a difference? Which is better?

Pedal harder

Pushing harder makes you exert more energy and more energy requires more effort and with more effort, your performance is being raised over your limits. Increase of muscles power and muscle recruitment. The demand to go harder will cause the body to adapt and change to the stress load to become more efficient. We will increase our level of strength and become better on the gear. In life, we move forward by shifting gears up, growing and changing to improve our capabilities.

Spin faster

The other option is to pedal faster by dropping down a gear, making it less strenuous to push the pedals. As we shift down, the input of energy to power to speed will not correspond precisely. There is a limit to your speed no matter how fast your spin. You can spin faster but it takes a lot more effort and time to move forward. But eventually you feel the inefficiency of your energy as you’re spinning out the gear and you feel that moving up a gear will bring more potential to your riding. It may a little longer to progress, but you still give 100% into the effort.

Which is better?

Neither. Sometimes you are strong, able to endure and push to go further and sometimes you have to go shift down a gear, reclaim and build the momentum to propel back up again. The bike can only go so far and do what it can do. It’s decision to ride the bike with opportunity or reservation. Change will get you to a new level but It’s your control, your decision, your life to choose the gear that changes you.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I love sharing my experiences of cycling and hope you enjoy the cycling experiences.



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Connecting with the cyclist-minded and reaching another state in physical health and mental wellness in riding experiences