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Velocipede Verses #7: The Recovery Ride


I'm an avid cyclist who has ridden 30,000+ miles over the past seven years. I enjoy sharing the little I know with interested others.


The Recovery Ride

Recovery ride today
A way
To stay
And fit
And not work
The body too hard

Recovery ride today
Go slow
Spin light
Some scenery,
A coffee and biscuit


Recovery ride today
Rider blows by
On the trail
So fast
And doesn’t say
A single word

The nerve

Where you off to in such
An all-fired
I think
Don't say

[Recovery rides] need to be ridiculously, almost frustratingly easy. In the words of Sir Neal Henderson: “You should feel embarrassed to be seen riding so easy."

The best riders in the world know how to ride really hard, but just as importantly, they know how to ride really easy.

— TheSufferfest.com

Recovery ride today?
Did I say
I’d move
But slow
Not work
My body too hard?

Tell myself
Relax, self
Heal your legs
Fitness benefits
Will abound

But something else
Steps in
Other shoulder
Taps and smiles
Then says
Recovery day?!
Gonna let this stand?!


So I stand
And start to bang
On the pedals
And grind
And huff
And wheeze
And rip right by
The speeding cyclist
Who passed me by

“On your left!”
I say
Blast 'round and by
Pull away
Down the trail
Don’t look back
Can’t slow down

Pedal rotation
Perfect circles
Faster faster faster

Heart rate rising
Perfect rhythm
Faster faster faster

My son at two used to say
"Faster, Daddy, faster!"
From his seat
On the back
Of my bike
As we raced
His mom
On the streets
Of Sumter
In summer

Wonder this guy's name
Who he is
Nice bike tho’
Where's he from
Might we be friends?
Nice bike, bro

Recovery ride today
Spinning now
Easy gait
Testosterone won
The race
And may have to take
A recovery day

Recovery ride today
Got away
Didn’t work out
So well

How to Master a Recovery Ride


Lorna Lamon on July 08, 2020:

I love getting out for a good cycle and your poem brings it alive Greg - it's like riding tandem. It also brings back memories of family bike rides down country lanes with the dogs barking and trying to keep up. I find that I take the bike out more often now, especially when I work from home. The feeling of the wind and freedom is hard to resist. Loved this poem.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 08, 2020:

I had a three wheel bike and I gave it to my granddaughter, now, I'm thinking I want one again. I had a two wheeler and took a nasty fall, so for safety sake I got a three wheeler. I really can't think of a better exercise than biking. Your poetry sounded like a good workout.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on July 07, 2020:

I guess that competitive spirit and need to feel your muscles ache is hard to extinguish, Greg. Yes, there is alway tomorrow. This brings back memories of when my whole family used to go cycling together, trying to teach the youngest bicycle/road safety so they could eventually ride to school etc. Enjoyable poetry as always.

greg cain (author) from Idaho, USA on July 07, 2020:

Thanks, Sha! I am good, minor scrapes still some soreness and remnants on elbow and knee, but mostly all healed. My hip was swollen and bruised big as a large saucer but that is all gone now, too.

Great memories of my son and your dad. My boy just loved to pass Mommy and win more than anything! I can picture you with your hair flying in the wind in the back of that MG, too. Sounds like a great childhood experience.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 07, 2020:

I love the part about your son telling you to go faster, Box. I used to do that with my father when I was about four. He had a red MG convertible. I'd ride in the back and say, "Faster, Daddy! Faster!"

Are you all healed up from your spill a couple weeks back?

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