Monday, December 7, 2009

There's nothing wrong with buying a bike in the middle of the winter

Maybe you remember my test ride on the Retrovelo Paul in November. It had a little poll in the end asking what kind of color you would choose for a Retrovelo Paula. Surprisingly enough the traffic white bike I was testing did not get any votes. On the other hand -- and that's now also the time to reveal my choice -- the pigeon blue came in first with a vast majority of 26%. I had actually already decided what kind of colors I would pick before I asked the question. However, it was really interesting to see that many people (Filigree, Carinthia, Justine, Trisha etc.) voted for the same bike and also mentioned the creamy tires and brown saddle and grips.

Well, here I proudly present my new beauty:

Pigeon-blue Retrovelo Paula (for the specs click on the picture)

I ordered the 7-speed version last week and am looking forward to receive my new bike some time in January :). In the meantime I just have to find a place to park it.

Many of my friends I told about my new steed already placed a reservation for a test ride which, of course, I will gladly offer. For the rest of you I can at least recommend Retrovelo's homepage and their catalogues (both in German and English)...

By the way, regarding benefits of cycling in the winter, I read in the news today that physical activity prevents depressions: "Bewegung beugt Depressionen vor". Psychiatrists claim that the lack of exercise leads to anergia and isolation, especially among young people. It's not only about prevention though, they also recommend physical activity, a regular day-night-rhythm etc. as part of a therapy in many such cases. The WHO tells us the following about physical (in)activity:

"Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. Physical inactivity, (a lack of physical activity) is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases, and overall is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths globally.

Regular physical activity – such as walking, cycling, or dancing – has significant benefits for health. For instance, it can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, help control weight, and promote psychological well-being. Everyone should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. More activity may be required for weight control."

From my personal experience I can also tell that that cycling makes me a happier, more efficient and well-balanced human being (see "Is cycling addictive?"). I also see that many people don't care enough about their physical health which also effects their mental health in a negative way.

I'm curious if you have similar experiences to mine, especially if you only started everyday cycling recently. Did you notice a difference in your overall way of life?


Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

I certainly feel better from cycling; there was a long time when I did not ride and my health, weight, and general self-image suffered because of it. I have been riding again for several years; each passing year I ride more and more and feel better and better, as a result.

I do tend to suffer the Winter Doldrums and the opportunity to be out in the Sun, being active (even when it is cold out) certainly helps stave off the depression.

Astroluc (Find me on Tumblr and Instagram @Astroluc) said...

...and congratulations on the new bike, it looks beautiful! Ride in good health.

Trisha said...

Beautiful! I wanted to double-like this in Google reader. :) I bought my Batavus in the winter, too. Can't wait to see pictures of you and the bike come January!

Giffen said...

That bike makes me giggle it's so gorgeous. :p

Steve A said...

Is that a Shimano 7 speed? If so, its got better gear ratios than the 8 speed. The gears are better spaced.

l' homme au velo said...

I had the making of a Cold coming on,on Friday and Saturday Morning I felt a bit Yucky. I had Sore Ribs a Watery Nose and was a bit Tired. I took an Aspirin the Soluble sort and had Breakfast. Then I went off into the City of Dublin on my Bike for the Blue Wave Demonstration against Global Warming starting at the Custom House and then Proceeding up to Government Buildings on Merrion Street.

I took out my Dutch Bike with a Blue Basket on the Front and wore my Blue Coat to tie in with the Blue Theme. I felt Yucky to start with and a bit Tired as I cycled along but I was in no Hurry.However by the time I got into Town the Colly Wobbles were gone and I felt Marvellous no sign of the Cold left.

It actually got Balmy for awhile and most People took their Coats off. They put on Blue Tee Shirts and Painted their Faces Blue and Marched off for 3 K or 2 miles up to the Dail in Merrion Street with much Shouting and Blowing of Whistles and everybody had a great time.

A lot of People turned up with their Bikes,eventually I got fed up Walking and Rode the rest of the way.

I always feel much better after going for a Spin on my Bike. If I am bored or Depressed I just go off on the Bike somewhere.

The new Bike looks great Congratulations, best wishes.

Velouria said...

Yay!!!!!! Congratulations and it's a beautiful bike - I am so happy for you! The cream tires with that unusual shade of blue look gorgeous. I bet it will be difficult to wait for this beauty to arrive : )

I relate to everything you say re cycling making me happier, more efficient, more relaxed and mentally clear, etc. And speaking as a psychologist, it is true that physical activity has some effect in treating depression. But I will add the caveat that this is not nearly as simple as the short summaries and pop-culture articles make it seem.

Courtnee said...

I think ruminating on your problems/your perceived faults contributes to depression or anxiety and cycling (and other forms of exercise) takes your mind off of them a bit. The happy-making brain chemicals released during exercise do their part too.

By the way, I like the color of your bike. I voted for the light blue because the pigeon blue seemed dark in a slightly melancholy way, but it looks brighter and cheerier on the bike frame.

anna said...

@ Filigree: I agree, physical activity is certainly not the main or most important part of a psychotherapy. However, newspaper articles simplify a lot, and they use catchy titles -- and then I have to simplify them even more to be able to translate them... Hope I do not lose all the meaning that way. On the prevention side I was able at least relate to the reasoning.

@ Steve A: It's a Shimano Nexus 7 or 8-speed internal hub that one could choose. I do not actually now about the technical background of these, but I tested the 7-speed and was quite happy with it.

Anna said...

I think that the best thing about physical exercise is doing it without realising, without that supposing an effort. Is like with everything, if you enjoy doing so and you feel better, then you like it, and do it :).

Congratulations for the new bike!

Anonymous said...

Great choice! :-) Have fun with the new bike.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new, beautiful Retrovelo! Nice color scheme. The Retrovelo's look like a blast to ride. I'd love to get one for myself. Oh, and thanks for your review. It was quite helpful.

Dottie said...

Gooooorgeous! I'm very happy for you :)

Sonja said...

WOW! That thing is beautiful!

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