Fatigue is not a problem if you can keep moving. If you stop, like say at the corner of Cambridge and Desert Inn, waiting five minutes for the light to change so you can cross in 100 degree heat, lethargy starts to seep into your bones. It’s the thighs at first: they’ve been working hardest. Your calves feel it too but one rests while the other pushes.
Not so with the thighs: every extension, every draw of a leg engages the thighs. The abs are taut constantly too, but they’re pretty passive, in comparison. Everything comes from the core, but you have to fight your thighs to work again, to fight the soreness from exertion and the lactic acid building inside them. They demand to stop, to rest longer. I have become adept at fighting their urges, becoming more adapted to the strains of the ride every day.
The city is beautiful under a self-propelled tour, beautiful in its dirt and grime, in the people walking by: all the differences and similarities shining through as you cycle past. You forget how many trees overhang off Las Vegas sidewalks. until you have to avoid their branches. And hills are invisible when you’re driving in a car: on a bike, they are challenges to be overcome, a push of force and will – just a little further, just a few more seconds until the crest of it, a prize in the downward slope just beyond.
It feels good – to break past previously held limitations, to break the self-held and faulty reasoning that says I am only capable of a little bit, to feel my body become leaner in being used despite the effects being slow. Biking teaches patience and awareness, balance, and courtesy. I miss having a car though.
Thhere is a social stigma, particularly in Las Vegas, in not having a motorized vehicle. It seems impossible to get anywhere without one, and granted, it takes longer. I get where I need to go on my bike, on buses, and sometimes the going is slow, but there is no view of this city like this – mired in its pulse and swimming along.